UW Data Science Seminar
Showcasing data science in the arts, engineering, humanities and sciences

The UW Data Science Seminar is an annual lecture series at the University of Washington that hosts scholars working across applied areas of data science, such as the sciences, engineering, humanities and arts along with methodological areas in data science, such as computer science, applied math and statistics. Our presenters come from all domain fields and include occasional external speakers from regional partners, governmental agencies and industry.

All seminars will be hosted virtually for the 2020-2021 academic year, and are free and open to the public.

Students may opt to sign up for a one credit seminar (CR/NCR) listed as CHEM E 599, “Topics in Data Science” or sometimes “Current Topics in Chemical Engineering.”

Note: As of Fall 2020, the eScience Community Seminar has merged with this seminar series. For info on past eScience Community Seminars please visit this page.

Please use this zoom link for the Fall 2020 UW Data Science Seminar events.

Invitation for Fall 2020 presenters – apply here!

Fall 2020 Talks

Oct 27 “Application of a Robust Framework for neuroImaging Based Experimental Routines (FIBER) for Integrating Domain and Data Science” & “Reading Between the Lines: Mining, Normalization and Modeling of Scientific Text for the Discovery of Novel Functional Compounds”
Two early career data science researchers from UW share their latest work: Hawley Helmbrecht (Chemical Engineering) and Orion Dollar (Clean Energy Institute)
Oct 20 NW Data Science Seminar “No evidence of arctic-boreal lake greening” & “Applications of Adaptive Experimentation”
Two early career data science researchers from UW share their latest work: Catherine Kuhn (Environmental Sciences) and Lalit Jain (Business)
Oct 13 “Fast, Accurate, and Fully Automated Protein Complex Structure Prediction from 3D Cryo-EM and Sequence”
Dong Si, Assistant Professor, Computing and Software Systems at UW Bothell
Oct 6 “2020 Data Science for Social Good Projects” 
Two teams present on identifying coronavirus disinformation risk on news websites, and detecting vote dilution with new tools and methods for protecting voting rights.                 


June 3 “A History of the Demo and a Future for the Essay”
Warren Sack, Film and Digital Media Professor at the University of California Santa Cruz
May 27 “Uncovering the hidden wealth of physiological information in field potentials” 
Brad Voytek, Associate Professor in the Department of Cognitive Science, the Halıcıoğlu Data Science Institute, and the Neurosciences Graduate Program at UC San Diego                 

2019 Talks

Jan 24 A photo of Stuart Geiger “Documenting data science and documentation in data science: an ethnographic exploration”
Stuart Geiger, Ethnographer at Berkeley Institute for Data Science; Distinguished Young Academic Data Scientist (DYADS) speaker
Jan 31 A photo of Nitin Baliga “Systems approach to cancer, infectious disease, the environment, and education”
Nitin Baliga, Senior Vice President, Director, and Professor at the Institute for Systems Biology
Feb 7 A photo of Stephen Jordan “Quantum and quantum-inspired methods for non-convex optimization”
Stephen Jordan, Senior Researcher, Microsoft
Feb 28 A photo of Dan NakMorris “Computer vision challenges in wildlife conservation
Dan Morris, Principal Researcher, Microsoft AI for Earth
Apr 3 A photo of Bhramar Mukheree “The battle of two cultures: statistics versus (?) data science”
Bhramar Mukherjee, Ph.D., John D. Kalbfleisch Collegiate Professor of Biostatistics, University of Michigan
May 15 A photo of Alexander Franks “Multi-group covariance estimation with applications to ‘omics data’”
Alexander Franks, Assistant Professor, Department of Statistics and Applied Probability, University of California, Santa Barbara
May 22 A photo of Paul Dourish “The life of data in the city”
Paul Dourish, Chancellor’s Professor of Informatics and Associate Dean for Research in the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences, University of California, Irvine
May 29 A photo of Casey Fiesler “Data is people: ethical considerations in data collection and use”
Casey Fiesler, Assistant Professor, Department of Information Science, University of Colorado Boulder
Nov 19 “R and friends for better science in less time in big (and small) team collaborations”
Julia Stewart Lowndes, Ph.D., marine ecologist, data scientist, and Mozilla Fellow at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), USA.
Dec 3 Euclidean Neural Networks* for Emulating Ab Initio Calculations and Generating Atomic Geometries
Tess Smidt, Ph.D., Alvarez Postdoctoral Fellow in Computing Sciences at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.


2018 Talks

Mar 28 A photo of Danah Boyd “Vulnerabilities in a sociotechnical society”
danah boyd, Principal Researcher Microsoft Research
Apr 11 A photo of Jack Horn “Making data science training resources FAIR” John Darrell Van Horn, the USC Mark and Mary Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute and the Laboratory of Neuro Imaging
Apr 25 A photo of Meredith Broussard “Artificial unintelligence: How computers misunderstand the world”
Meredith Broussard, Assistant Professor, Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute of New York University
May 23 Data science, AI, and big data analytics for global good and social impact” Uyi Stewart, Director of Global Development Strategy, Data, & Analytics
May 30 A photo of Nathan Price “Mining personal, dense, dynamic data clouds to enhance health and drive discovery”
Nathan Price, Professor & Associate Director of the Institute for Systems Biology
Jun 27 A photo of Shou-De Lin “Can machines do more than learning?”
Shou-De Lin, Professor, Computer Science and Information Engineering (CSIE), Graduate Institute of Networking and Multimedia, National Taiwan University
Oct 2 A photo of Zan Armstrong “Data visualization for analysis & discovery”
Zan Armstrong, Data Visualization Designer and Engineer Google
Nov 11 A photo of Francis Bach “Can machine learning survive the artificial intelligence revolution?”
Francis Bach, Distinguished Visiting Faculty of the NSF-TRIPODS Algorithmic Foundations of Data Science Institute
Nov 14 A photo of Reza Hosseini Ghomi “Digital biomarkers: Do they hold promise for better neuropsychiatric disease detection?”
Reza Hosseini Ghomi, Director, DigiPsych Lab, and Chief Medical Officer for NeuroLex Laboratories
Dec 4 A photo of Justin Kitzes “Measuring and predicting biodiversity loss on a changing planet”
Justin Kitzes, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh

2017 Talks

Jan 11 Susan Murphy “Assessing moderated effects of mobile health interventions on behavior”
Susan Murphy University of Michigan
Jan 18 Paul Ginsparg “Adventures in little data”
Paul Ginsparg Cornell Unviersity
Feb 13 Fatma (Imamoglu) Deniz “Cross-modal semantic representation in the human brain”
Fatma (Imamoglu) Deniz UC Berkeley Distinguished Young Academic Data Scientist (DYADS) speaker
Feb 22 Kelsey Jordahl “Mosaicking the earth every day”
Kelsey Jordahl Planet Labs
Apr 5 Sir Philip Campbell “Pressures on principal investigators and their need of support: A consultation”
Sir Philip Campbell Nature Publishing
Apr 19 Alexandra Paxton “Human communication at the intersection of cognitive science and data science”
Alexandra Paxton University of California, Berkeley Distinguished Young Academic Data Scientist (DYADS) speaker
Apr 26 Nathan Baker “Uncertainty in biomolecular solvation”
Nathan Baker PNNL
Oct 18 “Is basketball scoring just a random walk?”
Sid Redner, Professor Santa Fe Institute
Oct 25 “The statistical crisis in science”
Andrew Gelman, Professor of Statistics and Political Science Columbia University
Nov 29 A photo of Titus Brown “Investigating shredded libraries and recovered books: Methods and observations”
C. Titus Brown, Associate Professor UC Davis Genome Center
Dec 6 A photo of Chris Fonnesbeck “Bayesian models for evidence-based medicine using PyMC3”
Christopher Fonnesbeck, Assistant Professor of Biostatistics Vanderbilt University

2016 Talks

Jan 6 Andrea L. Bertozzi “Geometric graph-based methods for high dimensional data”
Andrea L. Bertozzi Professor, Department of Mathematics, UCLA
Jan 27  Carter Butts “Inferring complex behavioral mechanisms in difficult places”
Carter Butts Professor, Department of Sociology, UC Irvine
Feb 24  Joshua Tucker “Turning the virtual tables: Social media, opposition, and government responses in Russia and Venezuela”
Joshua Tucker Professor, Department of Politics, NYU
Feb 25  Jeff Dozier “Machine learning on images: Combining passive microwave and optical data to estimate snow water equivalent in Afghanistan’s Hindu Kush”
Jeff Dozier Professor, School of Environmental Science & Management, UC Santa Barbara
Apr 20  Martin Krzywinski “Seeing networks change”
Martin Krzywinski Genome Sciences Centre, BC Cancer Agency
May 11  Rob Knight “Co-evolution of tools and data in the microbiome space”
Rob Knight Professor, Departments of Pediatrics and Computer Science and Engineering, UC San Diego
Jun 1  Donna Cox “Communicating science to the public through data visualizations and non-fiction narratives”
Donna Cox Director of the Advanced Visualization Laboratory, NCSA
Oct 5  Ben Shneiderman “The new ABCs of research: Achieving breakthrough collaborations”
Ben Shneiderman Distinguished Professor, University of Maryland
Nov 2  Rob Axtell “Computationally-enabled public policy using comprehensive data”
Rob Axtell Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study, George Mason University
Nov 16  Matthew J. Salganik “Social research in the age of big data”
Matthew J. Salganik Professor of Sociology, Princeton University

2015 Talks

Jan 14 Jon Kleinberg “Algorithms for analyzing on-line social network data”
Jon Kleinberg Professor, Cornell University
Feb 4 Amanda Cox “Data visualization at The New York Times”
Amanda Cox New York Times
Feb 4 Christopher Ré “DeepDive: A data system for macroscopic science”
Christopher Ré Assistant Professor, Stanford University
Feb 11 Ankur Teredesai “HealthScope++: A Data Scientist’s microscope…”
Ankur Teredesai Professor, University of Washington, Tacoma
Feb 18 Sendhil Mullainathan “Prediction in social science”
Sendhil Mullainathan Professor, Harvard University
Feb 25 Martin Wattenberg “Simplicity, complexity, and duplicity in visualizations”
Martin Wattenberg Co-Director of the “Big Picture” Visualization Group, Google
Mar 4 Michael Kurtz “The emerging scholarly brain (with applications)”
Michael Kurtz Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Harvard University
Mar 18 Eli Shlizerman “Dynamic data meets neuronal networks”
Eli Shlizerman Assistant Professor, University of Washington
Apr 22 Lada Adamic “The strange paths that information takes”
Lada Adamic Computational Social Scientist, Facebook
Apr 29  César Hidalgo “Why information grows: The evolution of order, from atoms to economies”
César Hidalgo Director, Macro Connections Group, MIT Media Lab
May 5  Sinan Aral “Professor, MIT Sloan School of Management”
Sinan Aral
Sep 30  Tamara Munzner “Visualization analysis and design”
Tamara Munzner Professor, University of British Columbia
Dec 2  Oren Etzioni “Semantic scholar: Re-defining literature search”
Oren Etzioni CEO of the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence
Dec 9  James A. Evans “From big data to big questions”
James A. Evans Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Chicago

2014 Talks

Apr 23 Hal Varian “Machine learning and econometrics”
Hal Varian Chief Economist, Google
Apr 16 Pat Hanrahan “People, data and analysis”
Pat Hanrahan Professor, Stanford University & Co-Founder, Tableau Software
May 21 Arfon Smith “What academia can learn from open source”
Arfon Smith Scientist, GitHub & Co-Founder, Zooniverse
Oct 8 Jure Leskovec “Can cascades be predicted?”
Jure Leskovec Assistant Professor, Stanford University
Oct 15 Cynthia Rudin “Associate Professor, MIT”
Cynthia Rudin Associate Professor, MIT
Oct 30 Marti Hearst “Seeking simplicity in search user interfaces”
Marti Hearst Professor, UC Berkeley


This seminar is currently organized and hosted by the eScience Institute and the Engineering Data Science Institute (EDSI). We are grateful for the support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

The eScience Institute, iSchool DataLab, and CSE Interactive Data Lab co-created and hosted this seminar series from 2014-2019.

Email list

If you would like to be notified of upcoming speakers and announcements, you can join our email list. We will keep announcements to a minimum.


For questions about the seminar series, please email David Beck at the eScience Institute.