fbpx

Studying data science to improve educational outcomes

As a teacher at Toowoomba Grammar School, I teach mathematics and business studies, and manage the GPS Chess team. Prior to teaching, I worked as a financial analyst. Recently I have completed a master's degree in science at the University of Southern Queensland. My study was focused exclusively on data science, and I have become an expert in the management of big data with a specialisation in modelling and forecasting using machine learning techniques.

The motivation for this study was because of the identified opportunities to utilise data to assist in the educational outcomes of students. The observed diversity in student needs, coupled with the complex nature of education data sets, prompted me to seek the skill development from the international experts at USQ.

The culmination of my study has been in the successful publication of research paper in the international journal “Health Information Science and Systems” titled “A novel empirical wavelet SODP and spectral entropy-based index for assessing the depth of anaesthesia”. It focussed on the development of machine learning algorithms for determining the depth of anaesthesia in patients during surgery based on real time electroencephalography signal (potential difference due to brain activity). Assessment of the depth of anaesthesia (DoA) is an important and ongoing field of research to ensure patient stability during and post-surgery. This research addresses the limitations of current DoA indexes by developing a new index based on electroencephalography (EEG) signal analysis.

This model employed a variety of novel signal processing algorithms and has demonstrated successful DoA measurement with improved time responsiveness compared to current market leading DoA algorithms in a range of circumstances. This responsiveness is especially evident in cases of high signal interference.

It is a great privilege to have worked with such renowned medical researchers and to have had my own research recognised internationally in this field. I hope that in time this work can be used to influence professionals and assist in the development of medical monitoring devices to ensure more safe operating procedure for patients.

There was some challenge in managing the dual roles of a teacher and student, but this experience has been instrumental in developing a sense of empathy with the students I work with. Regardless of the level, pushing personal boundaries and extending one’s learning is always a challenge and a privilege. On a more practical level, I hope to eventually be able to apply elements of these research methods to student tracking and monitoring algorithms employed at TGS.

You can find Thomas' published research at A novel empirical wavelet SODP and spectral entropy based index for assessing the depth of anaesthesia | SpringerLink

Thomas Schmeirer
Thomas Schmierer



Latest Blog

Sports & Activities
/
Thursday, 30 Jun 2022

TGS Rugby Ambassadors' Program

“As a Grammar boy, you have the Blue and Gold in your blood for life. You’ve got connections and networks because of this special bond. It’s hard to describe what it is exactly; I think it stems from the history and traditions that are passed down to each generation but it’s something you carry your entire life, you’re part of this team.” – TGS Old Boy (1960-63) John Campbell, Senior Prefect 1963, Captain 1st XV Rugby 1963. John was excited to learn in a recent edition of The Blue and Gold…

Read More
People
/
Thursday, 23 Jun 2022

TGS Leading the Way for IT in Education

Toowoomba Grammar School is fortunate to have a strong partnership with Microsoft / School Locker. We are a Microsoft Lighthouse School, leading the way in technological advancement and deployment in Australian schools. This recognition would not be possible without two key factors: our “whole school” approach to IT, whereby the School supplies every student with the same devices, ensuring equality for all boys from Prep to Year 12.our dedicated IT team, who are based on-site to immediately…

Read More
Teaching & Learning
/
Friday, 17 Jun 2022

Holiday Reading

Reading is one of those activities that, the more you do, the better you get, and with the holidays fast approaching, now is the perfect time to read that book you’ve always wanted to, finish a book you’ve started or try something new. It is important to keep reading over the holidays, so that we don’t step backward in our reading journey. As the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has found, reading for pleasure is a habit that can prove essential to performing well…

Read More
Character & Wellbeing
/
Thursday, 02 Jun 2022

Developing Generational Change in our Men – Stand Up and Speak Out

The devastating effects of domestic and family violence (DFV) are more prominent today as this previously ‘taboo’ issue is finally being publicly recognised and addressed. Toowoomba Grammar School is proud to be leading the way in creating generational change for this sensitive issue through a variety of School initiatives and by supporting community groups associated with DFV. Our programs are aimed at developing good men of the future who will “Stand Up and Speak Out.” TGS became a White…

Read More
Boarding
/
Friday, 27 May 2022

“I’ll Be There for You” at Toowoomba Grammar School

“I’ll be there for you” was the theme of National Boarding Week. This statement is particularly relevant at Toowoomba Grammar School as the boarders, the dayboys and the staff, help each other in the good times and the bad. We see our school as a ‘boarding school’, not a ‘school with boarders’. We are proud to be one of the oldest and most highly regarded boys’ boarding schools in Australia, providing a home away from home for boys for almost 150 years. TGS came from very humble beginnings. The…

Read More
General
/
Thursday, 14 Apr 2022

Helping families navigate rules, rewards and consequences for boys

Recently I was in a webinar that aimed to tackle the issues surrounding technology and its effects on students. Some members of the forum started openly criticising boys for their poor behaviour. Whilst their criticisms were not directed specifically at our boys, I was offended at their general statements. We can be too quick to criticise boys and we forget that their frontal lobes are still developing. We also forget that their brains are “wired” differently from girls and that they don’t see…

Read More
Teaching Excellence
/
Monday, 28 Mar 2022

Accepting Our Past, Creating Our Future

Toowoomba Grammar School has added the new role of Indigenous Education Coordinator to the School’s offering, to further promote a culture of diversity, inclusivity, and reconciliation. Mr Scott Gale has been appointed to this ground-breaking position that aims to spread awareness and understanding of the significance of Australia’s culture and history. “That’s something that has been lacking in Australia’s education system for so long,” said Scott. “It’s an extremely significant part of our…

Read More
People
/
Thursday, 17 Mar 2022

The Gift of Music

You can feel the pride and passion exude from Janelle Fletcher as she reflects on her thirty-year career as a Music Tutor at Toowoomba Grammar School. “It’s a long time to stay in any job,” she admitted. “But working with the boys, seeing how important it is to have music in their lives and to develop not only as musicians but as people, that’s what’s kept me here.” Janelle believes staff in an all-boys’ school have a real understanding of boys. “It’s been very positive for me to see the…

Read More