From left: speaker Nicole Nelson; Summer Institute in Computational Social Science participants; Data Then and Now seminar; speaker Matthew Rocklin. Photos, Robin Brooks, eScience Institute

By Robin Brooks, Communications Associate

As 2018 draws to a close, we wanted to offer a glimpse into the outstanding achievements those who work at, and affiliate with, the eScience Institute have accomplished this year. It was a special year for us, as we celebrated our 10 year anniversary. Though a lot has changed in 10 years, our commitment to excellence in data-driven discovery remains strong. 

Highlights from the educational opportunities offered through the Institute include hosting the inaugural UW Data Science Summit (now called the Northwest Data Science Summit for 2019), as well as the UW Career Fair, and leading Software and Data Carpentry and Intermediate Git/GitHub tutorials. Hundreds of participants also attended Geohackweek, NeuroHackademy, and the new Oceanhackweek, to learn new skills and cross-collaborate with fellow learners.

2018 Geohackweek participants

Staff, students and postdoctoral fellows from a wide-variety of disciplines offered a combined 245 talks on subjects such as data science and education, cloud data analytics, reproducible research, big data and machine learning. 

eScience associates also published nearly 250 papers and preprints in Science, Nature, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, arXiv, and others. Among many notable works, the papers titled “Hack weeks as a model for data science education and collaboration” and “Creating institutional change in data science” were exemplar outputs of the Moore-Sloan Data Science Environments partnership with the Berkeley Institute for Data Science and the NYU Center for Data Science.

The Institute hosted over three dozen prestigious speakers from a variety of academic and industry backgrounds across various speaker series including the UW Data Science and Community seminars as well as the new Data Then and Now series and the Topics in Data Science workshops. Representatives from Microsoft Research, Google, National Taiwan University, Zymergen, and others offered insight into modeling on optimization, data visualization, career development, communication, bias and more, to hundreds of attendees.

Our Industry Affiliates Program was launched earlier this month. We held productive sessions of both the Winter Incubator and Data Science for Social Good programs, added new Special Interest Groups, created a highlights series to showcase community research endeavors, fostered UW student data science clubs and supported Seattle chapters of PyLadiesRLadies and Women in Data Science.

A number of eScience staff received awards in 2018, including Micaela Parker and Sarah Stone, co-executive directors, who together were nominated for the Distinguished Staff Team Award. David Beck, director of research, has been nominated for a Distinguished Teaching Award, and postdoctoral fellow Gwendolyn Eadie is the recipient of the prestigious J.S. Plaskett Medal.

On the communications front, the Institute has more followers and engagements than ever before, with robust Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook channels, as well as the publication of a weekly newsletter and a variety of email lists. These platforms help to foster relationships across the globe with people interested in cutting-edge data science.

In short, 2018 was an incredible year for the eScience Institute. We appreciate and value all those who have contributed and participated – in big ways or small – in our journey this year, and hope you’ll continue to do so in 2019 and beyond.

From left: the Satellite Image Analysis Special Interest Group; data scientist Valentina Staneva presents at the UW Data Science Summit; Randy LeVeque’s retirement party; attendees of the Moore/Sloan Data Science Summit. Photos, Robin Brooks, eScience Institute