UVA Data Points

a podcast exploring the world of data science

Latest Episodes

WikiProject Biography

November 21, 2022

WikiProject Biography

This bonus episode features a conversation between Lane Rasberry, Wikimedian-In-Residence at the UVA School of Data Science, and Lloyd Sy, a Ph.D. candidate in the UVA Department of English. In this conversation, Lane and Lloyd take a deep dive into the expansive world of Wikidata and ask the existential question, "What makes a person a person?" Or, more specifically, what data points make up a person? To help answer this question, Lloyd developed a large-scale data model of the biographical data contained within the Wikidata platform. This project serves as the foundation for their conversation. They also take a wide view of biographical data as it pertains to research and academia, including the process of gathering the data, the ethics of utilizing the data, personal ownership of the data, and much more. Anyone interested in these concepts should find this discussion valuable. Links: WikiProject Biography Music: "Screen Saver" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 Licensehttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ ...

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00:36:42

Reshaping Cloud Platforms with Microservices

November 01, 2022

Reshaping Cloud Platforms with Microservices

This episode on Systems explores the challenges of cloud computing within the framework of biomedical research. Phil Bourne, Dean of the UVA School of Data Science, speaks with computational biologist and associate professor Nathan Sheffield about a paper they co-wrote on systemic issues from cloud platforms that do not support FAIRness, including platform lock-in, poor integration across platforms, and duplicated efforts for users and developers. They suggest instead prioritizing microservices and access to modular data in smaller chunks or summarized form. Emphasizing modularity and interoperability would lead to a more powerful Unix-like ecosystem of web services for biomedical analysis and data retrieval. The two discuss how funders, developers, and researchers can support microservices as the next generation of cloud-based bioinformatics. From Cloud Computing to Microservices: Next Steps in FAIR Data and Analysis https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36075919/ ...

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00:41:01

Future Home of the UVA School of Data Science

October 26, 2022

Future Home of the UVA School of Data Science

The UVA School of Data Science was formed in September 2019 and has since grown in its collaborations, partnerships, program offerings, and teaching and research personnel. We are now constructing a new facility that will house the School of Data Science at the University of Virginia. The new building is in the first phase of development and, once complete, will link the University's Central Grounds with the athletic fields and North Grounds. The 60,000-square-foot building is the future home of the UVA School of Data Science and will serve as the gateway to the new Emmet-Ivy Corridor and the Discovery Nexus. This bonus episode is a conversation between UVA architect Alice Raucher and Mike Taylor, a principal with Hopkins Architects. Both Alice and Mike have been instrumental in the building’s design. Alice has also played a key role in the development of the Ivy Corridor. Mike and Alice take a deep dive into the thought process behind the building’s design, its relationship to the University and its history, the land's unique topography, and its significance to future projects along the Ivy Corridor.  Links: Hopkins Architects School of Data Science New Building Website ...

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00:37:12

Exploring the Popol Vuh with Allison Bigelow and Raf Alvardo

October 01, 2022

Exploring the Popol Vuh with Allison Bigelow and Raf Alvardo

Rafael Alvarado and Allison Bigelow discuss the Multepal project, which focuses on decolonization and the digital humanities through encoding the Popol Vuh, the Mayan book of creation, and other indigenous texts. Their research connects the humanities to data science by framing digitization and data design as interpretive acts that can have far reaching consequences for our understanding of history and society.   Multepal Links: Digital Edition of the Popol Vuh: https://multepal.github.io/app-aanalte/xom-all-flat-mod-pnums-lbids.html Multepal Project: https://multepal.spanitalport.virginia.edu/ Multepal GitHub: https://github.com/Multepal Books Mentioned: Mining Language by Allison Bigelow  ...

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00:47:24

Creating a Biased-Free Job Board with Matthew Thomas

September 15, 2022

Creating a Biased-Free Job Board with Matthew Thomas

This bonus episode features Matthew Thomas, a data scientist at Inclusively and a graduate of the UVA M.S. in Data Science program. He talks about how Inclusively works to create and maintain a job board designed specifically for job seekers with disabilities. Matthew explains how typical job boards come with many built-in biases that can screen out qualified individuals without them even knowing. He discusses the challenges of removing biases from algorithms and the importance of honesty and self-criticism when examining a data science project. As Cathy O’Neil challenged in Episode 1 of UVA Data Points, we should always ask ourselves, “For whom does this fail?” Matthew’s work is a good illustration of this sentiment in practice. In addition to discussing his work, Matthew also gives solid career advice for anyone seeking a similar career path in data science. ...

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00:28:56

Ethical Data Science with Cathy O'Neil

September 01, 2022

Ethical Data Science with Cathy O'Neil

UVA Data Points sits down with Cathy O'Neil, author of Weapons of Math Destruction, and Brian Wright, Assistant Professor of Data Science at the University of Virginia. The candid dialogue ranges from O'Neil's new book The Shame Machine to her work as an algorithm audit consultant. The two also draw comparisons between data science problems and knitting, as well as discuss educating future data scientists. Links: https://mathbabe.org (Cathy O'Neil's website)  https://datascience.virginia.edu (UVA School of Data Science website) Books mentioned: The Shame Machine Weapons of Math Destruction  ...

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00:27:16

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