Data Science Nights @ Northwestern

KICKOFF MEETING: November 6, 6:30pm in Chambers Hall, Evanston

LECTURE: Introduction to Machine Learning

Data Science Nights are monthly hack nights on popular data science topics, organized by fellows and scholars from the Northwestern Data Science Initiative. Each night will feature one hour of structured programming followed by a hacking night with data science projects or learning groups of your choice.

Aspiring, beginning, and advanced data scientists are welcome!

Want to suggest or lead a topic or project or learning group?

See more at:

Tentative Agenda:

6:30 - 6:40: Welcome
6:40 - 7:20: Adam Miller (LSSTC Data Science Fellow)
"Scikit-learn Soup to Nuts: Developing a Machine-Learning Workflow"
7:20 - 7:40: Refreshments. Introduce groups and hack pitches.
7:40: Form groups. Hacking until the end.


IDEO buys Chicago data science firm Datascope, founded by NU Alumni Dean Malmgren and Mike Stringer

November 2017

This month IDEO has acquired the Chicago-based data science firm Datascope. Datascope was founded by Northwestern University Alumni Dean Malgrem and Mike Stringer, who received PhD’s in 2009 under the advisement of Luis Amaral-- in Chemical and Biological Engineering and Physics respectively. In addition, Dean Malgrem was a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Amaral Lab and Mike Stringer was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at NICO in 2011 prior to forming Datascope.

IDEO is planning a new offering called Design for Augmented Intelligence and has added 15 data scientists from Datascope with this acquisition. Datascope scientists will be integrated into IDEO's project teams, with data scientists working side by side with researchers, engineers, and interactive designers.

From Fast Company:

“We’ve been talking from the perspective of design, and how [data science] influences design, but this is the edge of data science, too,” Stringer says. “Data scientists have an enormous amount to learn from human-centered design community. This is also the frontier for data science: to figure out how to apply the skills and abilities that data scientists typically have in service of people’s needs.”

Further Reading:

IDEO Press Release
Crain's Chicago Business article
Fast Company article


Do Earthquakes Have a ‘Tell’?

McCormick Engineering News, October 2017

Researchers have long had good reason to believe that earthquakes are inherently unpredictable. But a new finding from Northwestern University might be a seismic shift for that old way of thinking.

An interdisciplinary team led by Kevin Chao, a Northwestern Data Science Scholar and seismologist, recently discovered that "slow earthquakes," which release energy over a period of hours to months, could potentially lead to nearby “regular earthquakes.” The finding could help seismologists better forecast some strong earthquakes set to occur within a certain window of time, enabling warnings and other preparations that may save lives.

Read More

Wherever you look, there is talk of the revolution being brought about by "Big Data." But is Big Data just a fad, as its critics contend, or is there something at its core that is here to stay with us?

Well before the term was coined, particle physicists were driven to Big Data challenges by the necessity of their large-scale detectors and produced datasets. Now however, we live in a world where not just the amount, but also the diversity and complexity of digital information continues to grow exponentially. Materials simulations and astronomy images are pushing the boundaries of exploration. Social networks enable the exchange of information between people; medical devices and e-commerce record the exchange of information between people and machines; GPS devices and bar code scanners allow the exchange of information between machines.