BIDS Spring 2016 Data Science Faire


May 3, 2016
1:30pm to 4:30pm
190 Doe Library
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Join us May 3 for our Spring 2016 Data Science Faire to close out BIDS' second academic year and celebrate data science at Berkeley.

We hear the word "data" almost every day on campus and in the news. But, did you ever wonder what UC Berkeley students, faculty, and researchers are doing with data and what interesting findings they have uncovered? At this year's Data Science Faire, we will showcase exciting data-intensive initiatives at BIDS and UC Berkeley, highlighting work from the diverse community of data scientists around campus. Learn more about the exciting open source projects BIDS affiliates are working on and catch up on the work of researchers at some of Berkeley’s top data science centers, including the National Energy Research Scientific Computer Center, Berkeley Research Computing, and more.



This year’s Data Science Faire will feature a wide variety of poster/demo exhibits from students and researchers on campus as well as a series of data science–related lightning talks from BIDS fellows. The event will culminate with keynote address from Lucas Merrill Brown, Data Scientist and Digital Expert at the US Digital Service at the White House.

1:30 p.m. Event Opens
1:50 p.m. Welcome/Intro - Saul Perlmutter and Kevin Koy
BIDS Director and Executive Director
2:10 p.m. Lightning Talk (5 min.) - Justin Kitzes
Postdoctoral Scholar, Energy and Resources Group; BIDS Data Science Fellow
Reproducible Ecological data analysis in python with the macroeco package
2:30 p.m. Lightning Talk (5 min.) - Fatma Imamoglu
Postdoctoral Researcher, Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute; Postdoctoral Researcher, Internal Computer Science Institute; BIDS Data Science Fellow
Semantic representation in the human brain during listening and reading
2:50 p.m. Lightning Talk (5 min.) - Garret Christensen
Research Fellow, Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences; BIDS Data Science Fellow
Geographic food price variation and adequacy of snap benefits (i.e., food stamps)
3:10 p.m. Lightning Talk (5 min.) - Kellie Ottoboni
Graduate Student, Dept. of Statistics; BIDS Data Science Fellow
Student evaluations of teaching (mostly) Do NOt Measure teaching effectiveness
3:30 p.m. Lightning Talk (5 min.) - Zhao Zhang
Postdoctoral Researcher, Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; BIDS Data Science Fellow
Kira: processing astronomy imagery using big data technology
3:50 p.m. Lightning Talk (5 min.) - Stéfan van der Walt
BIDS Computational Fellow
scikit-image: Seven Years of Learning
4:10 p.m. Keynote (20 min.) - Lucas Merrill Brown
Data Scientist and Digital Expert, US Digital Service, White House
Using Data science to serve the american people
The US Digital Service brings private sector tech expertise to help transform the way government works for the American people. Lucas will discuss how data science in particular has been put into service on some of the most pressing problems facing our country's citizens as well as how the same principles of data science can be used to tackle problems in academia, the startup sector, and at the White House. 

Our industry partners, Siemens and State Street, will also have booths set up at the faire to showcase their efforts in data science and discuss career opportunities at their organizations.



Saul Perlmutter

Director, Berkeley Institute for Data Science

Saul Perlmutter is a 2011 Nobel Laureate, sharing the prize in Physics for the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the Universe.   He is the director of BIDS, a professor of physics, where he holds the Franklin W. and Karen Weber Dabby Chair, and a senior scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.  He is the leader of the international Supernova Cosmology Project, and executive director of the Berkeley Center for Cosmological Physics. His undergraduate degree was from Harvard and his PhD from UC Berkeley.  In addition to other awards and honors, he is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  Perlmutter has also written popular articles, and has appeared in numerous PBS, Discovery Channel, and BBC documentaries.  His interest in teaching  scientific-style critical thinking for scientists and non-scientists alike led to Berkeley courses on Sense and Sensibility and Science and Physics & Music.

Kevin Koy

BIDS Alumni

Kevin Koy served as BIDS Executive Director from 2014-2017. He was responsible for the administration and operations of BIDS and worked to connect people with the data, methods, and tools to accelerate their research.
Before joining BIDS, Kevin directed the Geospatial Innovation Facility in the College of Natural Resources, where he successfully built a thriving community focused on sharing scientific expertise and helping people understand the changing world through the analysis and visualization of spatial data.
Before arriving at Berkeley, Kevin worked with the American Museum of Natural History's Center for Biodiversity & Conservation and the Smithsonian's Conservation Biology Institute. He conducted research throughout Southeast Asia using data from radio-collared animals, sensors, and satellites to better understand the history and needs of unique and endangered ecosystems.

Kevin received a BA in environmental studies and anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1998 and an MS in biology from George Mason University in 2003. He has also completed advanced graduate work in geography at the City University of New York with a focus on earth and environmental science.

Justin Kitzes

Data Science Fellow Alumni

Justin was a data science fellow and a postdoctoral scholar in the Energy and Resources Group, where his research focused on the development and application of quantitative approaches for predicting the effects of land use and climate change on biodiversity. He has a particular interest in constraint-based theory and methods, such as maximum information entropy, and is currently working to apply this approach to predict the structure of ecological networks and community dynamics in time. Justin is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh.

Justin leads the development of the open source Python package macroeco, which supports the development of macroecological methods and their application to conservation. He also has a strong interest in education and training and is a core contributor with the group Software Carpentry, where he develops curriculum and teaches scientific computing workshops.

Fatma Deniz

Postdoctoral Researcher, Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute

Fatma Deniz  (née Imamoglu) is a joint postdoctoral researcher at the Gallant Lab in UC Berkeley’s Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute and the International Computer Science Institute. She is interested in how sensory information is encoded in the brain and uses machine learning approaches to fit computational models to large-scale brain data acquired using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Fatma works at the intersection between computer science, linguistics, music, and neuroscience. Her current focus is on the cross-modal representation of language in the human brain. In addition, she works on improving internet security applications using knowledge gained from cognitive neuroscience (MooneyAuth Project). She is an enthusiastic teacher for Berkeley's data-8 connector course Data Science for Cognitive Neuroscience (Fall2016 and Spring2017) and an instroctor in Software Carpentry, where she teaches scientific computing. As an advocate of reproducible research practices she is the co-editor of the book titled “The Practice of Reproducible Research”. As a data science fellow, she is interested in teaching and reproducible research and sees herself as a connector between diverse domains. She is a passionate coder, runner, baker, and cello player.

Garret Christensen

BIDS Data Science Fellow Alumni

Garret Christensen is research fellow with the Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences (BITSS), a program of the Center for Effective Global Action. He received his PhD in Economics from UC Berkeley in 2011 and has since conducted research for the WASH Benefits public health randomized trial for Innovations for Poverty Action and Emory University and has taught economics at Swarthmore College. He is in interested in research transparency and reproducibility and questions of causal inference in labor and development economics, particularly with regard to child health and education programs in both developed and developing country settings. He has also run more than 50 ultramarathons and walked from border to border across the entire United States four complete times.

Kellie Ottoboni

Graduate Student, Department of Statistics

Kellie Ottoboni is a graduate student in the Department of Statistics. Her research focuses on using robust nonparametric statistics and machine learning to make causal inferences from data in the health and social sciences. The goal is to make reliable inferences while making minimal assumptions about the models generating the data. In addition to developing new statistical methods and studying their theoretical properties, Kellie writes open source software implementing nonparametric methods in R and Python.

Zhao Zhang

BIDS Data Science Fellow Alumni

Zhao was previously a postdoctoral researcher with the AMPLab and a BIDS Data Science Fellow. He is currently a Research Associate at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC). Zhao's research interests are in distributed computing, cloud computing and big data. Zhao designs computer systems to enable scientific applications on various computing platforms such as cluster, cloud, and supercomputers. He also works on scientific data management system to facilitate scientific research and discovery.

Stéfan van der Walt

Research Fellow, Berkeley Institute for Data Science

Stéfan van der Walt is a researcher at BIDS, where he leads the Software Working Group. He is the founder of scikit-image and co-author of Elegant SciPy.  Stéfan has been developing scientific open source software for more than a decade, focusing mainly on Python packages such as NumPy & SciPy. Outside work, he enjoys traveling, running, and the great outdoors.

Lucas Merrill Brown

Data Scientist and Digital Expert, US Digital Service, White House
Lucas is currently a data scientist and "digital expert" at the US Digital Service at the White House. Formed in the aftermath of the launch, US Digital Service brings private sector tech expertise to help transform the way government works for the American people. As the first data scientist hired to join the headquarters team, Lucas primarily works with Medicare on rewarding clinicians for delivering quality of care rather than volume of care.  

Lucas was previously senior data scientist at RedOwl Analytics, where he designed and built statistical software for analyzing the massive digital trail created by large modern firms. RedOwl was named “Most Innovative Company” at the 30,000-person RSA Conference in 2014. 

Lucas served as a senior data scientist for President Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012, where he helped create an innovative web app used by senior staff to visualize and analyze the campaign’s most sensitive data, including all data on advertising, polling, and voter contact. 
He completed his doctorate in economics at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar.