UVA Hosts ‘Datapalooza’ Friday

UVA Hosts ‘Datapalooza’ Friday

Datapalooza 2017, a daylong event dedicated to bringing insight to data science activities and issues at the University of Virginia and beyond, will this Friday feature keynote addresses by leading “big data” experts from Google, the New York Times and Elder Research.

Also featured will be data analytics panels, research highlights from across Grounds and a unique real-time data visualization project aimed at showing the diversity of data collaborations around UVA. This year’s event will showcase initiatives, research, resources, services and outreach at the University, all centered around the compilation and analysis of large data sets.

The real-time data visualization project was facilitated by Eric Field, lecturer and director of information technology for the School of Architecture. Using a program he created, attendees each will receive a unique identification number on their name tag, and can connect on their smartphone with other attendees throughout the event. A screen will show the connections being made across categories like student, industry and resource as the day progresses.

Keynote speakers include John Elder, founder and chair of Elder Research; Mary Jo Madda, creative strategy manager for Code Next at Google; and Chris Wiggins, chief data scientist at the New York Times.

Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Resources Bill Hazel will introduce research highlights from across Grounds, and UVA Executive Vice President and Provost Tom Katsouleas will help kick off the daylong event. A variety of researchers, government agency officials and industry experts will participate in panels on health care, business and social media analytics and data visualization.

“Datapalooza is a celebration of what UVA has accomplished in data science and a window on what is to come,” Data Science Institute Director Philip Bourne said. “The Data Science Institute, which as the first pan-university institute at UVA, sits at the nexus of collaborative partnerships in data analytics research and education which will define the economy and wellbeing of the Commonwealth of Virginia and beyond in years to come.”

The day of data science will be held at Newcomb Hall, beginning at 8 a.m. with registration and breakfast. It will include presentations from morning through noon, afternoon panels, and then conclude with a closing keynote and reception.

At 9 a.m., Elder, who leads Elder Research, a major data sciences consultancy, will speak on issues he’s come across in more than 22 years of data science consulting and breakthroughs in the field that solved them. He is co-author of award-winning books on data mining, ensembles and text mining and the discoverer of ensemble methods in data science; chairs international conferences; and is a popular keynote speaker. He also serves occasionally as an adjunct professor in UVA’s School of Engineering and Applied Science and has served on a panel appointed by President George W. Bush to guide national security technology.

At 10:30 a.m., Hazel will introduce a session highlighting data science research at UVA.

At noon, Madda will speak about expanding opportunities in tech and education to empower the next generation of tech leaders from underrepresented communities. She is an educator who works to create free computer science education programs for black and Latino/Hispanic students for the Code Next team at Google. She joined the firm after four years at edtech news organization EdSurge, where she was the director of audience development and a senior editor. She was featured on the Forbes “30 Under 30” list for 2016 for her work at EdSurge, and has presented at TEDx Chicago, SXSWedu and Stanford University.

At 4 p.m., Wiggins, a professor of applied mathematics and applied physics at Columbia University, will discuss data science in the rapidly evolving media industry and the ways people create and consume content. He is a member of Columbia’s Institute for Data Sciences and Engineering, a founding member of its Center for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, and co-founder of hackNY, an organization aiming to federate the next generation of hackers for the New York innovation community.

Bourne will follow Wiggins’s talk with a question and answer session.

For the full schedule, and to register, click here.

The event is sponsored by the Data Science Institute and UVA’s offices of the Vice President for Information Technology and the Vice President for Research.

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