Olga Yakusheva

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My research interests are in health economics and health services research; specifically econometric methods for causal inference, data architecture, and secondary analyses of big data. My primary focus is the study the work of nurses. I led the development of a new method for outcomes-based clinician performance productivity measurement using the electronic medical records. With this work, I was able to measure, for the first time, the value-added contributions of individual nurses to patient outcomes. This work has won her national recognition earning her the Best of AcademyHealth Research Meeting Award in 2014. I am is currently working to uncover traits and success strategies of highly-effective nurses, including education, experience, and expertise—and most recently smart clinician staffing approaches and innovation in the healthcare setting. I am a team scientist and contributed methodological expertise to many interdisciplinary projects including hospital readmissions, primary care providers, obesity, pregnancy and birth, and peer effects on health behaviors and outcomes. I am the Director of the Healthcare Innovation and Impact Program (HiiP) at the School of Nursing.

Using big data analytics to measure value-added contributions of nurses

Fabian Pfeffer

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My research investigates social inequality and its maintenance across time and generations. Current projects focus on wealth inequality and its consequences for the next generation, the institutional context of social mobility processes and educational inequality in the United States and other industrialized countries. I also help expand the social science data infrastructure and quantitative methods needed to address questions on inequality and mobility. I serve as Principal Investigator of the Wealth and Mobility (WAM) study as well as Co-Investigator of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID). As such, my research draws on and helps construct nationally representative survey data as well as full-population administrative data. My methodological work has been focused on causal inference, multiple imputation, and measurement error.

Lubomir Hadjiyski

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Dr. Hadjiyski research interests include computer-aided diagnosis, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, predictive models, image processing and analysis, medical imaging, and control systems. His current research involves design of decision support systems for detection and diagnosis of cancer in different organs and quantitative analysis of integrated multimodality radiomics, histopathology and molecular biomarkers for treatment response monitoring using AI and machine learning techniques. He also studies the effect of the decision support systems on the physicians’ clinical performance.

Deena Costa

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Dr. Costa’s goal is to maximize survival and minimize morbidity for mechanically ventilated adults. She accomplishes this through her research on the organization and management of critical care. Specifically, her work identifies key structural and functional characteristics of ICU interprofessional teams that can be leveraged to improve the delivery of high quality, complex care to mechanically ventilated patients. She is a trained health services researcher with clinical expertise in adult critical care nursing. Her work care has been published in leading journals such as JAMA, Chest, and Critical Care Medicine. Her current research examines ICU teamwork and patient outcomes, linking individual clinicians to individual patients using the Electronic Health Record, and using qualitative approaches to understand how to improve ICU teams. Her research has focused on ICU clinician staffing, well-being and psychological outcomes of ICU clinicians as a way to improve care and outcomes of ICU patients.

J.J. Prescott

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Broadly, I study legal decision making, including decisions related to crime and employment. I typically use large social science data bases, but also collect my own data using technology or surveys.

Matthew VanEseltine

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Dr. VanEseltine is a sociologist and data scientist working with large-scale administrative data for causal and policy analysis. His interests include studying the effects of scientific infrastructure, training, and initiatives, as well as the development of open, sustainable, and replicable systems for data construction, curation, and dissemination. As part of the Institute for Research on Innovation and Science (IRIS), he contributes to record linkage and data improvements in the research community releases of UMETRICS, a data system built from integrated records on federal award funding and spending from dozens of American universities. Dr. VanEseltine’s recent work includes studying the impacts of COVID-19 on academic research activity.

Lia Corrales

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My PhD research focused on identifying the size and mineralogical composition of interstellar dust through X-ray imaging of dust scattering halos to X-ray spectroscopy of bright objects to study absorption from intervening material. Over the course of my PhD I also developed an open source, object oriented approach to computing extinction properties of particles in Python that allows the user to change the scattering physics models and composition properties of dust grains very easily. In many cases, the signal I look for from interstellar dust requires evaluating the observational data on the 1-5% level. This has required me to develop a deep understanding of both the instrument and the counting statistics (because modern-day X-ray instruments are photon counting tools). My expertise led me to a postdoc at MIT, where I developed techniques to obtain high resolution X-ray spectra from low surface brightness (high background) sources imaged with the Chandra X-ray Observatory High Energy Transmission Grating Spectrometer. I pioneered these techniques in order to extract and analyze the high resolution spectrum of Sgr A*, our Galaxy’s central supermassive black hole (SMBH), producing a legacy dataset with a precision that will not be replaceable for decades. This dataset will be used to understand why Sgr A* is anomalously inactive, giving us clues to the connection between SMBH activity and galactic evolution. In order to publish the work, I developed an open source software package, pyXsis (github.com/eblur/pyxsis) in order to model the low signal-to-noise spectrum of Sgr A* simultaneously with a non-physical parameteric model of the background spectrum (Corrales et al., 2020). As a result of my vocal advocacy for Python compatible software tools and a modular approach to X-ray data analysis, I became Chair for HEACIT (which stands for “High Energy Astrophysics Codes, Interfaces, and Tools”), a new self-appointed working group of X-ray software engineers and early career scientists interested in developing tools for future X-ray observatories. We are working to identify science cases that high energy astronomers find difficult to support with the current software libraries, provide a central and publicly available online forum for tutorials and discussion of current software libraries, and develop a set of best practices for X-ray data analysis. My research focus is now turning to exoplanet atmospheres, where I hope to measure absorption from molecules and aerosols in the UV. Utilizing UM access to the Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory, I work to observe the dip in a star’s brightness caused by occultation (transit) from a foreground planet. Transit depths are typically <1%, and telescopes like Swift were not originally designed with transit measurements (i.e., this level of precision) in mind. As a result, this research strongly depends on robust methods of scientific inference from noisy datasets.


As a graduate student, I attended some of the early “Python in Astronomy” workshops. While there, I wrote Jupyter Notebook tutorials that helped launch the Astropy Tutorials project (github.com/astropy/astropy-tutorials), which expanded to Learn Astropy (learn.astropy.org), for which I am a lead developer. Since then, I have also become a leader within the larger Astropy collaboration. I have helped develop the Astropy Project governance structure, hired maintainers, organized workshops, and maintained an AAS presence for the Astropy Project and NumFocus (the non-profit umbrella organization that works to sustain open source software communities in scientific computing) for the last several years. As a woman of color in a STEM field, I work to clear a path by teaching the skills I have learned along the way to other underrepresented groups in STEM. This year I piloted WoCCode (Women of Color Code), an online network and webinar series for women from minoritized backgrounds to share expertise and support each other in contributing to open source software communities.

Sophia Brueckner

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Sophia Brueckner is a futurist artist/designer/engineer. Inseparable from computers since the age of two, she believes she is a cyborg. As an engineer at Google, she designed and built products used by millions. At RISD and the MIT Media Lab, she researched the simultaneously empowering and controlling nature of technology with a focus on haptics and social interfaces. Her work has been featured internationally by Artforum, SIGGRAPH, The Atlantic, Wired, the Peabody Essex Museum, Portugal’s National Museum of Contemporary Art, and more. Brueckner is the founder and creative director of Tomorrownaut, a creative studio focusing on speculative futures and sci-fi-inspired prototypes. She is currently an artist-in-residence at Nokia Bell Labs, was previously an artist-in-residence at Autodesk, and is an assistant professor at the University of Michigan teaching Sci-Fi Prototyping, a course combining sci-fi, prototyping, and ethics. Her ongoing objective is to combine her background in art, design, and engineering to inspire a more positive future.