2020 NextGen Data Science Day Conference

The 2020 NextGen Data Science Day (DSD) was held virtually through the University of Connecticut’s WebEx video conferencing platform on Saturday, November 7, 2020.

The NextGen sub-committee of the New England Statistical Society aims to support the next generation of statisticians and data scientists. In keeping with our mission, the DSD conference provides a platform of resources to help guide students and early career professionals. Attendees gained an improved understanding of the field and its opportunities, which included meeting, discussing, and interviewing with professionals in the field and industry of data science.

Two hundred and fourteen registered for the conference, with over one hundred and fifty students registering from nearly sixty different schools from around the country and beyond. Ninety of the registrants signed up to become new members of the New England Statistical Society. The event was sponsored by eight organizations including the Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company, MassMutual, eBay, Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, Boehringer Ingelheim, the American Statistical Association, Pfizer, and the Lotus Group. Five sponsors had virtual booths setup during the event to provide opportunities for attendees to learn more about their organization and discuss possible career opportunities.

The conference featured two distinguished keynote speakers: (1) Dr. Andrew Gelman, the Higgins Professor of Statistics and Professor of Political Science from Columbia University, he gave a talk entitled: “Election Forecasting: How We Succeeded Brilliantly, Failed Miserably, or Landed Somewhere in Between”, and (2) Dr. Rebecca Nugent, the Stephen E. and Joyce Fienberg Professor of Statistics & Data Science from Carnegie Mellon University, she presented on “Demystifying Data Science: Starts with People, Ends with People”.

Our conference had five panel discussions throughout the day on different topics. The theme of the morning panels was “Explore Your Options”, it featured professionals from various fields share their job search experience. The session provided guidance on resume writing and leveraging LinkedIn to improve one’s professional network. In the afternoon, the panel sessions were geared to help “Understand the Jobs and their Impact.” Panelists from academia, government agencies, finance, start-ups, big-tech, insurance, and pharmaceuticals introduced their world and answered burning questions! We had a total of twenty-two speakers from various fields in data science.

The poster and social networking sessions presented opportunities for students and potential employers to meet and interact. Sixteen students joined the poster competition and presented their work through the Virtual Poster Session platform.

The conference was organized by the NextGen committee, along with support from many volunteers and sponsors.

NextGen Website: https://nestat.org/nextgen/

2020 NextGen Data Science Day Website: https://nestat.org/nextgen/dsd2020/

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