Patricia Ordóñez of the computer science department at the University of Puerto Rico Río Piedras will discuss how hackathons can impact data science in Puerto Rico.
Abstract: The University of Puerto Rico Río Piedras (UPRRP) is a top biomedical research institution and one of the top producers of Hispanic Ph.D.s in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in the United States, yet it lags behind in computational science. While UPRRP has an undergraduate computer science department, students who wish to do computational science must do graduate studies in applied mathematics and take undergraduate programming courses or learn to code on their own. Yet, due to the increase in data generation in the natural sciences, there is a demand for scientists who are capable of formulating hypotheses in the sciences and then applying statistical data analysis to extremely large data sets (often referred to as Big Data). Faculty and students must learn how to manipulate and extract data from databases, as well as apply statistics and infer knowledge from the results. They also need to work and communicate with people from different disciplines to accomplish this task, because of the complexity of the tasks. Increasing Diversity in Interdisciplinary Big Data to Knowledge (IDI-BD2K) is a program that takes an interdisciplinary approach to developing an undergraduate data science program at UPRRP through the informal teaching of faculty and students.
The talk will focus on the use of innovative hackathons combined with faculty development through the IDI-BD2K to create community and develop biomedical data science on the island.