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Data Science Institute Newsletter E-Newsletter [Vanderbilt University]

June 2020

Taking a look back.

The Data Science Institute has been in full swing for about a year now and we have many accomplishments to be proud of. On the research front, we have a professional team of data scientists who have been collaborating on projects with research groups across campus, including the Tennessee Education Research Alliance in the Peabody College of Education, Orthopedic Surgery in the School of Medicine, faculty in the Law School, and the Latin American Public Opinion Project. In response to COVID-19, we are doing our own small part to help fight the pandemic as our data scientists have been working with VUMC research teams to help plan its emergency response. Additionally, our Data Science Team has taught a number of workshops on technical topics that are open to the whole Vanderbilt community.

Adding to our data science community we have an excellent cohort of six postdoctoral fellows leading research projects ranging from astrophysics to health policy. We have successfully recruited new faculty members to Vanderbilt in Political Science, Computer Science, Biomedical Engineering, and Chemistry as part of a unique data science co-hire in conjunction with their respective department on campus.

On the education front, we have launched a professional Masters program in Data Science with an inaugural class of 31 impressive students who just completed their first year. In 2019, we also launched a summer research program for Vanderbilt undergraduates that just welcomed its second cohort of students, who will adapt to a remote research experience, and contribute to the flight against COVID-19 working on related projects with our data science team.

Though navigating the pandemic has definitely been a challenge, we are excited about what lies ahead. Our Masters students will enter their second year and begin thinking about capstone projects and job placement, while our second cohort of students is set to begin this fall. Undergraduate students will begin to do immersion experiences in data science and continue to enhance their skills through workshops and trainings. Moreover, we are excited to start thinking about how the DSI can make more of an impact in our local community by engaging with government and the non-profit sector. Most of all, we want to continue engaging with researchers across campus to collaborate on projects, provide training, and help us all harness the power of our data to do cutting edge research. Please reach out to us, we’d love to hear from you!








Graduate Student Corner

Creating a Data Science Learning Path

by: Ali Yaqoob

On your journey to becoming a data scientist, developing an effective learning strategy can be vital in determining your trajectory and career outcomes. Even if you are embarking on a structured graduate program where you are bound to learn the skills you need, it might be a good idea to think of the coursework as additional resources towards achieving your own goals…

Read more about Ali’s take on designing his own Data Science Learning Path in this blog post.

Upcoming Events

Join our Data Science team for a virtual workshop:
Making Research & Analytics Reproducible
Tuesday, July 7
8pm CST

Reproducing results should be as simple as running the analysis again — no finger crossing, silent prayers, or superstitious rituals needed.

With a few tips and tricks, versioning code, data, models, and environments can be easy, clear, and predictable — no matter who’s running it.

Join us for a discussion and hands-on demonstration for how version control in the data science workflow leads to reproducible results.

Send Us an Email to Get Your Zoom Link!

Meet a DSI Member

Newest DSI team member,
Ben Lane!

Postdoctoral fellow,
Laura Henkhaus!

Student Spotlight

Marina Yue

Meet Marina, why she chose Vanderbilt and where she’s interning
this summer!

Teddy Weaver

Meet Teddy, a double dore, who has some advice about entering the MS program.

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