Women in Data Science Conference


Friday, Jan 19th
Boston, MA
Museum of Science

11:30 – 12:15: Lunch

12:15 to 12:30: Welcome

12:45 – 1:30: Keynote Address

Megan Price, Executive Director | Human Rights Data Analysis Group

“Does the Truth Matter? How Data Analysis Can Contribute to Accountability”  |  The Human Rights Data Analysis Group (HRDAG) uses methods from statistics and computer science to help answer questions about what happened during a violent conflict. Were members of one ethnic group more likely to be victims of violence? Did violence increase or decrease as control over an area changed hands from the State to opposition forces? Examples from HRDAG’s work will be presented to illustrate the many steps involved, including evaluating data quality, determining what’s missing from observed data, conducting analyses that withstand adversarial political and/or legal climates, and explaining analyses to non-technical audiences, including judges and prosecutors.

1:45 – 3:00: Session I: Research 

Una-May O’Reilly, Principal Research Scientist | AnyScale Learning For All (ALFA) group at Massachusetts Institute of Technology Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory

“A Data Science Lens on Online Learning” |  Many education experiences are now online or app-based, such as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) such as edX or Coursera. I will describe a data science project that provides insights into how students learn online by analyzing their click stream, video watching, e-text consultation, assessment completion and forum discussion behavior.

Laura Cadonati, Gravitational Wave Astrophysicist | Center for Relativistic Astrophysics at Georgia Tech

“The Birth of Gravitational Wave Astronomy: Finding Black Holes and Neutron Stars in LIGO Data”

Krista Gile, Professor | Mathematics and Statistics at UMass Amherst

“Crawling Social Networks to Fight HIV”

Raji Balasubramanian, Professor | School of Public Health and Health Sciences, UMass Amherst

“Statistical Challenges in the Design and Analysis of Biomedical Studies Advancing Women’s Health”

3:00 – 3:30: Coffee Break

3:30 – 4:45: Session II: Education 

Kick-off Talk

Mine Cetinkaya-Rundel, Professional Educator at RStudio and Associate Professor of the Practice at Duke University

“We’ll start with Data Science”We will discuss a data science course designed to serve as a gateway to the discipline of statistics, the statistics major, and broadly to quantitative studies, and discuss its success in achieving a gender balance in its audience, and attracting these students to the statistical science major


Mine Cetinkaya-Rundel, Professional Educator at RStudio and Associate Professor of the Practice at Duke University

Amelia McNamara, Visiting Assistant Professor of Statistical and Data Sciences and MassMutual Faculty Fellow | Smith College

Benjamin Baumer, Assistant Professor in Statistical and Data Sciences | Smith College

Valerie Barr, Jean Sammet Professor of Computer Science | Mount Holyoke College

Andrea Foulkes, Professor of Mathematics and Statistics | Mount Holyoke College

5:00 – 5:45: Session III: Industry 

Monika M. Wahi, MPH, CPH, President | DethWench Professional Services

“What’s Hot in Data Science”

Melinda Han Williams, VP of Data Science and Analytics | Dstillery

“Machine Learning in Marketing: What Computers Can Teach Us About Humans”

Wenjing Lu, Senior Data Scientist & Sara Saperstein, Senior Data Scientist | MassMutual

“Transitioning from Academia to Industry: the Journey of a Data Scientist”

6:00-7:00: Cocktail Hour | Networking Event & Poster Session