Weekly BBL Speaker Series: UMD Data Challenge Panel

Event Start Date: Thursday, September 24, 2020 - 12:30 pm

Event End Date: Thursday, September 24, 2020 - 1:30 pm

Host & Main Speaker: Dr. Kathy Weaver
Panelists: Emmett Ryan, Donal Heidenblad & Dr. Nathan Bos
Date: Thur Sept 24
Time: 12:30p – 1:30p

Join us via Zoom each week at this same link

UMD Data Challenge is a week-long data exploration event at the University of Maryland hosted by The College of Information Studies. During the week, students will gain analytical experience by solving challenging problems exploring datasets provided by professional organizations, build technical aptitude integrating datasets to create multidisciplinary knowledge, and obtain real-world team-building experience. This week long distributed format allows for sufficient time to evaluate, formulate a question about the dataset, and conduct dataset integration, analysis, and results preparation.


Dr. Kathy Weaver is a Senior Lecturer in the College of Information Studies at UMD. In addition to teaching both InfoSci and graduate courses, she has hosted the information challenges for the iSchool during the past 6 years. Dr. Weaver has taught and worked in education in a variety of settings for over 30 years, including industry, higher education, and elementary schools. Her extensive experience in Information Management, has included 6 implementations of SAP focused on Information Assurance, Quality Assurance, and User Management, redesigning and managing an Intellectual Property website at the Boeing Corporation, and working with the King County Libraries in Washington.

Emmet Ryan is a junior at UMD. He is currently working towards a bachelor’s degree in information science with a minor in sustainability, and has taken part in the Data Challenge for the past two years. Emmet’s team received the Best Presentation of Results award from the 2020 Challenge. Most recently, Emmet was an IT analyst intern at the Government Accountability Office (GAO) where he worked with two teams on privacy and cybersecurity audits of the 2020 Census. After graduation, Emmet plans to apply his data science knowledge to his interest in policy, possibly through a full-time analyst position at GAO.

Donal Heidenblad is a lecturer at the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland where he teaches information technology, programming, and data courses. Donal is interested in how to effectively incorporate ethics instruction into STEM courses. Donal earned his M.S. in Information Systems from UMBC. Before coming to the iSchool, Donal worked in a variety of roles including training engineer, project manager, and software developer.

Dr. Nathan Bos is a senior research associate at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory with more than 20 years of experience working in the applied behavioral sciences. Nathan’s research is in human-computer interaction, behavioral modeling, and advanced analytics. He has also worked in the area of applied data science for nonprofits. His recent work includes research in counterfactual forecasting, explainable AI and causal reasoning. Nathan has more than 50 publications in peer-reviewed conferences and journals in information science, psychology, education and engineering. He has served as a judge for two Data Challenges.

There will be a Q&A session following the presentation and questions are encouraged. Please share this message with friends and colleagues that might be interested in this topic.

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