iSchool represented at Women in Data Science conference

iSchool faculty and students will present their research at the Women in Data Science Urbana-Champaign Conference (WiDS), which will be held on March 6 at the University of Illinois. The event, which is organized by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) and cosponsored by the iSchool, is one of over 200 WiDS conferences being held worldwide.

Professor and Dean Eunice E. Santos will be a speaker on the panel, "Creating Meaningful Impact: Opportunities for Women in the Data Science Revolution." Santos is an accomplished scholar and researcher whose expertise includes computational social science, with an appreciation for the social and human aspects of the information sciences. Her recent research focuses on using computationally intensive methods to understand the behavior of social networks and communities.

The panel discussion will be moderated by Associate Professor and PhD Program Director Jana Diesner, whose research in human-centered data science, computational social science and responsible computing combines the benefits of machine learning, AI, network analysis, and natural language processing with the consideration of social science theories, social contexts, and ethical concerns.

Diesner also serves on the WiDS poster session committee with Lecturer Elizabeth Wickes, Postdoctoral Research Associate Alaine Martaus, and PhD students Shadi Rezapour, Jessica Cheng, and Ly Dinh. The poster session is co-organized by the UIUC Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)-Women student chapter, which was founded at the iSchool in November; with Rezapour and Cheng serving as chair and co-chair, respectively.

"The poster session allows graduate and undergraduate students to share their latest research in data science with colleagues, collaborators, and industry stakeholders across the campus and in our community," Rezapour said.

iSchool posters include:

  • "Robust Imitation Learning from Observation," presented by Computer Science PhD students Xue Hu and Zhenyi Tang, and Associate Professor Jingrui He.
  • "Python Can Be Tidy Too: Pandas Recipes for Normalizing Data," presented by MS/LIS student Jenna Jordan.
  • "Sentiment-Based PageRank to Infer Hierarchical Structures in Social Networks," presented by Dinh, Rezapour, MS/IM student Lan Jiang, and Diesner.
  • "Adversarial Perturbations to Manipulate the Perception of Power and Influence in Networks," presented by doctoral candidate Shubhanshu Mishra, MS/IM student Tiffany Lu, PhD students Nikolaus Parulian and Mihai Avram, and Diesner.
  • "Best Practices in Entity Detection and Relation Extraction," presented by Informatics PhD students Janina Sarol and Pingjing Yang, Electrical and Computer Engineering PhD student Xiujia Yang, and Diesner.
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