Data Science Demystified

Welcome to Data Science Demystified, a podcast from the Moore-Sloan Data Science Environment at NYU!


Image credit: Alan Turing Institute

In each episode we talk with a data scientist about life, data science, and the frontiers of understanding of our world.
Our guests are academics, practitioners, and industry leaders from a range of fields and backgrounds. Our conversations are about the biggest questions in data science, the future challenges they pose, and why they are so important to the guest — and all of us.
Data Science Demystified is brought to you with the support of the Moore-Sloan Data Science Environment at NYU, Executive Director, Juliana Freire.  Season 1 is hosted by Andrea Jones-Rooy.  The soundtrack is from Delta Rae.


Season 1 (2016-17)

Episode 1: Bags o’ Words!

bamman smallThought you understood content analysis?  Think again!  David Bamman (Assistant Professor, School of Information, UC Berkeley) tells us about a new way to turn text into data.
Release date: Nov. 16, 2016.


Episode 2: Using Natural Language Processing to Help Cure Cancer?

ReginaRegina Barzilay (Professor, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, MIT) was working at the cutting edge of data science when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  In searching for data on treatment outcomes, she discovered a huge gap in medical record-keeping.  She partnered with her own doctor to bring natural language processing to help us all keep better track of what treatments work better to treat cancer.
Release date: Dec. 9, 2016.

Episode 3: Congressional Credit Claiming

GrimmerJustin Grimmer (Professor, Political Science, Stanford) is famous among political scientists for his groundbreaking work in conducting text analysis of statements by members of the US Congress. We talk about his discoveries (Credit claiming! Fire department grants!), new methods in text analysis involving Indian Buffets, and the revolutionary-ness of big data. Revolution or not, he gives us great advice on how to get involved whether you’re a social or computer scientist.
Release date: Dec. 17, 2016.

Episode 4: Wikileaks, at Last!

arthurThe unveiling of WikiLeaks’s state department cables shook the world — or, rather, it should have.  Surprisingly, very few researchers attempted to parse and analyze them — until now.  Arthur Spirling (Professor, Politics, NYU) and Michael Gill (Postdoctoral Fellow, Data Science, NYU) share their methods in figuring out which cables are missing, why diplomacy is a weird thing, and why we should all be skeptics.
Release date: Jan. 20, 2017.

Episode 5: Diversity in Data Science (and Life)

Bio_Dave-BeckData science requires the bringing together of different disciplines, methods, and minds.  According to David Beck (Research Director, Life Sciences, University of Washington eScience Institute), discoveries in data science will require contributions from different kinds of people, too.
Release date: Jan. 27, 2017.

Episode 6: Climate Change on a Remote Island

neilHow much trouble are we really in when it comes to climate change?  For years Neil Davies (Director, UC Berkeley Gump Station) has been living on a remote island in the Pacific trying to figure this out.  Hear how concerned we should be — and how to cleverly use our remaining time on Earth to get a research grant to live in Moorea.  Coconuts for everyone!  (Until the ecosystem changes and they disappear.)
Release date: Feb. 9, 2017.

Episode 7: The Complexity Secret is Out!

Ifjose data science is about new information, complexity is about how it flows together.  Not many people know this, which is why Jose Manuel Magallanes‘s (Political Science and Public Policy, Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru, Washington eScience, and George Mason University) message is so important. We talk about doing science better, doing science in developing countries, and why it’s important to enjoy today.
Release date: March 24, 2017.

Episode 8: The Surprising Link between Artificial Intelligence and Privacy

With Steve Tam from  Release date: April 2017.

Episode 9: Data-Driven Journalism!

With Blythe Terrell from FiveThirtyEight.  Release date: April 2017.

Episode 10: Predictive Modeling in Health & Wellness

With the Data Analytics Team from Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness.  Release date: April 2017.

About the Season 1 Host:

ajrAndrea Jones-Rooy is a social scientist and standup comedian.  She holds a Ph.D. in Political Science with a focus on Complex Systems from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.  She was formerly Assistant Professor of Global China Studies and Founding Director of Social Science at NYU Shanghai.  Before joining NYU, she was a postdoctoral fellow in Social and Decision Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University.