#DataHackWorkshop Speakers


Speakers

Meredith Lee

Executive Director
West Big Data Innovation Hub

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Meredith is the Executive Director of the West Big Data Innovation Hub, a consortium launched by the National Science Foundation to address societal challenges with Big Data innovation. Dr. Lee previously served as a AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency (HSARPA), guiding strategic research in graph analytics, risk assessment, machine learning, data visualization, and distributed computing. She co-led the White House Innovation for Disaster Response and Recovery Initiative as well as the Ideation Community of Practice, a network of Federal innovators from more than 25 agencies. Meredith completed her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at Stanford University and was a postdoctoral researcher at the Canary Center for Cancer Early Detection. She was previously at MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Intel, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, and Agilent Laboratories. Dr. Lee is a co-founder of NationOfMakers.org, past president of the Stanford Optical Society of America/SPIE, and served on the first Steering Committee for the National Photonics Initiative. Her work has been featured by whitehouse.gov, Make:, ArsTechnica, The Washington Post, Forbes, and Fast Company.
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Erin Robinson

WBDIH Co-Principal Investigator | Executive Director, Foundation for Earth Science

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Erin is a natural connector who’s passionate about fostering innovation through collaboration. During the last 10 years she has created communities and programs with lasting impact around science data and technology. Erin has honed her expertise across community management, grant writing information architecture and Earth science. As the Executive Director for the Foundation for Earth Science, Erin facilitates virtual and in-person collaboration across economic sectors to expedite progress toward data interoperability, envisioning and realizing new programs, and articulating their value to funders to ensure continued success of the programs.
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Kerry Dew

President, UGE Inc.

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Kerry is currently the President of UGE Inc. A company founded to foster technical excellence in our communities and economies through bootcamps, hackathons, , individual career development and more. This organization works closely with Utah Geek Events, a non-profit and zero-budget company Kerry co-founded and she is proud of its rich history and 12-years delivering no-cost, high quality events to the Utah tech community including Utah Code Camp, Big Mountain Data, and Kids Code Con,

A foundation of this work, is Kerry’s passion for promoting women. She is a steering committee member of the 2016 Rocky Mountain Celebration of Women in Computing and a supporter of the NCWIT Aspirations in Computing. Kerry was also a core member of the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce Workforce Development Committee.

Kerry’s professional career includes promoting technical training, people development through the professional services industry, healthcare data analysis and BI, as well as molecular biology research, and teaching as an adjunct professor at Westminster College. Kerry holds a master’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Healthcare Administration from Westminster College and an undergraduate degree in Biology with a Molecular emphasis from the University of Utah.
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Matthew Jones

Director of Informatics Research and Development, National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, UC Santa Barbara

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Matthew Jones is the Director of Informatics Research and Development at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis at UC Santa Barbara, where he serves as PI for the NSF Arctic DataCenter and co-PI for the DataONE federation of data repositories.  His research has focused on creating open science solutions to data and software challenges that have historically impeded large scale scientific synthesis. Recent projects have produced effective software for information management and analysis, including metadata standards, data management software, and data analysis software such as scientific workflow systems. Jones has contributed to community development in data science by organizing the Open Science Codefest hackathon and the OpenScience for Synthesis training program, as well as dozens of short courses on data science over the last decade.
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Doug Hayes

CEO, Junto Health

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Investor turned entrepreneur with experience in business development, sales & marketing, fundraising, and operations.

Operational experience in seed stage startups, mature organizations, small boutiques, and high-growth companies. Hide Bio


Daniel Mietchen

Bioinformatics Researcher, Contractor - National Institutes of Health

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Daniel Mietchen is a biophysicist interested in integrating research workflows with the World Wide Web, particularly through open licensing, open standards, public version histories and forkability. With research activities spanning from the subcellular to the organismic level, from fossils to developing embryos, and from insect larvae to elephants, he experienced multiple shades of the research cycle and a variety of approaches to collaboration and sharing in research contexts. He has also been contributing to Wikipedia and its sister projects for more than a decade and is actively engaged in increasing the interactions between the Wikimedia and research communities. All of this informs his current activities around data science as a contractor for the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
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Jane Wyngaard

Research Data Technologist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory / Notre Dame University

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Jane Wyngaard is an Electronics Engineer with a passion for open source technologies that enable Earth Science. She completed an undergraduate degree in Mechatronics Engineering at the University of Cape Town, followed by a Doctorate of Science in engineering, focused on microprocessor design for Scientific High Performance Computing at the same. This most recently led to her continuing to work in the domain between technology and the Sciences as a post-doctoral scholar focused on BigData tools for Earth Science at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California. Combining the EE and CS domains, she is currently in the process of moving to Notre Dame University, to take up a position as a Research Data Technologist. There she will be pursuing her interests in, open source Science Drones data handling, and HPC resources for the Polar Sciences.
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Nicholas Skytland

NASA

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Nick has pioneered many cutting edge initiatives such as the Random Hacks of Kindness, International Space Apps Challenge and the National Day of Civic Hacking, three of the largest mass collaborations in history. He has founded NASA's Open Innovation Program, envisioned future space exploration missions, designed next generation space suits, trained space-bound astronauts, developed open-source software, and has been responsible for the implementation of numerous White House mandates, including the Open Government, Open Data and Digital Strategy directive. Nick currently serves as NASA’s Data Evangelist and Talent Strategist where his research focuses on the exploration and application of emerging technology trends to NASA’s mission. He’s passionate about creating a space agency that attracts and incentivizes the next generation of technologists to contribute their time and talent to advancing space exploration. Nick holds a bachelor’s degree from Valparaiso University in mechanical engineering, a master’s degree from the International Space University in space studies and a MBA from the University of Texas McCombs School of Business.
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Facilitators

Alton Alexander

Chief Data Scientist
Front Analytics Inc

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Alton Alexander was the first master and teacher in Utah’s Data Science Guild where he currently coaches apprentices on actual academic and industry projects. Alton is also the founder and chief data scientist at Front Analytics Inc. Previously he has worked as an employee or consultant to data oriented technology startups, marketing agencies, healthcare groups, legal firms, and manufacturing companies. He has been known to participate and win high impact data science competitions. Alton is enthusiastic about all things advanced analytics, machine learning, and big data. If asked, his favorite technology stack includes HDFS, Spark, R, and H20. Alton is a husband and loves dancing with his daughters. A Salt Lake City transplant from Olympia, Washington. He is optimistic, a learner, and a results driven individual.
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René Baston

Executive Director
Northeast Big Data Innovation Hub

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Karina Branson

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Karina Branson is delighted to be a visual practitioner where she is constantly learning.  Her work focuses on  helping clients understand each other and expand their perspectives on the world and the systems they are working in through graphic recording. Karina is founder and owner of ConverSketch Graphic Recording and Visual Facilitation where she uses large-scale hand-drawn images and text to reflect and distill the key ideas of important conversations for her clients, in real time.

Karina is a member of the International Forum of Visual Practitioners and the National Coalition of Dialogue and Deliberation, and has been trained in facilitation and dialogue by the Center for Public Deliberation. Her unique approach has facilitated and supported collaborative strategic planning, community engagement, innovative brainstorming and critical systems thinking to help groups move forward and into action. 

Karina holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Communication from Colorado State University and was awarded a National Science Foundation research assistantship to complete her Master of Science in Climate Change Communication, also at CSU. Her published research focuses on graphic recording to communicate complex science and facilitating creative communication strategies to engage citizens in climate change science. 
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Bruce Caron

Community Architect of the ESIP Federation

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Bruce Caron is currently the Community Architect of the ESIP Federation. Bruce has pioneered this role, helping virtual science organizations build community governance and achieve their promise. Bruce was trained as a social anthropologist and an urban cultural geographer. He recently led the NASA Science on Drupal Central Project, which built collaboration and collective intelligence capabilities for NASA Earth science Drupal developers. Bruce has served as the president of the Federation of Earth Science Information Partners and is a Founding and current board member of the Foundation for Earth Science in Washington, DC. In 2010, Bruce was awarded the Martha Maiden Lifetime Achievement Award from the ESIP Federation.
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Christine Kirkpatrick

Deputy Director
West Big Data Innovation Hub

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Christine Kirkpatrick is Division Director for IT Systems & Services at SDSC. Christine is also Deputy Director and co-PI for the NSF-funded West Big Data Innovation Hub and Chair of the Technical Advisory Committee for the National Data Service. She specializes in enterprise architectures, integrations and implementation of large-scale storage, cloud and computational resources. A pioneer in web-based instruction, she has extensive online teaching experience coupled with expertise in developing the associated technologies needed for effective online teaching. She holds a master’s degree in Architecture-based Enterprise Systems Engineering Leadership from UC San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering. She joined UC San Diego in 1996 and has been with SDSC since 2012.
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Ben Taylor

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Ben Taylor has over 13 years of machine learning experience. He has worked for 5 years in the semiconductor industry for Intel and Micron in photolithography, process control, and yield prediction. He has also worked as a Wall Street “quant” building sentiment stock models for a hedge fund trading the S&P 1500 on the news content. Ben left finance and semiconductor to work for a new HR start-up called HireVue in 2013 and lead their machine learning efforts around digital interviewing. His greatest accomplishment has been developing the features and methods which have allowed short unstructured video recorded interviews to see r-values in the 0.3-0.4 range in the HireVue insights product. 

Ben has been very involved with the local data science community during his free time outside of work. Ben has managed two successful data science hackathons including starting the http://www.utahdatacompetition.com/. He has also raised over $15,000 for contestants and wrote a Kaggle style server for data submissions to manage contestants and raise awareness for the competition. Past competitions have included predicting Taylor Swift song success using machine learning, and semiconductor wafer yield. 
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Annie Burgess

(Data Science, Inc)

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Annie Burgess is the ESIP Lab Director. Annie's graduate and post-graduate career has straddled the divide between Earth Science and informatics. She completed a Post-doc at the University of Southern California where she was developed software for the unique needs of the Polar science community, specifically, expanding text and metadata extraction for scientific data formats. Annie entered the world of informatics during her Ph.D. when faced by challenges in processing and distributing the immense amounts of data produced by her research, which focused on satellite remote sensing and snow hydrology. Fortunately, she had the opportunity to collaborate with a group of computer scientists at NASA/JPL where she learned about workflows, software best practices, data management, version control and more. Annie knows the power of connecting Earth scientists with the right data, software, and computing skills. At ESIP, she utilizes her technical savvy and community-building experience to continue to build momentum in the ESIP community's research and development capabilities.
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Laura Noren

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Laura Norén is a Moore-Sloan Research Scientist at NYU's Center for Data Science studying ethical implications of data-driven knowledge production and organizational change. She also leads datathons in computational social science and produces a weekly data science newsletter
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Dave Goodsmith

(Data Science, Inc)

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Senior Data Scientist at DataScience.com, has over fifteen years of experience driving innovation in applied statistics and data science.  Through his leadership of the “Data Stories” outreach program he’s communicated the value of data to millions of readers through public-facing analytics on topics ranging from transportation data aggregation to the natural language processing of political debates. Prior to DataScience, he designed machine-learning-based innovations for venture and fintech as the founder of Scale Analytics and led the DataCorps at data science non-profit DataKind.  He’s also worked as a lab manager in the field of neuroeconomics at the Columbia University Center for Decision Sciences. He holds an MBA in Statistics from the City University of New York and a B.A. in Environmental Science from Harvard University.
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Participants: Early Career Grant Recipients

Dhruv Bhatia

(California)

Alton Alexandar

(Utah)

Vanessa Raymond

(Alaska)

Mohammad Rahman

(California)

Muhammad Waleed Sehgal

(Washington)

Edoardo Serra

(Idaho)

Soren Scott

(Colorado)

Francesca Spezzano

(Idaho)

Marilyn Waldman

(Colorado)

Mallory Lai

(Wyoming)


Program Committee

Lynn Yarmey

(RDA/RPI)

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Lynn Yarmey joined the RDA/US team earlier this year as the Director of Community Development. Her work in the data community over the past decade has spanned many roles, from programmer and curator to project manager and principal investigator, and has crossed between oceanographic and interdisciplinary polar science, academic libraries, and data centers. Lynn is passionate about building social and technical connections between disparate communities and is excited to meet the Hackathon Workshop participants in Denver!
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Dave Goodsmith

(Data Science, Inc)

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Senior Data Scientist at DataScience.com, has over fifteen years of experience driving innovation in applied statistics and data science.  Through his leadership of the “Data Stories” outreach program he’s communicated the value of data to millions of readers through public-facing analytics on topics ranging from transportation data aggregation to the natural language processing of political debates. Prior to DataScience, he designed machine-learning-based innovations for venture and fintech as the founder of Scale Analytics and led the DataCorps at data science non-profit DataKind.  He’s also worked as a lab manager in the field of neuroeconomics at the Columbia University Center for Decision Sciences. He holds an MBA in Statistics from the City University of New York and a B.A. in Environmental Science from Harvard University.
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Erin Robinson

WBDIH Co-Principal Investigator | Executive Director, Foundation for Earth Science

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Erin is a natural connector who’s passionate about fostering innovation through collaboration. During the last 10 years she has created communities and programs with lasting impact around science data and technology. Erin has honed her expertise across community management, grant writing information architecture and Earth science. As the Executive Director for the Foundation for Earth Science, Erin facilitates virtual and in-person collaboration across economic sectors to expedite progress toward data interoperability, envisioning and realizing new programs, and articulating their value to funders to ensure continued success of the programs.
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Annie Burgess

(Data Science, Inc)

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Annie Burgess is the ESIP Lab Director. Annie's graduate and post-graduate career has straddled the divide between Earth Science and informatics. She completed a Post-doc at the University of Southern California where she was developed software for the unique needs of the Polar science community, specifically, expanding text and metadata extraction for scientific data formats. Annie entered the world of informatics during her Ph.D. when faced by challenges in processing and distributing the immense amounts of data produced by her research, which focused on satellite remote sensing and snow hydrology. Fortunately, she had the opportunity to collaborate with a group of computer scientists at NASA/JPL where she learned about workflows, software best practices, data management, version control and more. Annie knows the power of connecting Earth scientists with the right data, software, and computing skills. At ESIP, she utilizes her technical savvy and community-building experience to continue to build momentum in the ESIP community's research and development capabilities.
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Nick Baguley

Founder
Evolve STEAM

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Nick Baguley is a well-known Community Leader in Big Data and Data Science in Utah and worldwide. Nick has been able to influence and help create the rising wave of Advanced Analytics and Data Science in Utah and internationally with meetups, conferences, and challenges. He has dedicated his career and companies to growing the connected economy. He serves on more than a dozen boards with universities, nonprofits, and private organizations. He is a co-founder in investment firms, land development firms, data science guilds, and executive service firms. With each, he is helping the data science community, individuals, and companies evolve to better match their efforts with their aptitudes and passions.
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Kerry Dew

President, UGE Inc.

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Kerry is currently the President of UGE Inc. A company founded to foster technical excellence in our communities and economies through bootcamps, hackathons, , individual career development and more. This organization works closely with Utah Geek Events, a non-profit and zero-budget company Kerry co-founded and she is proud of its rich history and 12-years delivering no-cost, high quality events to the Utah tech community including Utah Code Camp, Big Mountain Data, and Kids Code Con,

A foundation of this work, is Kerry’s passion for promoting women. She is a steering committee member of the 2016 Rocky Mountain Celebration of Women in Computing and a supporter of the NCWIT Aspirations in Computing. Kerry was also a core member of the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce Workforce Development Committee.

Kerry’s professional career includes promoting technical training, people development through the professional services industry, healthcare data analysis and BI, as well as molecular biology research, and teaching as an adjunct professor at Westminster College. Kerry holds a master’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Healthcare Administration from Westminster College and an undergraduate degree in Biology with a Molecular emphasis from the University of Utah.
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Meredith Lee

Executive Director
West Big Data Innovation Hub

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Meredith is the Executive Director of the West Big Data Innovation Hub, a consortium launched by the National Science Foundation to address societal challenges with Big Data innovation. Dr. Lee previously served as a AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency (HSARPA), guiding strategic research in graph analytics, risk assessment, machine learning, data visualization, and distributed computing. She co-led the White House Innovation for Disaster Response and Recovery Initiative as well as the Ideation Community of Practice, a network of Federal innovators from more than 25 agencies. Meredith completed her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at Stanford University and was a postdoctoral researcher at the Canary Center for Cancer Early Detection. She was previously at MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Intel, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, and Agilent Laboratories. Dr. Lee is a co-founder of NationOfMakers.org, past president of the Stanford Optical Society of America/SPIE, and served on the first Steering Committee for the National Photonics Initiative. Her work has been featured by whitehouse.gov, Make:, ArsTechnica, The Washington Post, Forbes, and Fast Company.
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Bruce Caron

Community Architect of the ESIP Federation

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Bruce Caron is currently the Community Architect of the ESIP Federation. Bruce has pioneered this role, helping virtual science organizations build community governance and achieve their promise. Bruce was trained as a social anthropologist and an urban cultural geographer. He recently led the NASA Science on Drupal Central Project, which built collaboration and collective intelligence capabilities for NASA Earth science Drupal developers. Bruce has served as the president of the Federation of Earth Science Information Partners and is a Founding and current board member of the Foundation for Earth Science in Washington, DC. In 2010, Bruce was awarded the Martha Maiden Lifetime Achievement Award from the ESIP Federation.
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Dan Lynn

CEO of AgilData

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Dan Lynn, CEO of AgilData, is an entrepreneur, teacher and technical leader with 16 years of experience. Dan speaks frequently at open source & big data events with entertaining perspectives on using technology to solve messy data wrangling, scalability challenges and database security topics and recently spoke at the United Nations.  Previously, Dan was the Founder & CTO at FullContact, a contact management startup focusing on fuzzy match and record linkage problems. Dan is a Techstars alumnus and serves as an organizer for the Denver Real-time Users Group and the Boulder/Denver Big Data Users Group.
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Kim Hill

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Kim Hill has over 10 years of experience in for-profit and non-profit project management and strategic research in the defense, public policy and retail sectors. After finishing a data science bootcamp earlier this year, she joined AgilData as its first project manager. Prior to AgilData, Kim worked as a strategic business consultant and as a policy analyst for the US Navy. She plans to eventually become a Chief Data Scientist, using insights for social good and data-based policy-making. She has a Master's degree from Duke University and two bachelor's degrees from Arizona State University.
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Yolanda Meleco

(RDA/US)

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Yolanda Meleco is the Project Director and Communications Lead for the RDA/US team. Yolanda has more than fifteen years experience working in senior-level communications positions in the pharmaceutical, healthcare and finance industries. She leads the development and implementation of strategy and communications activities that promote the mission, efforts and programs of RDA/U.S and RDA.
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