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Posts tagged ‘data science’

“Critical Data Studies is an emerging interdisciplinary field that addresses the ethical, legal, sociocultural, epistemological, and political aspects of data science, big data, and digital infrastructure.”

Virginia Eubanks, associate professor of political science at the University of Albany, SUNY, at Purdue Feb. 13. Eubanks' talk was part of the Critical Data Studies (CDS) lecture series and the University's Ideas Festival for Purdue University Sesquicentennial Celebration. Eubanks is the author of “Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police and Punish the Poor” and “Digital Dead End: Fighting for Social Justice in the Information Age.” She also co-edited with Alethia Jones “Ain’t Nobody Turn Me Around: Forty Years of Movement Building with Barbara Smith.” Her writing about technology and social justice has appeared in Scientific American, The Nation, Harper’s and Wired.

Virginia Eubanks, associate professor of political science at the University of Albany, SUNY, speaking at Purdue Feb. 13. Eubanks’ talk was part of the Critical Data Studies (CDS) Distinguished Lecture Series, as well as the University’s Ideas Festival, the centerpiece of the Giant Leaps Sesquicentennial Campaign. Eubanks is the author of “Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police and Punish the Poor” and “Digital Dead End: Fighting for Social Justice in the Information Age.” Her writing about technology and social justice has appeared in Scientific American, The Nation, Harper’s and Wired. In October 2018, the CDS Distinguished Lectures Series and Ideas Festival featured Dr. Safiya Noble, critically acclaimed author of “Algorithms of Oppression.”

There is a great deal of talk about data-driven research and “Big Data” at Purdue and, in general, in the business and education sectors across the U.S. For example, through the University’s Integrated Data Science Initiative (IDSI) launched this year, Purdue researchers aim to be at the “forefront of advancing data science-enabled research and education by tightly coupling theory, discovery, and applications while providing students with an integrated, data science-fluent campus ecosystem.”

There is growing acknowledgement across sectors that reliance on automated and data-driven decision-making, ubiquitous data collection, and the networked nature of daily life has profoundly impacted human relationships, trust in public institutions, and power imbalances across societies.

Critical Data Studies at Purdue

Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies faculty members Kendall Roark (left), Bethany McGowan (center), Danielle Walker (right).

Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies faculty members who are part of the Critical Data Studies Collaborative at Purdue: Kendall Roark (left), Bethany McGowan (center), Danielle Walker (right).

The Critical Data Studies Collaborative at Purdue is a multidisciplinary community that seeks to create opportunities for dialogue about the ethical, legal, sociocultural, epistemological, and political aspects of data science, big data, and digital infrastructure by providing a space to share work and expertise; promote student, trainee, and faculty learning; and collaborate on new research and learning initiatives.

During the 2018-2019 academic year, the CDS Collective launched the inaugural Critical Data Studies Distinguished Lecture Series, Fall (Safiya Noble, Oct. 3) & Spring (Virginia Eubanks, Feb. 13); and the monthly Open Seminar Series. Beginning 2019-2020, the collaborative will launch a Critical Data Studies Cohort of the Data Mine Learning Community in collaboration with faculty and postdocs affiliated with the Purdue Honors College, Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies, African American Studies, and the Department of Anthropology.

To learn more, visit http://tinyurl.com/critdatastudies.


Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies Assistant Professor Bethany McGowan, part of the Critical Data Studies Collective, helped introduce Virginia Eubanks when she spoke at Purdue Feb. 13.

Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies Assistant Professor Bethany McGowan, part of the Critical Data Studies Collective, helped introduce Virginia Eubanks when she spoke at Purdue Feb. 13.

Critical Data Studies Spring 2019 Events Calendar

  • Spring Kickoff Meet and Greet
    12:30-2 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27: CDS Seminar Series and Digital Humanities Studio
    Humanities, Social Science, and Education (HSSE) Library, first floor (Periodical Reading Room)
  • CDS Seminar Series—Power: Technology, Ethics, and Social Justice in the Classroom Roundtable
    2-3 p.m. Friday, March 29, Swaim Conference Room, fourth floor, HSSE Library
  • CDS Seminar Series—Power: Critical Political Ecologies Roundtable
    2-3 p.m. Friday, April 26, Swaim Conference Room, fourth floor, HSSE Library

The second annual Women in Data Science (WiDS) at Purdue University is set for Monday, March 4 in the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship in Discovery Park.

Started at Stanford in 2015, the WiDS initiative aims to inspire and educate data scientists worldwide, regardless of gender, and support women in the field. The annual global conference is now held in conjunction with many other entities around the world. At Purdue, the goal is to help build a community focused on data science and to inspire and raise awareness among students and community members about the opportunities for women in the data science field.

The daylong conference is set from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. in Morgan (MRGN) 121 and is open free to Purdue University students, faculty, staff, and individuals in industry who work in data science. Registration is required, and the deadline is noon, Monday, Feb. 25. Register online at http://go.lib.purdue.edu/wids/. Breakfast, lunch, and a networking reception will be available (please list any dietary restrictions via the online registration form).

“This year, we have an exciting lineup, including a keynote presentation, presentations by distinguished faculty, a workshop session, a panel discussion on data ethics, and poster presentations by students,” noted WiDS Purdue University 2019 Co-Ambassador Anna Subramaniam, administrator of library applications, Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies. “In conjunction with dozens of other WiDS events worldwide, we will livestream some of the Stanford events, which, hopefully, will make for a unique and collaborative conference experience.”

Dimple Dhawan, a senior Purdue student majoring in computer science is serving as the 2019 WiDS co-ambassador with Subramaniam. The event is sponsored by the Department of Biochemistry, Purdue University Center for Cancer Research, Department of Computer Science, College of Engineering, Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies, the Integrative Data Science Initiative (IDSI), and the College of Science.

The full conference schedule is also available at http://sites.lib.purdue.edu/wids/.

For more information about the WiDS Conference at Purdue, contact Subramaniam at subrama@purdue.edu.

You know it’s going to be a good week when your university’s head basketball coach crashes your Monday morning class as a guest lecturer. That’s what happened recently to students Alex Ishac (Chandler, AZ) and Rebecca Hanna (Chicago, IL), who are two of the 53 individuals enrolled in the “Engineering in the World of Data” Learning Community at Purdue University.

Purdue Head Men's Basketball Coach Matt Painter and the instructors and students in the "Engineering of the World of Data" learning community.

Purdue Head Men’s Basketball Coach Matt Painter poses with the instructors and students in the “Engineering of the World of Data” learning community in Mackey Arena. Photo courtesy of Teresa Walker, Purdue School of Engineering Education.

Purdue Men’s Basketball Head Coach Matt Painter crashed a class of the first-year engineering course, ENGR 103, which was held in Mackey Arena to demonstrate the application of data science in sports. The course, “Developing Your Data Mind,” was designed by Libraries faculty Michael Witt and Nastasha Johnson as a part of the learning community, in collaboration with colleagues from the Purdue College of Engineering, Department of English, and University Residences.

Matt Painter talks to students in Purdue's "Engineering in the World of Data" learning community about how data drives the decisions he makes as a coach.

Coach Matt Painter talks to students in Purdue’s “Engineering in the World of Data” learning community about how data drives the decisions he makes as a coach. Photo by Teresa Walker.

Painter spoke to the class about how data drives the decisions he makes as a coach—everything from recruiting to scouting opponents to shot selection and how individual players position their bodies on the court. Andrew McClatchey, statistical analyst for the men’s basketball team, also talked to students about the state-of-the-art technology and techniques in sports data collection and analysis and his experience in pursuing a career in data science.

In the course, students were learning how to make effective decisions using data. The night before the lecture, they joined the faculty of the learning community for popcorn and to watch the movie “Moneyball,” which is about the 2002 season of the Oakland Athletics baseball team that set a record for winning 20 games in a row by employing data analytics.

“The learning community brings together a cohort of first-year engineering students who have a shared interest in data science,” said Witt. “It gives us the opportunity to incorporate experiences outside of the classroom to bring the material to life.”

Purdue Libraries Associate Professor Michael Witt introduces Andrew McClatchey, statistical analyst for Purdue's men’s basketball team, to students in the "Engineering of the World of Data" learning community in Mackey Arena.

Purdue Libraries Associate Professor Michael Witt introduces Andrew McClatchey, statistical analyst for Purdue’s men’s basketball team, to students in the “Engineering of the World of Data” learning community in Mackey Arena. Photo by Teresa Walker.

In addition to ENGR 103, students in the learning community take special, data-themed versions of required first-year engineering courses, including ENGR 131 and 132, “Transforming Ideas to Innovation I & II”; the English course ENGL 106, “Academic Research and Writing”; and ENGR 195, “Computational Methods of Data Science for Engineers,” which is a specialty course just for the learning community.

“Being in the community means that you take these classes together with the same group of students, resulting in opportunities to form close relationships with each other,” Ishac noted. “We’re learning while forming these friendships, and then we have activities like going to Mackey Arena and getting to talk to Purdue’s men’s head basketball coach and the team’s data analyst. I think the idea—to make these types of connections to interesting people who we can learn from—is really impactful,” he said.

Andrew McClatchey, statistical analyst for Purdue's men’s basketball team, talks to students about state-of-the-art technology and techniques in sports data collection and analysis and his experience in pursuing a career in data science.

Andrew McClatchey, statistical analyst for Purdue’s men’s basketball team, talks to students about state-of-the-art technology and techniques in sports data collection and analysis and his experience in pursuing a career in data science. Photo by Teresa Walker.

“Our focus was to provide students with an early exposure to data science ideas and applications with an emphasis on how engineers use data to make evidence-based decisions,” said Engineering Education Professor Tamara Moore, who leads the learning community with Witt. “The instructors worked together to align the curriculum so that students would learn many facets of engineering in the world of data from the appropriate experts, integrated across these five courses.”

Another example of a learning community activity was the students’ recent participation in Purdue’s annual Dawn or Doom conference. Students attended presentations and ate lunch with one of the conference speakers, as well as discussed whether they were optimistic or pessimistic about advances in technology and its impact on their lives.

“I really enjoyed the ‘Presenting Data Effectively’ talk at Dawn or Doom,” Hanna said. “All the events that the learning community hosts are fun, and I learn something new. Although the learning community requires some extra work, I think it is definitely worth it,” she added.

Ishac concurs there is significant return on his investment in the “Engineering of the World of Data” learning community.

“The chance to be part of the ‘Engineering in the World of Data’ learning community the past several weeks has made my Purdue experience so far incredible for me,” he added.

Upcoming activities for the learning community include a field trip to the Cummins Technical Center to learn about product testing and simulation data, as well as “Learn Python with a Python” programming boot camp, in which students will be introduced to the Python scripting language by working with animal-management data and visit with an actual python from Columbian Park Zoo.

The “Engineering in the World of Data Learning Community” will begin accepting applications for the 2019-20 school year in January. It is open to incoming students admitted to the First-Year Engineering Program or to Pre-ABE in the College of Agriculture. For more information, visit www.purdue.edu/learningcommunities/profiles/engineering/engineering_data.html.