121218 Update


A bi-monthly newsletter with updates on data and computing news and events for UW-Madison researchers.

In the Dec. 12th, 2018 update:

  • DotDATA: A New Student Data Science Club
  • Upcoming Campus Events
  • Upcoming Trainings and Workshops
  • Campus Opportunities and Groups
  • Hackathon Opportunities
  • Course Offerings for Spring 2019
  • Winter Break Announcements

Are you…

  • unsure which campus data and computing resources you need for your research?
  • interested in making connections and starting new collaborations with data scientists and other researchers on campus?
  • looking for training in data and computing skills?

The Data Science Hub can help! Send an email to the Data Science facilitator (facilitator@datascience.wisc.edu) or come by Hub Central in the Discovery Building during office hours (W 9:30-11:30, Th 2:30-4:30). Check calendar for latest details and updates.

DotDATA: A New Student Data Science Club

dotDATA (Data Science Club) is a UW Madison student organization focused on promoting education and discussion around data science, big data, and machine learning technologies, methods, and practices on campus. Their goal is inspire, teach, and connect with students across campus, regardless of major or department, discovering how data science fits into their interests and careers. They host seminars and  networking events throughout the semester by faculty and professionals working on interdisciplinary, data-driven projects spanning sociology, finance, biology, public health, and many other fields. They explore many tools and skills such as Hadoop, Scala, Python, statistics, Tableau, and TensorFlow in a social, hand-on approach. Check out their website for additional information.


Upcoming Campus Events (Calendar View)

Special Event: Illuminating Connections: Exploring Hubs at Discovery
Dec 12,  3:00pm-6:00pm, Discovery Building, UW–Madison
Join us for a celebration of WID’s hubs! Learn how the hubs serve researchers and community members across campus and the state. Explore posters, interactive activities, and informal discussions followed by a special edition of SoundWaves revolving around the theme of illumination. Please register for the event.


Systems, Information, Learning, and Optimization (SILO) Seminar12:30pm, Orchard View Room, Discovery Building
Dec 12, Learning Solutions to Constrained Optimization Problems – to Enable a Sustainable Electric, Line Roald
Dec 14, Optimizing Recommendations Using Logged Bandit Feedback, Ben London, Amazon

Center for Demography of Health and Aging (CDHA) Training Seminar: 2:00pm-3:15pm, 8417 Sewell Social Science Building
Dec 12, Practice Job Talk with Esteban Quiñones

Quantitative Biology Initiative (QBI Seminar), 2:00pm-3:00 pm, Orchard View Room, Discovery Building
Dec 12, How Interactions Among Multiple Stressors Affect the Ecological and Evolutionary Trajectories of Populations, Pamela Yeh, University of California

Computer Sciences Events:
Dec 13, 1:30pm-3:30pm, Lobby in  CS, Poster Session: CS/Psych/EdPsych-770 Human-Computer Interaction
Dec 13, 4:00pm-5:00pm, 1240 CS, High-level Abstractions for Network Programming, Nate Foster, Cornell University

Applied and Computational Mathematics Seminar (ACMS): 2:25pm, 901 Van Vleck Hall
Dec 14, TBA, Lukas Einkemmer, University of Tübingen and University of Innsbruck

Machine Learning for Medical Imaging (ML4MI) Initiative Seminar
Dec 14, 4:00pm, 1345 HSLC, Autonomous MRI, Juan Santos, HeartVista

Upcoming Trainings and Workshops

Software Carpentry Workshop, 8:30am – 4:30pm, Jan 14-15, 2019
Software Carpentry aims to help researchers get their work done in less time and with less pain by teaching them basic research computing skills. This hands-on workshop will cover basic concepts and tools, including program design, version control, data management, and task automation. Participants will be encouraged to help one another and to apply what they have learned to their own research problems. Event hosted by the Data Science Hub. Registration is now open.

Data Carpentry Workshop, 8:30am – 4:30pm, Jan 16-17, 2019
This hands-on workshop teaches basic concepts, skills and tools for working more effectively with data. The workshop is for any researcher who has data they want to analyze, and no prior computational experience is required. Event hosted by the Data Science Hub. Registration is now open.

Campus Opportunities and Groups

Computational Plant Sciences (ComPS) Group
A common problem both bench and field plant scientists face is that advances in high-throughput measurement platforms have outpaced our ability to readily analyze the datasets produced.  To help solve this problem, we are forming a community of practice, a peer-to-peer mentoring network that will work across lab, departmental, and college boundaries to help plant scientists build computational and data science skillsets. Come join us on Friday, December 14th from 12-1:30pm, Russell Labs Room 584 to brainstorm with us (and enjoy free lunch!). What would you want out of a community of practice? What would help you the most?

Computational Biology, Ecology, and Evolution (ComBEE)
ComBEE is a group of researchers at UW-Madison interested in computational biology in ecology and evolution. ComBEE offers R and Python study groups on alternating Thursdays throughout the semester.
ComBEE Python Study Group – Meets every other Thursday at 2pm in Microbial Sciences 5503
ComBEE R Study Group – Meets every other Thursday at 2pm in Microbial Sciences 5503

Molecular Dynamics Group
Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations can provide a computational microscope for looking at molecular events. However, the art of setting up, running, and interpreting a simulation is challenging. To help, campus MD users and potential users are getting together to share experiences, tools, and codes. Importantly, the group will also discuss best practices, appropriate/inappropriate uses, and how best to use local computer resources. Contact Spencer Ericksen (ssericksen@wisc.edu) if you are interested in joining the group.

Research Systems Administrators Group (RSAG)
This ACI-sponsored group meets on the third Wednesdays of every month and allows systems administrators of research systems to share expertise. Join the email list by sending an email message to join-rsag@lists.wisc.edu for updates and future meetings.

Hackathon Opportunities

Want to flex your coding skills over the holiday?  Check out the hackathons listed below.

Alexa Skills Challenge: Multimodal
Build (or update) Alexa skills using Alexa Presentation Language (APL) that leverages the screen on one of the following devices: Fire TV, Echo Show, Echo Spot, and Fire Tablets.

  • Prizes: Up to $150,000 in cash and prizes
  • Deadline: January 22, 2019

Check out the webinar on December 12th 10am-12pm EDT
Learn more and register here.

Twitch AWS Extensions Challenge
Build Twitch Extensions for viewers, broadcasters, or both.  Extensions can be in any category and any theme, as long as it uses or integrates at least one AWS service.

  • Prizes: Up to $26,500 in cash and prizes
  • Deadline: February 26, 2019

Learn more and register here.

Microsoft Graph Security Hackathon
Build or update a functioning Microsoft Graph-powered solution that leverages the Microsoft Graph Security API. (Note: Please review the complete requirements on the website.

  • Prizes: Up to $15,000 in cash, promotion and a speaking opportunity at Build Day 2019
  • Deadline: March 1, 2019

Learn more and register here.

Course Offerings for Spring 2019

The time to enroll in spring courses is upon us. We have compiled a list of Data Science related courses. If you have additional courses you would like us to know about, you can let us know in the poll below. We will continue to add courses to this list.

Winter Break Announcements

There will be no newsletter on December 26. The next newsletter will be published January 9. There will be no office hours during the week of December 24.

Check calendar for latest details and updates for all listed events. If you have a relevant event or group you’d like to see included in next month’s newsletter.  Please send us an email at facilitator@datascience.wisc.edu.