The virtual Ken Kennedy Institute Data Science Conference Oct. 26–28 focused on COVID-19 and how the pandemic has influenced the use of data and data science. Speakers discussed everything from the genome analysis to data governance, from human behavior to water treatment plants and highlighted the role of computing hardware and software in these endeavors.
For the past four years, the annual conference has been interested in exposing how data science can be used to address interesting challenges for translating data to knowledge through advances in data engineering, analytics, machine learning, deep learning, reinforcement learning and more broadly, artificial intelligence. Recognizing that discovery and innovation happens at interfaces of disciplines and communities, the conference aimed to bring together a diverse set of people from multiple communities spanning academia and industry.
The conference also featured talks by leading experts, which were complemented by thematically organized sessions with talks selected from submitted abstracts, such as COVID-19, algorithms, foundations, business impact and health care. There was also a student poster session and networking breaks.
Amongst the speakers, David Eagleman, examined the collapse of previous societies and asked how the advent of the net fundamentally changed our existential equations. Eagleman is a neuroscientist, a New York Times bestselling author, a TED speaker and a Guggenheim Fellow.
This year the conference was expanded and included a special collaboration with MD Anderson and offered a discussion about the Data-Driven Determinants for COVID-19 Oncology Discovery Effort (D3CODE), which was established to create a cross-functional, institutionwide data science initiative linked to understand cancer in the context of the pandemic.
— Angela Wilkins
Ken Kennedy Institute