Data Science newsletter – January 29, 2020

Newsletter features journalism, research papers, events, tools/software, and jobs for January 29, 2020


Data Science News

Epic’s CEO is urging hospital customers to oppose rules that would make it easier to share medical info

CNBC, Christina Farr


  • Epic Systems is urging its health system customers to take a stand against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ proposed rules to make it easier to share patient data.
  • Epic’s CEO Judy Faulkner says that patient privacy will be negatively impacted.
  • Privately held Epic is one of the leading providers of electronic medical records in the U.S.

  • UBC study links living near highways to risk of neurological disorders

    Vancouver Sun, Tiffany Crawford


    Researchers at the University of B.C. have found a link between living near highways and an increased risk of several major neurological disorders, including dementia and Parkinson’s disease.

    The study, published this week in Environmental Health, found proximity to major roads may also increase the risk for multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s diseases, likely because of exposure to more air pollution such as nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter.

    Lead author Weiran Yuchi, and a team of researchers at the UBC school of population and public health, analyzed data for 678,000 adults between the ages of 45 and 84 in Metro Vancouver. The subjects were interviewed from 1994 to 1998, and again during a follow-up period from 1999 to 2003.

    AI to help monitor behaviour

    University of Montreal, udem nouvelles


    Could artificial intelligence improve educational and clinical decisions made by your child’s teacher, or your mental-health professional or even your medical doctor? Yes, indeed, says a study by an UdeM psychoeducator and behaviour analyst published in Perspectives on Behavior Science.

    When working with persons who experience daily challenges such as autism, ADHD, learning difficulties or mental health issues, practitioners often rely on their professional judgment to determine whether behavior is improving following intervention. But that’s not enough, according to the study.

    “Unfortunately, experts often disagree when drawing conclusions based on behavioral data, which may lead to the premature interruption of an effective intervention or to the continuation of an ineffective treatment,” said lead author Marc Lanovaz, a researcher at the Institut universitaire en santé mentale de Montréal.

    JP Morgan expands dive into machine learning with new London research centre

    The TRADE, Joe Parsons


    Professor at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Chak Wong, has been hired by JP Morgan to lead the new team of machine learning engineers.

    Northeastern partners with entrepreneur David Roux to launch the Roux Institute at Northeastern in Portland, Maine

    Northeastern University, News@Northeastern


    Building upon a decade of expansion through a network of campuses in the U.S. and beyond, Northeastern University, joined by technology entrepreneur David Roux, is launching a graduate education and research campus in Portland, Maine.

    The Roux Institute at Northeastern University is designed to educate generations of talent for the digital and life sciences sectors, and drive sustained economic growth in Portland, the state of Maine, and northern New England.

    The venture was envisioned by David and his wife Barbara Roux to benefit his native state. Inspired by Northeastern’s leadership in preparing citizens for the societal challenges posed by rapid advances in technology, the couple has invested $100 million in the university to support the Roux Institute’s future activities.

    UO closer to offering data science, bioengineering degrees

    University of Oregon, Around the O


    The Academic and Student Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees of the University of Oregon voted to move forward with undergraduate degree proposals in data science and bioengineering during a meeting Jan. 27.

    Information about the new degree programs was presented to the board at its Dec. 9 regular meeting, but the proposals required additional institutional approvals before the trustees’ vote. The two degrees proposals now go to the state for consideration.

    The undergraduate degree in data science is one of several proposals to come from the Presidential Initiative in Data Science. The initiative launched by President Michael H. Schill in 2017 aims to strengthen the UO’s ability to help solve some of the world’s greatest challenges through the use of data.

    Ring Doorbell App Packed with Third-Party Trackers

    Electronic Frontier Foundation, Bill Budington


    Ring isn’t just a product that allows users to surveil their neighbors. The company also uses it to surveil its customers.

    An investigation by EFF of the Ring doorbell app for Android found it to be packed with third-party trackers sending out a plethora of customers’ personally identifiable information (PII). Four main analytics and marketing companies were discovered to be receiving information such as the names, private IP addresses, mobile network carriers, persistent identifiers, and sensor data on the devices of paying customers.

    Clearview AI Once Told Cops To “Run Wild” With Its Facial Recognition Tool. It’s Now Facing Legal Challenges.

    BuzzFeed News; Ryan Mac, Caroline Haskins, Logan McDonald


    One of Clearview AI’s investors defended the company, “We do not have to be hidden to be free.”

    Survey — $6.8 billion could be bet on Super Bowl

    ESPN, David Purdum


    This year, approximately 26 million Americans — more than one in 10 adults — may combine to bet an estimated $6.8 billion on Super Bowl LIV between the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs, according to survey results released Tuesday by the American Gaming Association.

    The AGA, a Washington, D.C.-based trade group that represents the casino industry, estimates 3 million more American adults will have something riding on this year’s Super Bowl than last year’s game, either through the expanding legal sports betting market, illegal bookmakers or more casually with friends and squares pools.

    Microsoft leases office space from UC Berkeley, focuses on AI

    The Daily Californian student newspaper, Olivia Buccieri


    Microsoft opened an office in Berkeley this month and is still in the process of moving in.

    The close proximity to UC Berkeley allows Microsoft’s Bay Area base to be better partners with those it sponsors, such as the Berkeley Artificial Intelligence Research Lab — co-located in the building — Real-Time Intelligent Secure Explainable Systems and the Simons Institute, according to Microsoft spokesperson Joshua Luebke.

    “This year Microsoft brought several AI (Artificial Intelligence) and research-based teams together at a new site in Berkeley,” Microsoft stated in a blog post. “Having a physical presence near U.C. Berkeley, a renowned institution for research and education, complements the academic nature and learning mindset of the teams located here.”

    New Minor in Science Communication Promotes Community Engagement

    The Cornell Daily Sun student newspaper, Anil Oza


    Although scientists constantly push the boundaries of human knowledge, the fruits of research are often limited to the narrow confines of a laboratory.

    This semester, Cornell will establish a new minor that aims to break down the divide between science and the general public. The new minor, called “science communication and public engagement,” hopes to educate STEM students in communication methods for their specific audiences.

    “[Science communication] is a discipline and practice of translating scientific information to create a dialogue with non-technical audiences,” Prof. Mark Sarvary, neurobiology and behavior, said about the final — but often neglected — stage of the scientific process.

    Engineering a Repairable World

    IEEE Spectrum, Kevin O'Reilly


    When creating equipment for farmers like Jared, engineers start with the problem that needs to be solved. Jared is not able to spread enough fertilizer fast enough, so engineers design a machine that can solve this problem at scale.

    But the problem of fixing the device itself can often be overlooked. That’s why iFixit, the self-proclaimed online repair manual for everything, has teamed up with 80 universities around the world to instill the importance of repairability.

    Over the course of a term, students in the program take electronic gadgets apart, identify common problems, and build repair guides that are then included in iFixit’s database. This allows them to acquire hands-on experience with everything from home appliances to the latest laptop.

    How to get the hottest new jobs in hedge funds

    eFinancialCareers, Sarah Butcher


    You don’t have to be an actual data scientist to get a data role on the buy-side though. Adam Braff, a data and analytics consultant who previously spent three years at Point72 says roles are evolving, These days, there are data jobs for non-data crunchers. In particular there are jobs for ‘data hunters’ – people who seek out new kinds of data to give portfolio managers an edge.

    “Data acquisition is a growing function,” says Braff. “There are multiple fundamental [investment] firms out there that are employing data acquisition or data sourcing teams. What they typically do it procure the usual suspects of market data and reference data, whilst also hunting for newer sources of data.

    Welcome to the Sponsored Campus – More parts of the college experience are up for sale than ever before, experts say.

    The Chronicle of Higher Education, Francie Diep


    To welcome new students to campus, the University of California at Berkeley packs eight days with up to 12 hours of mandatory activities. The orientations introduce freshmen and transfer students to the campus and nearby city of San Francisco; teach them about sexual violence, mental health, and alcohol use; and give them the opportunity to make friends while ziplining in the woods or racing in giant inflatable balls.

    Orientation is also students’ introduction to Berkeley’s major corporate sponsors. In freebie bags they get a reusable mug from Peet’s, Berkeley’s preferred coffee provider. The student leaders who shepherd orientees around all week wear fluorescent yellow shirts from Under Armour, which has an exclusive contract to outfit Cal’s athletics teams and funds student programs on campus. And for — physically, emotionally — exhausted parents who have just dropped off their kids, Bank of the West sets up a lounge area with couches and refreshments near its branch inside the student union.

    WiTNY Initiative Announces National Expansion to Recruit More Women in Tech — Formally Becomes Break Through Tech

    Cornell Tech, News


    Cornell Tech today announced the expansion of its successful WiTNY (Women in Technology & Entrepreneurship in New York) program to attract and retain women and other under-represented groups pursuing tech education and careers nationally. With its national expansion, the program will now be called Break Through Tech and take part in the new Gender Equality in Tech (GET) Cities initiative, designed to accelerate the representation of women in tech and supported by a $50 million investment from Pivotal Ventures, a Melinda Gates company, as well as Cognizant U.S. Foundation and Verizon.


    Five reasons you (really) don’t want to miss TechCrunch’s AI and Robotics show on March 3



    Berkeley, CA March 3 at University of California-Berkeley, Zellerbach Hall. “If past experience is any guide, the show is sure to draw a big crowd (cheap student rates here!), but there’s still time to grab a pass.” [$$$]

    Bioconductor Docker & Containers with Nitesh Turaga

    Meetup, Bioconductor


    Boston, MA February 5, starting at 5:30 p.m., Dana Farber Cancer Institute (450 Brookline Ave). Meetup for Boston R/Bioconductor for Genomics group. [rsvp required]

    O’Reilly Strata Data & AI Conference

    O'Reilly Media


    San Jose, CA March 15-18. “New for #StrataDataAI in 2020! Interactive sessions (powered by @teamKatacoda
    ) give you the chance to manipulate technology in real time to discover how it works. You’ll input, edit, run code and render live results as you learn with guided instruction.” [$$$$]


    Southern Data Science Conference – SDSC ‘20 Research Track CFP

    “The organizing committee of the 2020 Southern Data Science Conference is pleased to invite you to submit a proposal (2-page structured extended abstract, see submission guidelines) to present a poster in the Research Track of the Southern Data Science Conference 2020. The conference is scheduled for April 16 and 17th 2020.”

    National Endowment for the Humanities, Public Scholars

    “The Public Scholars program supports the creation of well-researched nonfiction books in the humanities written for the broad public. It does so by offering grants to individual authors for research, writing, travel, and other activities leading to publication. Writers with or without an academic affiliation may apply, and no advanced degree is required. The program is intended to: a) encourage non-academic writers to deepen their engagement with the humanities by strengthening the research underlying their books; and b) encourage academic writers in the humanities to communicate the significance of their research to the broadest possible range of readers.” Deadline for applications is February 5.

    Participate in a New Survey on Ph.D. Mental Health

    If you are a current doctoral student or a Ph.D. who earned a doctorate in the past seven years, participate here in a new survey on mental-health and career-development issues.

    Summer Undergraduate Research Experience in Statistics

    “For 2020, the program theme is “Data Science in Sports Analytics”. Carnegie Mellon Statistics & Data Science is very active in sports analytics at both the undergraduate and graduate level and collaborates with professional and academic analysts across several sports. Information about the annual Carnegie Mellon Sports Analytics Conference.” Deadline to apply is February 29.

    Applied Clinical Informatics (ACI), official e-journal of AMIA & IMIA, is creating a Student Editorial Board.

    “Applied Clinical Informatics (ACI), the official e-journal of AMIA and IMIA, is creating a Student & Early Career Editorial Board, starting in 2020. The primary purposes of this board are to (1) include and mentor informatics trainees in the peer-review process and (2) to improve the experience of authors by providing high quality reviews.” Deadline to apply is March 1.
    Tools & Resources

    Using LinkedIn for Social Research

    London School of Economics, Impact of Social Sciences, Daniela Duca


    Different social media platforms allow different levels of access to the data they hold for academic research. In this cross-post Daniela Duca explores some of the ways in which LinkedIn has been used by social scientists and provides a list resources for researchers looking to work with LinkedIn data.

    What Every Analytics Manger Should Know About Working With Universities. But Doesn’t.

    Machine Learning Times; Jennifer Lewis Priestley, Robert McGrath


    At our own universities, we regularly see healthcare systems, financial service providers, manufacturing firms competing to hire the same student. At first glance, that makes no sense – after all, healthcare, finance and manufacturing are completely different domains. Just ten years ago, it was unheard of to see a big bank and a healthcare provider chasing the same talent. Today, its commonplace. Why? Because while domain expertise is important, it is frequently subordinated; the bigger challenge is finding “data natives” who have the facility to work in a multi-faceted and complex data environment instead of finding a student with banking experience.

    10 Best Python IDEs & Code Editors [2020]

    Datafloq, Prateek Sha


    1. Jupyter

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