The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Data Science Research Symposium 2019

April 24, 9:00am
UMass Campus Center Auditorium






WHAT: Fourth Annual Data Science Research Symposium

WHEN: Wednesday, April 24, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

WHERE: UMass Amherst, Campus Center Auditorium

AGENDA (check back for updates):

8:00 - 9:00 Check-in and a light breakfast
9:00 - 9:15 Opening Remarks
9:15 - 12:00 Lightning talks: seven minutes per speaker (includes 15-minute break)

  • The Long Road Ahead for Long-Term Autonomy, Shlomo Zilberstein, Professor and Associate Dean of Research & Engagement
  • Deep Learning for Disease Trajectory Modeling with Irregularly-Sampled, Multi-Resolution, Multi-Modal Data, Madalina Fiterau Brostean, Assistant Professor
  • The Flu and You: The Data Science Behind the CDC's Real-Time Influenza Forecasts, Nick Reich, Associate Professor
  • Measuring Road Quality in Developing Regions From Satellite ImageryJay Taneja, Assistant Professor 
  • Dark Ecology: Unraveling Mysterious Bird Migration Using Weather Radar and Machine Learning, Dan Sheldon, Assistant Professor
  • Opening the Black Box: Assessing the Robustness of Deep Models, David Jensen, Professor
  • Fine-Grained Algorithm Design, Barna Saha, Assistant Professor
  • The Next Step in Computer Vision: Recognizing What You Can't See, Erik Learned-Miller, Professor
  • Social Computing and Visualization to Increase Participation and Collective InnovationNarges Mahyar, Assistant Professor 
  • Embedded Data Visualizations, Ali Sarvghad, Senior Research Fellow
  • Scalable Systems for Mining and Learning over Large Graphs, Marco Serafini, Assistant Professor
  • Data Science for Common Good Initiative, Matt Rattigan, Director of Research Programs
  • Presentation of Student Awards for Search & AI, sponsored by Microsoft
  • Industry Spotlight: Raytheon 
  • Industry Spotlight: GE Healthcare
  • Industry Spotlight: Machine Metrics
  • Industry Spotlight: AuCoDe
  • Industry Spotlight: Microsoft

12:00 - 1:00 Lunch and networking
1:00 - 4:00 Industry Meet & Greet drop-in 
1:00 - 4:00 Research workshops (see abstracts below):

4:00 - 5:00 Reception


Questions? Contact


Who's coming (industry)? Alchemy Fund, Amazon, AmherstWorks, Aptima, Archipelago Investments, ArcLight Consulting, AuCoDe, Bose, C&S Wholesale Grocers, C90, Carbonite, Change Healthcare, Data Engines, Elsevier, Gandara Center, GE Healthcare, Golden Seeds,IBM, Investment Property Specialists, Kronos, Lenovo, Lexalytics, Lucd, Lumo, Machine Metrics, MassMutual, MiCoachee, Microsoft, MuyVentive, Northwestern Mutual, Optum, Oracle, Pioneer VR, PixelEdge, Prudential Financial, Raytheon, Sager Solutions, Stanley Black & Decker, State Street, Talcott Mountain Science Center, United Technologies Research Center, Veracode, Verizon, Voya Financial, Wolter Skluwer Health, City of Worcester, and more!


Who's coming (higher ed)? Amherst College, Northeastern University, San Jose State University, Smith College, UMass Amherst, UMass Dartmouth, UMass President's Office, University of Maine, University of Vermont, Western New England University, and more!


Research Workshop Abstracts


Data Science to Improve Health and Well Being

This workshop includes a tour of the UMass Institute for Applied Life Sciences

Data science is transforming the way we quantify, understand, and influence the biochemical and social systems that drive assessments and predictions of health and well being. This workshop is intended to foster a dialogue among university researchers, industry scientists, and audience members sharing an interest in the production,  collection, analysis, and use of health-related data. At UMass Amherst, the Institute for Applied Life Sciences (IALS) is in the forefront of industrial collaborations transforming life science discoveries into candidate products and services that improve human health and well being. Researchers affiliated with the Center for Data Science and the IALS Center for Personalized Health Monitoring are investigating novel sensor technologies, new data streams, and advanced algorithms at varying stages of readiness for industrial applications. Speakers will present current projects, recent advances, and broader impacts. Invited industry speakers will share their perspectives on current and emerging applications of data science to improve health and well being, and highlight challenges and opportunities for high-impact industry-university collaborative partnerships. The workshop will include time for audience participation, as well as a tour of a remarkable array of life sciences research facilities available for use by industry partners.

Agenda 1:00 - 4:00

  • Prashant Shenoy (Professor, CICS)
  • Anthony Cato (Data Scientist, UnitedHealth Group)
  • Madalina Fiterau (Assistant Professor, CICS)
  • John Kalafut (Imaging Outcomes and Solutions Leader, GE Healthcare)
  • Tauhidur Rahman (Assistant Professor, CICS)
  • Andrew Jackmauh (Chief of Staff, Center for Health Information & Analysis)
  • Soha Rostaminia (PhD candidate, CICS)
  • BREAK and Networking
  • Tour of IALS Core Facilities
  • 4:00 Reception (return to Campus Center)


Natural Language Processing: Recent Achievements and Future Directions

Computational models for representing, generating, and extracting information from natural language continue to improve year after year. Thanks to advances in machine learning, particularly deep learning, these models are able to extract and synthesize new insights from tremendous volumes of heterogeneous text sources, and do so with increasing accuracy, speed, and efficiency. In this workshop we will discuss some of the latest research results from both UMass and industry NLP scientists, consider some of the limitations of these approaches in relation to their ability to handle world knowledge and commonsense reasoning, and conclude by discussing general-purpose extensions for deep learning models trained for natural language processing tasks that can lessen these issues and, in turn, improve performance on downstream tasks.

Agenda 1:00 - 4:00

  • Andrew McCallum (Distinguished Professor and Director of the Center for Data Science)
  • Nicholas Monath (PhD Candidate, CICS), Entity resolution
  • Isaac Julien (Sr NLP Research Engineer, Bose)
  • Lorraine Li (PhD candidate, CICS) & Michael Boratko (Postdoctoral Fellow, CICS), Box Embeddings
  • T.J. Hazen (Principal Research Manager, Microsoft Research)
  • Rajarshi Das (PhD candidate, CICS), Question Answering and Reasoning
  • Bill Campbell (Applied Science Manager, Amazon) and Rahul Gupta (Applied Scientist, Amazon)
  • Discussion
  • BREAK and Networking
  • Mohit Iyyer (Assistant Professor, CICS)
  • Kalpesh Krishna (PhD candidate, CICS), Generating Question-Answer Hierarchies
  • Tim Klinger (IBM), Recursive Routing Networks: Learning to Compose Modules for Language Understanding
  • Nader Akoury (PhD candidate, CICS), Fast Decoding for Neural Machine Translation
  • Michael Wick (Oracle)
  • 4:00 Reception


Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality: Today and Tomorrow

This workshop addresses broad question about the current state and future directions of Virtual (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies, as well as the digital materials that are used within them.  Over the past decade, there have been tremendous innovations in these technologies, and companies are making substantial investments for future use in the education, gaming, health, and scientific arenas, among others.  However, how these technologies will impact our lives remains an open question and requires dialogue among stakeholders, such as academics, researchers, entrepreneurs, and technology-development companies. At UMass Amherst, the VR/AR Working Group comprises faculty, students, staff, entrepreneurs and company representatives who seek to map out a future for these technologies in the New England region and beyond.  This workshop will feature eight speakers from UMass Amherst and industry, including Wayfair, Bose, and Lenovo. The first half of the workshop will focus on short (10 min) talks that address the future of these technologies from an academic and commercial point of view. After a short break, we will feature exciting VR and AR demos from the Digital Media Lab at UMass Amherst, as well as from various companies. Attendees will also have the opportunity to network and talk with the speakers and other attendees about both hardware and software related to AR and VR.

Agenda 1:00 - 4:00

  • Duncan Irschick (Professor, Biology) and Brant Cheikes (Executive Director, Center for Data Science)
  • Ajla Aksamilja (Associate Professor, Architecture)
  • Patrick Clark (Senior Technical Artist, Wayfair)
  • Eric Poehler (Associate Professor, Classics)
  • Mrudula Athi (DSP Engineer, Bose), Machine Learning on the Edge: Challenges Facing Wearable Devices
  • Vangelis Kalogerakis (Assistant Professor, CICS)
  • Michael Ronan (Industry Solutions Executive, Lenovo)
  • Timothy Landry (Regional Director of Scientific Partnerships, Labster)
  • Shane Mecklenburger (Assistant Professor, Art), Double Zero: a VR artwork commissioned by the Digital Museum of Digital Art
  • BREAK and Networking
  • Demo/Poster/Networking session
  • 4:00 Reception