NextGen: Data Science Day

On November 16 2019, NESS’s NextGen committee hosted the second annual Data Science Day at Bentley University in Waltham Massachusetts http://nestat.org/nextgen/dsd2019. A mission of NextGen is to support the next generation of statisticians and data scientists. Towards this goal, the conference brought together a group of eminent data science practitioners, influencers, and academic leaders to interact with those new to the field of statistics and data science. Topics of discussions included the current state and future directions of statistics and data analytics across broad and diverse markets. The event had over 200 registrations with 133 student registrants representing 19 different schools. The event was sponsored by 10 organizations including MassMutual, the Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company, Pfizer, Liberty Mutual, Boehringer Ingelheim, eBay, the National Institute of Statistical Sciences, the American Statistical Association, Bentley University, and the Lotus Group. Seven sponsors had booths setup throughout the event to provide opportunities for attendees to learn more about their organization and discuss possible career opportunities.

The event featured two keynote speakers, Dr. Mike Tamir1 and Dr. Francesca Dominici2. Dr. Tamir discussed how we can evaluate Fake News using In-Context Natural Language Processing Deep Learning. Dr. Dominici presented her work using neural networks with air-monitoring and satellite-based based data to study the effect of air pollution and climate change on the environment and public health. Between the keynote sessions there were several break-out sessions including panels on Business Analytics in Practice, Challenges in Data Science, and Careers in Data Science, as well as a workshop on the basics of Data Visualizations with Tableau.

The event closed with a networking session and poster competition. Three posters were awarded prizes based on scoring by judges. In second place there was a tie between “Viral Diseases and Existence of Vaccines” presented by Lisa Wang of Bentley University and “Connecticut Real Estate Pricing Analysis using Advanced Analytics” presented by Eve Wang, Pooja Sudheendra, and Wenqi Wang, all from Bentley University. The winner of the poster competition was Cassandra Overney from Olin College of Engineering with the poster “The Relationship between Public Transit and Bike sharing Ridership in Boston”.

The NESS NextGen Committee

1Dr. Mike Tamir is the Chief Machine Learning Scientist and Head of Machine Learning for SIG, a UC Berkeley Data Science faculty, and the Director of Phronesis ML Labs.

2Dr. Francesca Dominici is the Clarence James Gamble Professor of Biostatistics, Population and Data Science at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Co-Director of the Harvard Data Science Initiative.