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 Wacker Chemie AG for its generous support of the MIDAS Seminar Series.

Seminars are live-streamed at

Upcoming Seminars

August 2, 2019
Forum Hall
Palmer Commons
100 Washtenaw Ave.

Previous seminars

2018-2019 Season

Dr. Chris Wiggins, PhD, Columbia University, The New York Times
“Data Science at The New York Times” Video
April 15, 2019

Dr. Alex Leow, MD, PhD, University of Illinois at Chicago
Making Connections: Data Science Approaches to Understanding Mood and Cognition in the Modern Era” Video
April 5, 2019

Dr. Michael Betancourt, PhD, Symplectomorphic, LLC
Scalable Bayesian Inference with Hamiltonian Monte Carlo” Video
March 22, 2019

Dr. Anima Anandkumar, PhD, California Institute of Technology
Infusing Structure into Machine Learning Algorithms” Video
March 15, 2019

Dr. Ji Zhu, University of Michigan
Matrix Completion in Network Analysis” Video
March 1, 2019

Dr. Gil Shamir, Google AI
Leveraging Information Theory to Practical Machine Learning: minimum Description Length Regularization for Online Learning” Video
February 22, 2019

Dr. Josh Pasek, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies, University of Michigan
What Can Tweets Tell Us About Public Opinion? Uncovering The Data Generating Process By Linking Twitter Data With Surveys” Video
February 2, 2019

Dr. Chris Miller, Professor of Astronomy and Physics, University of Michigan
Quantify Systematics from Mislabeled Tables in Supervised Learning” Video
January 25, 2019

Dr. Claire Cardie, Professor of Computer Science and Information Science, Cornell University
Information Extraction from Online Text — From Opinions to Arguments to PersuasionVideo
January 19, 2019

Dr. Justin Grimmer, Professor of Political Science, Stanford University
How to Make Casual Inferences Using TextsVideo
January 11, 2019

Dr. Adriene Beltz, Assistant Professor of Psychology, University of Michigan
Person Specific Temporal Networks: Accuracy, Dynamics, and Emojis 😕Video
November 30, 2018

Dr. Mark A. Suchard, Professor of Biostatistics, Biomathematics, and Human Genetics, University of California, Los Angeles
Reliable Evidence from Health Care Data: Lessons from the Observational Health Data Sciences and Informatics (OHDSI) CollaborativeVideo
November 16, 2018

Dr. Tamara Broderick, Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Automated Scalable Bayesian Inference via Data SummarizationVideo
November 9, 2018

Dr. Matias D. Cattaneo, Professor of Economics and Statistics, University of Michigan
Two-Step Estimation and Inference with Possibly Many Included CovariatesVideo
November 2, 2018

Dr. Chris Callison-Burch, Associate Professor of Computer and Information Science, University of Pennsylvania
The Promise of Crowdsourcing for Natural Language Processing and Other Data SciencesVideo
October 26, 2018

Dr. Yang Chen, Assistant Professor of Statistics, University of Michigan
Determining the Number of States in Hidden Markov Models via Marginal LikelihoodVideo
October 12, 2018

Dr. Jonathan Terhorst, Assistant Professor of Statistics, University of Michigan
New Methods for Detecting Natural Selection in Large Samples of Genetic DataVideo
October 5, 2018

Dr. Kevin Xu, Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, University of Toledo
Statistical Models for Analyzing Dynamic Social Network DataVideo
September 28, 2018

Dr. Ivo D. Dinov Professor of Health Behavior and Biological Sciences, School of Nursing, University of Michigan
The Enigmatic Kime: Time Complexity in Data ScienceVideo
September 21, 2018

2017-2018 Season

Dr. Avi Goldfarb,  Ellison Professor of Marketing, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto
Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial IntelligenceVideo
May 16, 2018

Dr. John P.A. Ioannidis, C.F. Rehnborg Chair in Disease Prevention, Professor of Medicine, Health Research and Policy, Biomedical Data Science, and Statistics, co-Director of the Meta-Research Innovation Center, Director of the PhD program in Epidemiology and Clinical Research, Stanford University
The Power of Bias and What To Do About ItVideo
April 18, 2018

Dr. Christ D. Richmond, Associate Professor, School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering, Arizona State University
Parameter Bounds Under Misspecified Models and Some perspectives for Data Science and LearningVideo
April 13, 2018

Dr. Lieven Vandenberghe, Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of California, Los Angeles
Sparsity and Decomposition in Semidefinite OptimizationVideo, Slides
April 6, 2018

Dr. Frank Kargl, Director, Institute for Distributed Systems, University of Ulm, Germany
Protecting Security and Privacy of Connected & Automated CarsVideo
March 30, 2018

Dr. Jenna Wiens, Assistant Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Michigan
Increasing the Utility of Machine Learning in Critical Care
March 23, 2018

Dr. Candace Thille, Stanford University
Technology, the Science of Learning and Transformation in Higher EducationVideo
March 16, 2018

Dr. Pascal Van Hentenryck, Professor, Industrial Operations and Engineering, University of Michigan
Data and Decision Science for Mobility Services“; Video
March 9, 2018

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. Christopher J. Rozell, Associate Professor – Electrical and Computer Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology
Closing the Loop Between Mind and Machine: Building Algorithms to Interface with Brains at Multiple Scales“; Video
December 1, 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