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Michigan Institute for Data Science Announces the First Cohort of Michigan Data Science Fellows

By August 21, 2019 News, Research

Seven outstanding young data scientists from the US, Asia and Europe will join the Michigan Institute for Data Science (MIDAS) at the University of Michigan (U-M), as the inaugural cohort of the Michigan Data Science Fellows program.  They will work at the boundaries of data science methods and domain sciences in an intellectually vibrant environment and develop collaborative relationships with the U-M data science community. The Fellows and their data science application areas are:

  • Arya Farahi, coming from Carnegie Mellon University: Cosmology and its intersection with fundamental physics.
  • Qianying (Ruby) Lin, coming from Hong Kong Polytechnic University: Epidemic inferences and trends. 
  • Patrick Park, currently at U-M: Structure and evolution of large-scale human social networks.
  • Elyas Sabeti, currently at U-M: Theory and algorithms for the analysis of medical Big Data.
  • Maria Veiga, coming from the University of Zurich: Developing techniques for multi-scale modeling.
  • Edgar Vivanco (joint postdoctoral fellow with the National Center for Institutional Diversity), coming from Stanford University: Utilizing machine learning to examine how colonial-era institutions and contemporary criminal violence shape economic under-performance
  • Blair Winograd, currently at U-M: working with M-Write to combine conceptual writing prompts, automated peer review, natural language processing, and automated personalized feedback to create an infrastructure for writing at scale.

The two-year Fellows Program accepts recent PhDs who are stars in their respective fields and whose work is in data science.  They are expected to be more independent than the average postdoctoral researchers at the same career juncture; however, each Fellow also has two faculty sponsors, one a methodology expert, and the other an expert in an application domain, to ensure scientific and career guidance.  

The Fellows program is a new component of MIDAS’ effort to catalyze the transformative use of Data Science in a wide range of disciplines to achieve lasting societal impact, through research, education, outreach and partnership. “This is the first postdoctoral training program at U-M, and one of the few in the nation, with data science as the explicit focus,” says Dr. H.V. Jagadish, MIDAS Director and Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, “and we hope this program will foster the next generation of data science leaders with both a strong scientific vision and a commitment to using data science for positive societal impact.”

One of the Fellows, Elyas Sabeti, expressed great enthusiasm: “This is such a unique opportunity.  It’s amazing that I will be working side by side with people who study Physics, Education, Political Science…  I can’t wait to find out how many great ideas we can come up with together.” 

For more information on the Fellows, please click here.