Data Science Community kick-off for fall 2020 meetings scheduled for Sept. 24

September 23, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Members of the Penn State community interested in data science for education, research or other purposes are invited to attend the first community meeting of the 2020-21 academic year. The meeting will take place virtually on Zoom at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 24. All Penn State students, faculty, and staff are welcome to attend, but advance registration is required.

The meeting will introduce new faculty leadership for the grassroots data science initiative, which is several years in the making. David Hunter, professor of statistics, spearheaded the launch of the community in partnership with Teaching and Learning with Technology (TLT). Briana Ezray, research data librarian, is leading the initiative through the end of the summer 2021, at which point Xiaofeng Liu, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering and Institute for Computational and Data Sciences co-hire, will take the reins.

“I hope to expand the network of individuals using data science to further facilitate collaboration and opportunities for the whole community,” Ezray said. “Attending the fall semester activities will be beneficial for both scientists and educators as there will be opportunities to learn about cutting-edge research, discuss how data science is being applied to various research fields and in teaching, and connect with other data scientists at Penn State.”

Ezray will discuss some of her work, which involves developing and implementing research data services and training to improve data management, sharing and archiving, and assisting with quantitative data analysis.

Liu will touch on his team’s work, which seeks to increase infrastructure resilience and sustainability by using computer modeling to understand floods and how sediment moves in rivers.

At the town hall-style meeting, several presenters will discuss the Penn State data science community at large, including representatives from the three Penn State units that are providing logistical and administrative support to data science initiatives: Hannah Williams, project manager for Data Empowered Learning, TLT; Jenni Evans, professor of meteorology and atmospheric science and director of the Institute for Computational and Data Sciences; and Cynthia Hudson-Vitale, head of Research Informatics and Publishing, University Libraries.

Ezray said she’s hoping to hear what types of talks, lectures and other programming the community is interested in participating in.

Last Updated September 28, 2020