HDS Lab members advance to candidacy

Posted by Anissa Tanweer on January 26, 2016

HDS Lab members, Ray Hong and Katie Kuksenok, have passed their exams and advanced to PhD candidacy. Ray’s doctoral research in Human Centered Design and Engineering is focused on developing a methodology for distance cartograms, and Katie’s Computer Science dissertation is titled, “Adoption and Adaptation of Programming Practices in Oceanography.”

UW launches new data science master’s degree program

Posted by Anissa Tanweer on December 16, 2015

The University of Washington is launching a new master’s degree program in data science. The program was designed in collaboration between six UW departments and the eScience Institute, with input from data science hiring managers from around the country. HDS Lab Director, Cecilia Aragon, serves as co-chair of the UW Interdisciplinary Data Science Group that is coordinating the formation of the Master of Science in Data Science program.

The 45-credit MSDS program will launch in autumn 2016, and will accept full and part-time students. The curriculum covers a range of skills that are in high demand in today’s job market, including statistical modeling, machine learning, software engineering, data management, data visualization and user interface design. A full description of the program can be found here, and a press release is available here.

HDS Lab members earn doctoral degrees

Posted by Anissa Tanweer on December 15, 2015

Two HDS Lab members, Daniel Perry and Michael Brooks, completed their PhD’s from the Department of Human Centered Design and Engineering in 2015. After graduating, Daniel took a position as lecturer and postdoctoral scholar at UC Berkeley’s Information School, where he continues to study ways that gaming and virtual environments can be used for science learning, data visualization, and creative design practices. Michael is now a data scientist at Dato, a startup company specializing in machine learning platforms. His interests include the development of novel visual analytics techniques and systems to improve understanding of social media and communication.

HDS Lab director and members participate in Grace Hopper Celebration 2015

Posted by Anissa Tanweer on October 19, 2015
The 2015 Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC) brought together 12,000 attendees in Houston this October to celebrate women in computing and technology.  GHC is known for attracting outstanding technologists from academia and industry to share their research and insights for professional development.  This year the conference offered 15 tracks including Data Science, Human Computer Interaction, and Emerging Technologies.  GHC also features a career and community fair with hundreds of companies, universities, and non-profit organizations represented.

Cecilia Aragon co-led a workshop for graduate students as part of the series in the Career Track presented by the Computing Research Association’s Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W).  The workshop, co-led by Patty Lopez of Intel Corporation, focused on helping graduate students build self-confidence and make progress toward their ideal careers.  Both speakers shared personal experiences of overcoming fear and institutional biases.  They proposed “3 steps to success” for graduate students: 1) working every day to overcome fears, 2) relying on teachers, mentors, and friends for support, and 3) pursuing research topics that are personally interesting, regardless of the current trends.  In the interactive portion of the workshop, participants worked with partners to describe their ideal career paths, three “super powers,” and fears.  They also brainstormed measurable ways to work on overcoming their fears and self-doubt every day.  The workshop reinforced the general themes of GHC, offering insightful advice and building up a supportive community of women in technology.

HDS PhD students Nan-Chen Chen and Meg Drouhard also attended the conference, Nan-Chen as a GHC Scholar and Meg as a poster presenter for the ACM Student Research Competition.