Noah Benson is a senior data scientist at the University of Washington’s eScience Institute. He received his B.S. from Purdue University where triple-majored in computer science, math, and biology (2001-2005) and his Ph.D. in biomedical and health informatics from the University of Washington where he studied the analysis and representation of molecular dynamics simulations (2005-2010). Since graduating, Noah has worked primarily in the domain of human neuroscience and vision with an emphasis on understanding the relationship between the anatomical structure of the brain and its function. He has worked as a post-doctoral associate at the University of Pennsylvania (2010-2014) and a research scientist at New York University (2014-2020).
Noah has spent much of his research career writing and supporting software tools that enable other researchers to duplicate and extend his work. He supports and has contributed to a number of open-source libraries on Github and is the author of the Python library neuropythy, a general utility library built around understanding neuroscience data formats, anatomical analysis, and visualization. Among other things, neuropythy is a powerful tool for organizing, obtaining, and understanding the data from the Human Connectome Project.
In addition to his research activities, Noah has a keen interest in community engagement, political activism, and human rights advocacy, and he is excited about the opportunity to leverage his data-science expertise to approach such topics through the DSSG program this summer. In particular, he is eager to work on the identification of disinformation, as the problem represents both a clear and critical societal crisis as well as a unique opportunity for data-science to point the way forward.