This fall, BIDS will launch a new seminar series in coordination with five other academic data science institutes, including NYU’s Center for Data Science, Rice University’s Ken Kennedy Institute, Stanford Data Science, the University of Michigan’s Michigan Institute for Data Science (MIDAS), and the University of Washington’s eScience Institute.
All six universities involved are connected to the Academic Data Science Alliance (ADSA), which is providing welcome advocacy and global reach for the series for data science researchers, educators, and practitioners.
According to Jing Liu, Managing Director of MIDAS, “One of the key missions of all six data science institutes is to enable groundbreaking research discoveries through collaboration. We want to use this series as the launching point to bring a broader data science community together, and provide insights from many perspectives — research, education, advocacy, and policy — all for the common goal of promoting a data-empowered just society.
The series will feature internationally-recognized data science leaders whose research spans the theory and methodology of data science, and their application in arts and humanities, engineering, biomedical, natural, physical and social sciences. BIDS Executive Director David Mongeau, another series organizer, points to additional benefits: “We decided to join together to keep important conversations about data science going, instead of all trying to run our own invited speaker series: over-Zooming the already over-Zoomed. And there’s a great by-product already: coming together has led to serendipitous opportunities for BIDS to work with the leaders at the other universities on shared research interests.”
Presentations open to a global audience throughout the winter and spring will provide insight into how data science has already transformed a broad range of traditional research disciplines, important new research breakthroughs expected in the near term, as well as how innovative data science practices are being implemented to promote social justice and public welfare.
Talitha Washington, the new Director of the Atlanta University Center Consortium (AUCC) Data Science Initiative, will launch this new series on October 21st. Dr. Washington’s experience includes inventive leadership in math education, research methodologies, and partnership development, and she has served most recently as a program director at the National Science Foundation (NSF) and a tenured associate professor at Howard University. Her multifaceted career includes the management of use-inspired convergence research to solve complex societal challenges, and she has published groundbreaking work on nonstandard finite difference (NSFD) methodologies developed for various systems of differential equations. Her work at NSF facilitated the integration of interdisciplinary knowledge with data science -- using methods including predictive artificial intelligence and economic and labor market analyses -- leading to innovation and the development of educational technologies connecting workers with the jobs of the future.
Our November speaker, Alex Szalay, is a Distinguished Professor in the Bloomberg Center for Physics and Astronomy at Johns Hopkins University, where he is also a professor in the department of Computer Science, and the director of the Institute of Data Intensive Engineering and Science (IDIES). He also leads the Open Storage Network (OSN), funded by the NSF and the Schmidt Futures Foundation in 2018, to provide cyberinfrastructure services that address specific data storage, transfer, sharing, and access challenges. The OSN is linked to the Big Data Innovation Hubs and other data science initiatives involved in local, regional, and national-scale research and education. Szalay is a cosmologist, working on the statistical measures of the spatial distribution of galaxies and galaxy formation. He is a Corresponding Member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2004, he received an Alexander Von Humboldt Award in Physical Sciences, and in 2007, the Microsoft Jim Gray Award. In 2008 he became Doctor Honoris Causa of the Eotvos University, Budapest. He is also a musician, film sound designer and computer animator.
More exciting speakers will be announced as the series gets under way, and we look forward to seeing you there!
Updated October 15, 2020