Videos: Data Science Experts Offer Advice for Future Data Scientists

Data science depends upon collaboration and curiosity. At the University of Virginia School of Data Science, the mission is also to further discovery, share knowledge, and positively impact society through interdisciplinary, open and responsible data science research and education.

The school officially launches Tuesday at 4 p.m. during a celebration at the Dell 1 building on Central Grounds. The event will feature remarks from UVA President James Ryan, Executive Vice President and Provost Elizabeth Magill and school Dean Phil Bourne, followed by food and drinks.

Here, administrators and researchers at the school offer advice for data science students in a series of short videos.

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Phil Bourne, Dean

“Data is the raw material of the future,” Bourne says. He tells students to “follow their heart,” because that’s where they’ll find their passion in data science.

Bourne is a data scientist who has published more than 300 journal articles and five books. He served 20 years on the pharmacology faculty at the University of California, San Diego, where he led innovation and industrial alliances. Prior to coming to UVA, he was a researcher and administrator at the National Institutes of Health.

Advice from a Data Scientist: Dean Phil Bourne

Don Brown, Founding Director of UVA Data Science Institute

“If you’re interested in data science, fundamentally that means you’re interested in helping people solve problems,” notes Don Brown, founding director of UVA’s Data Science Institute and a chaired professor of systems and information engineering. “What kinds of problems are motivating to you?”

An expert on data fusion, statistical learning and predictive modeling with applications to security and safety, Brown is the principal investigator or co-principal investigator on dozens of research contracts with federal, state and private organizations and has published numerous papers. He co-directs the Translational Health Institute of Virginia.

Advice from a Data Scientist: Don Brown

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Narges Tabari, Data Scientist

Data science research scientist Narges Tabari tells students to think about the impact of the projects they are working on.

“There is a lot of potential for doing good, but also a lot of potential for doing otherwise,” she says. She studies the effects of high-frequency trading on variables such as social media, the stock market, retirement plans and unemployment rates. She uses deep learning, specifically convolutional neural networks, to find trends in the data.

Advice from a Data Scientist: Narges Tabari

Rafael Alvarado, Data Scientist

“Play with data, and don’t be afraid of it,” is the advice prof. Rafael Alvarado, director of the master’s degree in data science program, gives to students who are interested in entering the field.

A digital humanist, Alvarado builds software and organizations that support the scholarly use of technology and teaching about digital technology as a cultural system. A writer and hacker, he has published essays on the digital humanities and has written computer code for several projects.

Advice from a Data Scientist: Rafael Alvarado

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Fariss Samarrai

University News Associate Office of University Communications