crowdThe MIDAS Seminar Series features leading data scientists from around the world and across the U-M campuses addressing a variety of topics germane to the emerging field of data science. These thought leaders are invited from academia, industry and government. Our goal is to provide a forum for interactions on themes related to data science among the faculty, scientists, practitioners and students at and around the University of Michigan.

The forum consists of a (typically weekly) seminar where leaders in data science present their vision for the field and highlight new opportunities for collaboration.

For updates on seminars and general announcements related to MIDAS and the Advanced Research Computing (ARC) group at U-M, subscribe to the ARC/MIDAS newsletter. For more information on the series, please contact

MIDAS gratefully acknowledges Northrop Grumman Corporation for its generous support of the MIDAS Seminar Series.

Seminars are live-streamed at

Upcoming Seminars

March 23 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Jenna Wiens, PhD, University of Michigan – MIDAS Seminar Series

Jenna Wiens, PhD Assistant Professor, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science The University of Michigan   Increasing the Utility of Machine Learning in Clinical Care   Abstract: Today’s hospitals are collecting an…

March 30 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Frank Kargl, PhD, University of Ulm, Germany – MIDAS Seminar Series

Frank Kargl, PhD Director, Institute for Distributed Systems The University of Ulm, Germany   Protecting Security and Privacy of Connected & Automated Cars   Abstract: This talk will focus on two…

April 6 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Lieven Vandenberghe, PhD, UCLA – MIDAS Seminar Series

Lieven Vandenberghe, PhD Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Department of Mathematics University of California, Los Angeles   Sparsity and Decomposition in Semidefinite Optimization   Abstract: Semidefinite optimization is an important…

April 13 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Christ D. Richmond, PhD, Arizona State University – MIDAS Seminar Series

Christ D. Richmond, PhD School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering Arizona State University   Parameter Bounds Under Misspecified Models and Some Perspectives for Data Science and Learning   Abstract:…

April 18 @ 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

John P.A. Ioannidis, MD, DSc, Stanford University – MIDAS Seminar Series

John P.A. Ioannidis, MD, DSc C.F. Rehnborg Chair in Disease Prevention Stanford University   The power of bias and what to do about it   Bio: C.F. Rehnborg Chair in…

Previous seminars

2017-2018 Season

Dr. Ihab F. Ilyas, Professor, Computer Science, University of Waterloo
Building Scalable Machine Learning Solutions for Data Curation“; Video (U-M affiliates only)
February 16, 2018

Dr. Jeannette M. Wing, Director – Data Science Institute, Columbia University
Data Science at Columbia University“; Video
February 2, 2018

Dr. Pramod Viswanath, Professor – Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Geometries of Word Embeddings“; Video
January 26, 2018

Dr. Robert Goldstone, Professor – Psychological & Brain Sciences, Indiana University
Baseball Umpire Calls as a Naturally Occurring Data Source for Revealing Principals of Bias and Learning in Perceptual Judgments“; Video, Slides
January 19, 2018

Dr. Ioana Dumitriu, Professor – Mathematics, University of Washington
Larger, Faster, Random(ized): Computing in the Era of Big Data“; Video, Slides
January 12, 2018

Dr. Lav Varshney, Assistant Professor – Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Information-Theoretic Approaches to Neural Network Compression, Clustering and Concept Learning“; Video
January 9, 2018

Dr. Matthew Nokleby, Assistant Professor – Electrical and Computer Engineering, Wayne State University
Bits Through Sensors: Bounds on Classification and Learning Performance Via Information Content“; Video
December 8, 2017

Dr. Margaret Hedstrom, Robert M Warner Collegiate Professor of Information, University of Michigan
Why Data Science Needs Curation and Why Curation Needs Data Science“; Video
November 17, 2017

Dr. Tony Jebara, Associate Professor – Computer Science, Columbia University
Probabilistic Graphical Models and Online Learning“; Video not available
November 11, 2017

Jimmy Soni & Rob Goodman, Authors
A Mind at Play: How Claude Shannon Invented the Information Age“; Video (begin at 1:09)
September 22, 2017

Dr. Yoram Bresler, Professor – Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Sparse Signal Recovery in Bilinear Inverse Problems“; Video
September 22, 2017

2016-2017 Season

Dr. Danai Koutra, Assistant Professor – Computer Science & Engineering, College of Engineering, U-M
Inferring, Summarizing and Mining Large-scale Graph Data“; Video not available
April 21, 2017

Dr. Michael Cavaretta, Director of Analytics Infrastructure, Ford Motor Company
Data and Analytics: Emerging Trends and Opportunities at Ford Motor Company“; Video
April 7, 2017

Dr. Tianxi Cai, Professor of Biostatistics, T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University
Efficient Use of EHR for Biomedical Translational Research“; Video
March 24, 2017

Dr. Laura Balzano, Assistant Professor – Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, U-M
Finding Low-Rank Structure in Messy Data“; VideoSlides
March 17, 2017

Dr. Robert Nowak, McFarland-Bascom Professor in Engineering, University of Wisconsin
Learning Human Preferences and Perceptions from Data“; VideoSlides
March 10, 2017

Dr. David  Blei, Professor – Statistics and Computer Science & Engineering, Columbia University
Probabilistic Topical Models and User Behavior“; Video
March 9, 2017

Dr. Jose Perea, Assistant Professor – Mathematics & Computational Mathematics, Science & Engineering, MSU
The Shape of Data“; VideoSlides
February 24, 2017

Dr. Carol Flannagan, Research Associate Professor, UM Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI), U-M
“From Model T to Waymo: Cars have gotten better—has transportation data science?”; Video, Slides
February 17, 2017

Dr. Yao Xie, Assistant Professor, Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology
Sequential Change-point Detection over Dynamic Networks“; Video
February 3, 2017

Dr. Emily Mower-Provost, Assistant Professor – Computer Science and Engineering, U-M
Human-centered Computing: Using Speech to Understand Behavior“; Video
January 27, 2017

Dr. Dimitris Papanikolaou, Post Doctoral Researcher, Harvard Graduate School of Design
The Potential of On-demand Mobility: Lessons From System Analysis and Data Visualization“; Video coming soon.
January 13, 2017

Dr. Lav Varshney, Assistnat Professor – Electrical and Computer Engineering, Computer Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
On Data-driven Creativity“; VideoSlides
January 6, 2017

Dr. Bing Liu, Professor – Computer Science, University of Illinois at Chicago
Lifelong Machine Learning“; Video, Slides
December 16, 2016

Dr. Tamara Kolda, Distinguished Member of Technical Staff, Sandia National Labs
“An Overview of Tensor Decompositions for Data Analysis, with Emphasis on Computation and Scalability”; Slides
November 9, 2016

Dr. Yuejie Chi, Assistant Professor – Electrical and Computer Engineering, Biomedical Informatics, Ohio State University
“Solving Corrupted Systems of Quadratic Equations, Provably”; Video
November 4, 2016

Dr. Gary King, Albert J. Weatherhead III University Professor – Department of Government; Director, Institute for Quantitative Social Science, Harvard University
Big Data is Not about the Data!”; Video
October 7, 2016

Dr. Jacob Abernethy, Assistant Professor – Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, U-M
Statistical and Algorithmic Tools to Aid Recovery in Flint”; Video
September 30, 2016

Dr. Rebecca Willet, Associate Professor – Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Wisconsin
Estimating High-Dimensional Autoregressive Point Processes”; Video
September 23, 2016

Dr. Geoff Ginsburg, Professor – Medicine, Pathology, Biomedical Engineering; Director – Applied Genomics & Precision Medicine, Duke University
Novel Genomic Paradigms for Early Detection and Diagnosis of Acute Infectious Disease”; Video
September 9, 2016


2015-2016 Season

Dr. Dragomir Radev, Professor, Information, Computer Science, Engineering, U-M
Natural Language Processing for Collective Discourse; Video
April 8, 2016

Dr. Mark Newman, Anatol Rapoport Distinguished University Professor of Physics; Professor in the Center for the Study of Complex Systems, U-M
“Structure and Function in Complex Networks”; Video
April 1, 2016

Dr. Michael Jordan, Distinguished Professor – Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, Statistics, University of California at Berkeley
On Computational Thinking, Inferential Thinking and Data Science”; Video
March 24, 2016

Dr. Christopher Ré, Assistant Professor – Computer Science, Stanford University
“DeepDive: A Dark Data System”; Video
March 11, 2016

Dr. Tim McKay, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor – Physics, Astronomy, Education; Director – Digital Innovation Greenhouse, U-M
“Personalizing Education at Scale”Slides Video
February 19, 2016

Dr. Kevin Ward, Professor – Emergency Medicine; Director – Michigan Center for Integrative Research in Critical Care, Fast Forward Medical Innovation, U-M
“Data in Motion Phenotyping: From the Intensive Care Unit to the Home”; Video
February 5, 2016

Dr. Perry Samson, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Atmospheric Science, Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering, U-M
“Learning Analytics: Mining Student Behaviors During Class to Predict Exam Scores” ; Video
January 29, 2016

Dr. Goncalo Abecasis, Felix E. Moore Collegiate Professor and Chair, Biostatistics, U-M
“Sequencing 10,000’s of Human Genomes: Early Results, Opportunities and Challenges”; Video
January 22, 2016

Dr. Amit Surana, Sr. Research Scientist, United Technologies Research Center
“Koopman Operator Theoretic Framework for Dynamic Data Analytics”
January 15, 2016

Dr. Susan Murphy, Professor – Statistics, Institute for Social Research, U-M
Learning Treatment Policies in Mobile Health”
January 8, 2016

Dr. Sandy Pentland, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab
Social Physics: Harnessing Big Data and Machine Learning in Support of Human Goals“; Video
December 11, 2015

Dr. Mesrob I. Ohannessian, University of California, San Diego
Computation-Statistics Tradeoffs in Unsupervised Learning via Data Summarization
December 4, 2015