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 arts, engineering, humanities and sciences 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.

The 2022-2023 seminars are offered online, 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.”  The for-credit seminar course is “in person.”

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 2022 UW Data Science Seminar events.

If you would like to participate in the 2022-2023 seminar series, please fill out this form.

2022 Talks – Fall


Oct 4 “Envision a Humanistic Turn in Data Studies: A case study of Spatial Data Science”
Bo Zhao, Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Washington


2022 Talks – Spring

Apr 6 2022 Winter Incubator
Final presentations from this year’s data science incubator projects: Zoe Krauss (Oceanography)

  • View Zoe Krauss’s presentation here
Apr 13 2022 Winter Incubator
Final presentations from this year’s data science incubator projects: Katie Gonser (International Studies) and Sierra Schleufer (Neuroscience)

  • View Katie Gonser’s presentation here
Apr 20 Title TBD
Adam Glaser, Senior Scientist from the Allen Institute for Neural Dynamics

  • View Adam Glaser’s presentation here
Apr 27 “Evolution of Multisite Neuroimaging Analysis: Advancements through the Enhancing Neuroimaging Genetics through Meta Analysis (ENIGMA) Consortium and LoBeS”
Neda Jahanshad, Associate Professor of Neurology and Biomedical Engineering and Principal Investigator at the Laboratory of Brain eScience (LoBeS) at USC

  • View Neda Jahanshad’s presentation here
May 4 Photo of Ting Cao “Machine Learning Quantum Materials”
Ting Cao, Assistant Professor of Materials Science & Engineering at the University of Washington
May 11 “Star Sounder: An Auditory Exploration of the Milky Way”
Juan Pampin (UW DXARTS), Daniela Huppenkothen (SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research), James Davenport (UW Astronomy), and James Wenlock (UW Computational Auricular Acoustics)
May 18 2022 Winter Incubator
Final presentation from this year’s data science incubator projects: Ali Chase (Applied Physics Laboratory)

  • View Ali Chase’s presentation here
May 20 “Historical Trends in English Sentence Length & Syntactic Complexity”
Mark Liberman, Professor of Linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania, and Director of the Linguistic Data Consortium

  • View Mark Liberman’s presentation here
May 25 “Behavior-Driven Optimization for Interactive Data Exploration”
Leilani Battle, Assistant Professor at the UW Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering, and co-director of the Interactive Data Lab
Jun 1 “Tackling Climate Change with Machine Learning”
Priya L. Donti, PhD Candidate at Carnegie Mellon University and co-founder and chair of Climate Change AI

  • View Priya Donti’s presentation here


2022 Talks – Winter

Jan 6 “Can Large Scale Information Access Systems Be Made Fair, Unbiased, and Transparent?”
Chirag Shah, Associate Professor at the Information School at the University of Washington and Founding Director of InfoSeeking Lab

  • Veiw Chirag Shah’s presintation here
Jan 20 “Artificial Judgement Assistance from teXt (AJAX): Applying Open Domain Question Answering to Nuclear Non-proliferation Analysis”
Megha Subramanian and Alejandro Zuniga, data scientists from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL)

  • To view this presentation click here
Jan 27 “Bayesian Meta-Prior Learning Using Empirical Bayes”
Sareh Nabi, postdoctoral scholar at Amazon’s sponsored ads team
Feb 3 “From Pixels to People: 3D Urban Form and Mental Well-Being”
Karen Chen, Postdoctoral Fellow at the School of the Environment at Yale University
Feb 10 “Understanding the streetscape and human well-being through spatial data science”
Xiaojiang Li, Assistant Professor of Geography & Urban Studies at Temple University
Feb 17 “Data center energy use: Knowns, unknowns, and how estimates are made”
Eric Masanet, Professor and Mellichamp Chair in Sustainability Science for Emerging Technologies at UC Santa Barbara

  • View Eric Masanet’s presentation here
Feb 24 “Localizing data-driven climate and health adaptation: downscaling from international to individual”
Evan Mallen, ORISE Fellow at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Mar 3 “Applications of spatial and data-driven approaches in urban environmental exposure modeling for public health”
S.M. Labib, Assistant Professor of Data Science & Environmental Health at Utrecht University


2021 Talks – Fall

Oct 5 “Building a toolbox for studying marine ecology using large ocean sonar datasets”
Wu-Jung Lee, Senior Oceanographer at the UW Applied Physics Laboratory

  • View Wu-Jung Lee’s presentation here
Oct 12 “2021 Data Science for Social Good Projects”
Two teams present on the impacts of Seattle’s $15 minimum wage, and ensemble methods for computational redistricting of congressional voting districts.

  • View the “Developing Ensemble Methods for Initial Districting Plan Evaluation” presentation here
  • View the “Geography, Equity, and the Seattle $15 minimum wage ordinance” presentation here
Oct 26 “Correcting coarse-resolution weather and climate models by machine learning from global storm-resolving simulations”
Brian Henn, Machine Learning Scientist with the AI2 Climate Modeling team

  • View Brian Henn’s presentation here
Nov 2 The seminar this week has been cancelled.
Nov 9 “Understanding decadal variability in global lake water storage using satellite data and modelling”
Fangfang Yao, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado, Boulder

  • View Fangfang Yao’s presentation here
Nov 16 “You May Not Have Noticed, but Your Neural Network Did: Machine Learning from Simulated Enzyme Variants”
Tucker Burgin, Chemical Engineering Postdoctoral Fellow at the eScience Institute &
“Giving Attention to Generative Models for De Novo Molecular Design”
Orion Dollar, UW Chemical Engineering PhD candidate

  • View Tucker Burgin’s presentation here
  • View Orion Dollar’s presentation here
Nov 30 “Cautiously Constructing Charts” 
Michael Correll, Senior Research Scientist at Tableau Research

  • View Michael Correll’s presentation here
Dec 8 “Data-Intensive Geospatial Understanding in the Era of AI and CyberGIS”
Shaowen Wang, Professor and Head of the Department of Geography & Geographic Information Science at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (co-sponsored with the UW School of Environmental & Forest Sciences)


2021 Talks – Winter & Spring

May 26 “Data Integration Across Space and Time to Infer Biodiversity Dynamics”
Rosemary Gillespie, Professor & Schlinger Chair of Systemic Entomology, UC Berkeley & “Diversity in Animal Response to Environmental Change”
Shelly Trigg, Research Scientist, Gloucester Marine Genomics Institute; Former UW Data Science Postdoctoral Fellow

  • View their presentations here
May 19 A photo of Shima Abadi “Listening to the Ocean: Sound of Rain and Wind”
Shima Abadi, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering (UW Bothell)

  • View Shima Abadi’s presentation here
May 12 “Learning Quadratic Games on Networks”
Yan Leng, Assistant Professor at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin
May 5 “Computational Modeling of Human Behavior for Health and Wellbeing”
Afsaneh Doryab, Assistant Professor of Systems and Information Engineering at the University of Virginia

  • View Afsaneh Doryab’s presentation here
Apr 28 “Evaluating the Mobilization Effect of Online Political Network Structures: A Comparison between the Black Lives Matter Network and Ideal Type Network Configurations”
Yuan Hsiao, PhD candidate (UW Sociology) and Masters student (UW Statistics)

  • View Yuan Hsiao’s presentation here
Apr 21 Winter Incubator Projects
Final presentations from this year’s data science incubator projects: Bree Bang-Jensen (Political Science) and Gabriel Wisswaesser (Environmental & Forest Sciences)
Apr 14 Winter Incubator Projects
Final presentations from this year’s data science incubator projects: David Diaz (Environmental & Forest Sciences Engineering)

  • View David Diaz’s presentation here
Apr 7 Winter Incubator Projects
Presentations from this year’s data science incubator projects: Wei-Yi Cheng (Atmospheric Sciences) and Jennifer Hsiao (Biology)

  • View their presentation here
Mar 31 Winter Incubator Projects
Presentations from this year’s data science incubator projects: Dhruv Balwada (Oceanography) and Aji John (Biology)

  • View their presentation here
Mar 11 Photo of Hamed Alemohammad “Radiant MLHub: an Ecosystem to Advance Machine Learning Applications in Earth Science”
Hamed Alemohammad, Executive Director and Chief Data Scientist at the nonprofit organization Radiant Earth

  • View Hammed Alemohammad’s presentation here
Mar 4 “Fusing Confusing Data Streams: Insight into Seattle’s Transportation System”
Chase Dowling, Applied Scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

  • View Chase Dowling’s presentation here
Feb 25 “Leveraging Real-World Data to Move Mountains in Medicine”
Daniel Low, Associate Professor at UW Medicine and Anesthesiologist at Seattle Children’s Hospital

  • View Daniel Low’s presentation here
Feb 18 The seminar this week has been cancelled.
Feb 11 Dr. Sarah Ketchley “They Came to Egypt: Databases and Digital Editions of 19th Century Nile Travelogues”
Sarah Ketchley, Egyptologist and art history scholar in the Department of Near Eastern Languages & Civilization at UW

  • View Sarah Ketchley’s presentation here
Feb 4 “Building containerized workflows using the BioDepot-workflow-builder”
Ka Yee Yeung, Professor in the School of Engineering and Technology at UW Tacoma, and Adjunct Professor of Microbiology at UW SeattleView Ka Yee Yeung’s presentation here
Jan 28 “Towards naturalistic human neuroscience and neuroengineering”
Steven Peterson, postdoctoral scholar currently studying electrocorticography (ECoG) recordings during naturalistic movements

  • View Steven Peterson’s presentation here
Jan 21 “Embedding neural networks into large Earth systems models”
Andrew Bennett, PhD candidate at the UW Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering

  • View Andrew Bennett’s presentation here
Jan 14 “GPU or FPGA-accelerated AI Inference as a service for LHC physics”
Shih-Chieh Hsu, UW Associate Professor of Physics and a member of the UW Elementary Particle Experiment Group

  • View Shih-Chieh Hsu’s presentation here
Jan 7 “Using Data to Improve Equity”
Jeanne Holm, Deputy Mayor for Budget and Innovation for the City of Los Angeles

  • View Jeanne Holm’s presentation here.


2020 Talks

Dec 8 Dr. Alexander Szalay “From Sky Surveys to Cancer: Spatial Data is Everywhere”
Alexander Szalay, Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Physics, Astronomy and Computer Science at The Johns Hopkins University

  • View Alexander Szalay’s presentation here.
Dec 1 Vikas Rao Pejaver “Noisy positive-unlabeled machine learning for genetic variant interpretation”
Vikas Rao Pejaver, Moore-Sloan & WRF Innovation in Data Science Fellow, Department of Biomedical Informatics and Medical Education at UW

  • View Vikas Rao Pejaver’s presentation here
Nov 17 Lak Lakshmanan “Image embeddings of weather forecast images for search, interpolation, and clustering”
Lak Lakshmanan, Director for Data Analytics and AI Solutions on Google Cloud and former Director of Data Science at Climate Corporation and a Research Scientist at NOAA

  • View Lak Lakshmanan’s presentation here.
Nov 10 Dr. Talitha Washington “Why We Can’t Wait: Using Social Justice to Transform Data Science”
Talitha Washington, Full Professor of Mathematics at Clark Atlanta University and Director of the Atlanta University Center Data Science Initiative

  • View Talitha Washington’s presentation here.
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)

  • View Hawley Helmbrecht’s presentation here.
  • View Orion Dollar’s presentation here.
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)

  • View Catherine Kuhn’s presentation here.
  • View Lalit Jain’s presentation here.
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

  • View Dong Si’s presentation here.
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.

  • View “Identifying Coronavirus Disinformation Online” here.
  • View “eiCompare: Making Every Vote Count” here.
Jun 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.