Data Science newsletter – June 10, 2019

Newsletter features journalism, research papers, events, tools/software, and jobs for June 10, 2019


Data Science News

AI can decipher babies’ CRIES – and it could be a game-changer for new parents

Mirror Online (UK), Shivali Best


The system, which was developed by researchers from the IEEE and the Chinese Association of Automation, could be an absolute game-changer for parents at home Provides Employees Access to a University of Illinois Master of Computer Science Degree in Data Science

Business Wire, C3.AI

from, a leading enterprise AI software provider for accelerating digital transformation, today announced a relationship with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to provide eligible employees with a fully reimbursed professional Master of Computer Science (MCS) degree focused on data science.

Upon successful completion of Illinois’ MCS degree, a employee will receive a 15 percent salary increase, a $25,000 cash bonus, and an additional incentive stock option equity award. The degree program is part of’s ongoing support of employees’ skills development. Employees who apply and are admitted by the University of Illinois to its rigorous program will have access to the MCS degree program on the Coursera platform.

USF Awarded $7.5 Million to Establish New National University Transportation Research Initiative

University of South Florida, USF News


The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) today announced that the University of South Florida will receive a $7.5 million grant to establish a national university transportation center (UTC) aimed at advancing research and education programs that address the nation’s critical transportation challenges. The USDOT selected USF from more than 50 applicants nationwide for the highly competitive award.

Focused on traffic congestion relief, the USF program will be known as the National Institute for Congestion Reduction (NICR). It will be established within the USF College of Engineering’s Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR).

Emory University receives historic $180 million grant funding innovative efforts to prevent child mortality in developing countries

Emory University, News Center


Emory University today announced that the Child Health and Mortality Prevention Surveillance network (CHAMPS), a global health network headquartered in the Emory Global Health Institute, has been awarded the university’s largest-ever single grant. Launched in 2015, CHAMPS collects and analyzes data to help identify the causes of child mortality in the places where it’s highest. This latest $180 million supplement brings the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s total investment in CHAMPS to $271 million and demonstrates its position as a critical tool for preventing child mortality around the world.

“Emory’s leadership of the CHAMPS program illustrates the commitment we have to leveraging our world-class scholarship, research and health care capabilities to have a global impact,” says Claire E. Sterk, president of Emory University. “The Gates Foundation’s historic investment will not only change children’s lives around the world, it also promises to provide unique opportunities for our faculty, researchers and students to make further advancements towards helping reduce global child mortality rates.”

Libraries Convene Community of Scholars to Tackle Data Challenges

Carnegie Mellon University, News


“The AIDR meeting with its focus on addressing the challenges of data quality, reproducibility and reuse is directly relevant to data driven decision making in healthcare and many other domains,” Padman said. “I was particularly struck by the range of topics presented at the conference, including astronomy, archeology, brain science and my own work — all examples of data driven decision making with different types of data, tools and methods, and motivated by exciting research questions.”

Convening a diverse set of speakers and attendees for this inaugural event was a priority for the conference organizers. As the explosion in the volume of scientific data has made it increasingly challenging to find data scattered across platforms, greater data complexity and lack of consistent data standards across disciplines present new hurdles to evaluating data quality, reproducing results and reusing data for new discoveries.

Quantifying the Staggering Cost of IT Outages

Priceonomics Data Studio, Splunk


While a decade or two ago, a server outage was a minor inconvenience, today it can mean a material loss of revenue. But just how much does it cost when there is a data center outage, a network crash, or mysterious technical outage? We analyzed the data to look at trends in the cost of data center outages.

As one would expect, the cost of technical outages has skyrocketed in recent years. What’s driving the growth in expense, however, isn’t that they are expensive to remedy. The cost driver is that when your product or service is down, you’re losing out on a lot of money. And while the costs of outages are higher than they’ve ever been, thankfully the tools to prevent or mitigate their impacts are also increasingly available.

Can You Trust A Company In 2019?

Anil Dash


Union Square Ventures is one of the best-known and most respected venture capital firms in the world. Every year, they get together all of the CEOs of all the companies they’ve invested in to talk about Big Ideas. And this year, they shared one of the ideas they’re focusing on most: Trust.

The whole presentation is worth reading over, as I think it outlines the business argument for the importance of trustworthy companies extremely well. In short, being trusted provides enormous value to a company. It protects against competition, increases customer loyalty, helps improve recruiting and retention, and has many other less visible benefits. Trust is a massive strategic advantage. You want your company to be trusted.

Novant Health launches Institute of Innovation & Artificial Intelligence

FierceHealthcare, Heather Landi


Add Novant Health to the growing list of health systems that have opened institutes dedicated to artificial intelligence.

The health system, based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, launched the Novant Health Institute of Innovation & Artificial Intelligence (AI), which will use AI to enhance personalized patient care. The institute will focus on the advanced technologies required to provide highly personalized care and accelerated solutions with actionable data and insights for preventive prediction, diagnosis and treatment to Novant Health’s patients, the health system said.

Overlooked No More: Alan Turing, Condemned Code Breaker and Computer Visionary

The New York Times, Obituaries, Alan Cowell


Overlooked is a series of obituaries about remarkable people whose deaths, beginning in 1851, went unreported in The Times. This month we’re adding the stories of important L.G.B.T.Q. figures.

Q&A: New Preprint Server for Clinical Research

The Scientist Magazine®, Chia-Yi Hou


Today (June 5), Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Yale University, and The BMJ are launching medRxiv, a preprint server for clinical research. It joins the likes of bioRxiv for basic biology and arXiv for math and physics, although medRxiv will have more stringent requirements for manuscripts. Authors will be asked to provide competing interests, all relevant ethical guidelines, clinical trial IDs, and other detailed information.

Richard Sever of Cold Spring Harbor Labortory is a cofounder of medRxiv and its predecessor bioRxiv, which was launched in 2013. The Scientist spoke to Sever about the launch of medRxiv.

Pharmacogenomics syncs medications with an individual’s genetics through Humanwide

Stanford Medicine, Scope Blog


How’s this for a nightmare: The pain medication your doctor prescribed not only makes you feel awful — dizzy and disoriented with terrible itching — but on top of that, it does nothing to ease your discomfort.

This is what happened to Debbie Spaizman whenever she took prescription pain relievers. So understandably, she was anxious when she scheduled a nasal surgery last year and her physician said she’d need narcotics.

Was she allergic to a particular drug? Would this happen no matter what pain medication she took? Spaizman sought answers. She got them from a pharmacogenomic evaluation — offered through Stanford Medicine’s Humanwide pilot project — that analyzed how her genes interact with different medications.

Google Can’t Fix Its Cloud With Acquisitions

Bloomberg Opinion, Shira Ovide


Google on Thursday made another acquisition for its cloud-computing business that competes with Inc. Each deal it does is a reminder of Google’s failures so far in this lucrative field and a potential warning sign to the software specialists that have thrived in the last decade.

Alphabet Inc., Google’s parent company, said on Thursday that it was spending $2.6 billion to buy Looker, which sells software to help businesses wrangle their data, make charts or other visualizations out of it and glean insights that can improve their operations. This is not a new category of software, but the proliferation of cloud computing and simpler software accessed over the web has given rise to a flood of data-analysis software specialists including Tableau Software Inc., Qlik Technologies Inc. and Domo Inc.

Longmont company’s AI tech to help kids with behavioral issues

Boulder Daily Camera, Pratik Joshi


Longmont’s Robauto is working with a Denver software startup to bring artificial intelligence-powered therapy to kids dealing with behavioral issues.

In simple terms artificial intelligence refers to a machine that can think for itself quickly using data it is being fed. It can learn from experience, adjust to new inputs and perform human-like tasks, according to a description of AI on the website of SAS, a provider of software and services, including data analytics.

Many years ago Robauto’s founder, Jalali Hartman, created a robot to help children with autism spectrum disorder communicate and have social interaction using artificial intelligence. His BiBli robot platform that uses AI-driven voice, navigation, swarming and emotional response has been updated and improved since its first version in 2014.

Gateway conference: The future is now with artificial intelligence

Kenosha News (WI), James Lawson


The future is now, and artificial intelligence is the driving ingredient in the move into the next phase of manufacturing and job creation.

Jay Lee, the keynote speaker during the Wednesday lunchtime session of the two-day Manufacturing Skill Standards Council, told an audience of 160 how Foxconn Technology Group and Gateway Technical College are innovators that will help fill the skills gap in Wisconsin.

“The future of industrial artificial intelligence will share the workplace and redefine the knowledge and skills required in the global competition for jobs,” Lee said. “Gateway and Foxconn are partnering to provide career paths that support an advanced manufacturing ecosystem.”

Addressing an audience at GTC’s Racine campus Wednesday, Lee, a noted expert in artificial intelligence and intelligent maintenance systems, described how Foxconn would be building the next phase of this technology that will employ analytics, and have effective ways to program, monitor and troubleshoot robotic and other types of automated manufacturing processes.

“This is what we will be building in Wisconsin,” he said.

Opinion | How Facial Recognition Makes You Safer

The New York Times, James O'Neill


Used properly, the software effectively identifies crime suspects without violating rights.



Women in Machine Learning & Data Science


Upcoming Sprints

  • Nairobi, Kenya: scikit-learn (June 22)
  • New York, NY: scikit-learn (August 25)
  • San Francisco, CA: scikit-learn (November 1)
    Tools & Resources

    Which Programming Languages Use the Least Electricity?

    The New Stack, David Cassel


    “Last year a team of six researchers in Portugal from three different universities decided to investigate this question, ultimately releasing a paper titled ‘Energy Efficiency Across Programming Languages.’ They ran the solutions to 10 programming problems written in 27 different languages, while carefully monitoring how much electricity each one used — as well as its speed and memory usage.”

    An Overview of Python’s Datatable package

    Towards Data Science, Parul Pandey


    “Python library for efficient multi-threaded data processing, with the support for out-of-memory datasets.”

    VisualData: A Search Engine for Computer Vision Datasets



    Building large datasets is a time-consuming and labor-intensive task which challenges entities with limited budgets. There are hundreds of open visual datasets out there, but searching across them and their millions of entries is not a simple task.

    Introducing Deepnews Digest

    Monday Note, Frederic Filloux


    This week, is releasing its first public demonstrator, a newsletter called Deepnews Digest.

    Practical Deep Learning for Coders, v3


    Welcome! If you’re new to all this deep learning stuff, then don’t worry—we’ll take you through it all step by step. We do however assume that you’ve been coding for at least a year, and also that (if you haven’t used Python before) you’ll be putting in the extra time to learn whatever Python you need as you go. (For learning Python, we have a list of python learning resources available.)

    You might be surprised by what you don’t need to become a top deep learning practitioner. You need one year of coding experience, a GPU and appropriate software (see below), and that’s it. You don’t need much data, you don’t need university-level math, and you don’t need a giant data center. For more on this, see our article: What you need to do deep learning.

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