A collage of photos taken at the 2018 UW Data Science Summit

The Northwest Data Science Summit (NDSS) is a two-day conference featuring educational and networking opportunities for students, faculty, researchers, industry affiliates and community members. The NDSS will be held May 7 and 8, 2019, in the Husky Union Building (HUB) South Ballroom, and will be held in collaboration with the Data Science Institute at the University of British Columbia (UBC).

The Summit will feature:

  • Keynote presentations by Christopher J.L. Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, and Jeff Wilcox, vice president of digital initiatives for Lockheed Martin
  • Prominent experts discussing data science methods and applications
  • Tutorials, discussions, a poster session, and lightning talks
  • Prizes for “best-of” posters and lightning talks – submissions have now closed
  • Social gatherings including coffee, two lunches, and a celebratory reception

Congratulations to the 2019 Award Recipients:

Lightning Talk:

First Place –  Hyeju Jang | Postdoc, UBC Computer Science

Honorable Mention – Kristian Eschenburg | Graduate Student, UW Bioengineering


First Place – Jacob Filipek | Graduate Student, Paul Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering

Honorable Mention: Sonia Arora | Graduate Student, School of Engineering & Technology, UW Tacoma




Day 1: Tuesday May 7th – This day will showcase the use of data science across a wide range of health and neuroscience applications

9:15 a.m.: Registration table opens, poster presenters may set up posters in the South Ballroom

9:50 a.m. – Welcome: Ione Fine, Summit Co-Chair, UW Psychology

10:00 – 10:50 a.m. – Keynote address: Chris Murray, Director of the UW Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, “Quantifying world health and the options to improve it”

Christopher J.L. Murray, MD, DPhil, is the Chair and Professor of Health Metrics Sciences and Director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington. His career has focused on improving health for everyone worldwide by improving health evidence. A physician and health economist, his work has led to the development of a range of new methods and empirical studies to strengthen health measurement, analyze the performance of public health and medical care systems, and assess the cost-effectiveness of health technologies.

11:00 – 11:15 a.m. – Coffee break

11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Session 1 talks, order may shift

  • Gabriela Cohen-Freue, UBC Statistics, “A quantitative view to the central dogma of Biology”
  • Eric Shea-Brown, UW Applied Mathematics, “When and why do high-dimensional networks produce low-dimensional dynamics?”
  • Ariel Rokem, UW eScience Institute, “Understanding the brain with open data and open source software”

12:30 – 1:30 p.m. – Networking lunch, poster presenters may set up posters in the South Ballroom

1:30 – 3:00 p.m. – Session 2 talks, order may shift

  • Minsun Kim, UW Radiation Oncology, “Data Science in Radiation Oncology – Dynamic Adaptive Radiotherapy”
  • Andy Roth, UBC Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, “Machine Learning Methods for Studying Cancer Evolution”
  • Trevor Bedford, Fred Hutch, “Real-time tracking of virus evolution”
  • Kendall Ho, UBC Emergency Medicine, “Home Health Monitoring and Beyond: Data Science Opportunities and Considerations”

3:00 – 3:15 p.m. – Coffee break

3:15 – 4:00 p.m. – Lightning talks

4:00 – 5:30 p.m. – Poster session + reception


Day 2: Wednesday May 8th – This day will showcase the use of data science in engineering and CS applications

8:30 a.m. – Registration table opens

9:00 – 9:50 a.m. – Keynote address: Jeff Wilcox, Vice President of Digital Initiatives for Lockheed Martin

Jeffrey (Jeff) Wilcox is Vice President for Digital Transformation at Lockheed Martin. He oversees the Digital Transformation Office (DTO) and is responsible for the design, development, and implementation of Lockheed Martin’s operations strategy. This office is chartered with leveraging emerging digital technologies to transform systems design, production, and sustainment and ensuring the workforce and systems are in place to enable successful transformation. Mr. Wilcox earned his Bachelor of Science degree in biomedical engineering from Case Western Reserve University and his Master of Science degree in electrical engineering from Drexel University.

10:00 – 10:15 a.m. – Coffee break

10:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Session 3 talks, order may shift

  • Jim Pfaendtner, UW Chemical Engineering, “Applications of Data Science for Bespoke Molecules”
  • Nathan Kutz, UW Applied Mathematics, “Neural networks and deep learning for the discovery of governing equations in physics and engineering”
  • Kristi Morgansen, UW “Aeronautics & Astronautics, Integrated Sensing and Actuation in Autonomous and Networked Systems”
  • Trevor Campbell, UBC Statistics, “Turning Big Data into Small Data: Summarization for Large-Scale Inference”
  • Alison Gray, UW Oceanography, “Going with the flow: Multi-scale locally stationary spatio-temporal interpolation of global ocean velocity data”

12:00 – 1:00 p.m. – Networking lunch

1:00 – 1:40 p.m. – Lightning talks

1:40 – 1:50 p.m. – Presentation of Awards

1:50 – 2:00 p.m. – Transition to breakout rooms, coffee available

2:00 – 3:30 p.m. – Breakout tutorials/discussion, concurrent sessions

  • Cloud/HYAK + GPUs tutorial – Rob Fatland & Nam Pho, UW-IT
  • Writing reproducible research with R and Markdown – Ben Marwick, UW Anthropology
  • Quantitative cell biology and communities – Joe Hellerstein, UW eScience Institute, & David Beck, UW Chemical Engineering/eScience Institute (find the agenda for this breakout session in this Google document: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1JpCl90OxIUcwIksMybo2qoALwIUFvrp50xJaP9_1wgM/edit#gid=0)
  • Deep learning – Ariel Rokem, UW eScience Institute
The planning committee chairs
Ione Fine, UW Psychology
Sasha Aravkin, UW Applied Math

The steering committee
Magda Balazinska, eScience Institute Director
Raymond Ng, University of British Columbia Computer Science
Jim Pfaendtner, Clean Energy Institute, Director and Principal Investigator of Data Intensive Research Enabling Clean Technologies (DIRECT)
Sarah Stone, eScience Institute Executive Director
Publicity Chair: Robin Brooks, eScience Institute Communications Associate

The University of British Columbia and eScience Institute logos