Guest Speaker: Prof.Matthew Turk

Matt Turk is a researcher at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), working on tools and techniques for data analysis and visualization, and applying those techniques both to astrophysical studies such as star formation as well as other domains in the physical sciences. He is interested in semantic understanding of data, interdisciplinary work systems and technical transfer between domains, as well as mechanisms for constructing interfaces to data and computational systems.


Job opportunity: Strategic Communication/Data Analytics (Tenure-Track Assistant Professor)

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The School of Communication at American University, Washington, D.C., invites applications for a full-time, tenure-track position at the rank of Assistant Professor in the Public Communication Division beginning August 1, 2017.


We are seeking candidates with demonstrated expertise in the application of data analytics to strategic communication, particularly the different ways that political campaigns, NGOs, nonprofits, corporations, and federal, state, and local governments analyze and dissect data when crafting and implementing communication campaigns. Candidates will show a strong potential for scholarly and/or professional growth in identifying and targeting audiences, using analytics to evaluate impact, and utilizing micro-targeting to understand public attitudes, lifestyle preferences, values, consumer interests, political concerns, and media and technology habits. This is a position for a strategic communication scholar or professional with a mastery of the tools and technologies that are being used to harness the power of large data sets.

The committee will place a priority on candidates with a PhD and professional experience in the field as well as candidates with a relevant master’s degree and extensive, noteworthy professional experience in the field.


Tenure-track faculty are expected to conduct scholarly, professional, or creative work. Most tenure-track faculty carry a 2-2 teaching load. All faculty are expected to hold office hours and participate in School and University activities and service.


Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled, subject to on-going budgetary approval.   Please submit applications via: Include a letter of application, curriculum vitae, three references, recent teaching evaluations (when possible), and copies of recent creative, professional, or scholarly published papers or working papers.  Please contact Wendy Melillo, sends e-mail), or Filippo Trevisan, sends e-mail), if you have any questions.

Salary and benefits are competitive.

American University is a private institution within easy reach of the many centers of government, business, research, and the arts located within the nation’s capital.  For more information about American University, visit Learn more about the School of Communication at


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12 Algorithms Every Data Scientist Should know

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Algorithms have become part of our daily lives and they can be found in almost any aspect of business. Gartner calls this the algorithmic business and it is changing the way we (should) run and manage our organizations. There are all kinds of algorithms and for each aspect of your business, there are different algorithms, which nowadays you can even buy at an algorithm marketplace. Algoritmia provides developers with over 800 algorithms in the fields of audio and visual processing, machine learning and computer vision, saving developers precious time and money.

However, the algorithms available on the Algoritmia marketplace might not be suitable for your particular need. After all, for different circumstances you require different algorithms and the same algorithm in a different environment can produce different results. In fact, there are many different variables that determine which algorithm to be used and how the algorithm will perform. These variables include the type and volume of the data, the industry the algorithm will be applied to, the application it will be used for etc.

Therefore, sometimes buying an off-the-shelve algorithm and then tweaking it might not be the best option. Data scientists should still educate themselves in the most important algorithms; how are the algorithms developed and for what purpose can you use which algorithm? The guys from Think Big Data developed an infographic showing the 12 most important algorithms, segregated by their application intent, that should still be in the repertoire of every big data scientist:


Travel Opportunity:

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Join us in Italy!

Hi! We’re the folks behind Wefunder. We’ve funded over 150 startups… and almost all of them – including ourselves – are desperately seeking talented engineers and designers.

Instead of paying a recruiter thousands of dollars, it’s more fun (and cheaper!) to plan a trip to Italy! So we booked a swank “hacker palace” on Italy, and are inviting engineers and designers to hang out with us.

All we ask is that you complete one four hour coding challenge. The rest of the time is your own – hack away on your favorite side project. When we’re back in San Francisco, we’ll introduce you to a bunch of startups, most of which are Y Combinator alumni. They offer market-rate salaries and cover relocation costs.

There is no obligation! We enjoy meeting awesome people, so if you don’t take a job at any of the startups, that’s still cool. We only require that you genuinely be looking for a new job. We’ll take your word for it. You don’t sign anything

ACM Reflections Registration is open

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Hi friends!

ICYMI: We just opened registration for Reflections|Projections this Fall! For those of you who don’t know, it’s a student run tech conference packed with awesome speakers, companies (open to all majors!), Mechmania and Puzzlebang. Sign up now to reserve your free t-shirt!

Next Meeting Wednesday 9/21 – 12pm Special Guest. Dr.Maryalice Wu


Maryalice is the Director of Data Analytics at the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning department and an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Sociology. She has a Ph.D. in Sociology from UIUC and has been working in the field of data analytics since 1999. Her recent research focuses on the impact of MOOCS (Massive Open Online Courses). Her additional research includes the economic and health empowerment of women in developing nations. She has taught several courses at the UofI, including Introduction to Social Statistics and Social Research Methods.

About the iSchool DataScience Club: Founded in 2016, we are a community of data science enthusiasts interested in learning more about the field of data science and its wider applications in Library & Information Science.

9/21/16 Meeting Recording
9/21/16 Powerpoint Slides