D4 Institute Conference on Data Science

Saturday, October 30, 2021 - 1:00pm to 4:00pm
Event Type: 

The D4 Institute at Iowa State University will host a Data Science conference on October 30th, 2021. Join us virtually to hear a keynote speech from a Research Science Manager at Amazon, to engage in a D4 Institute panel discussion on data science graduate studies, and to participate in a poster session!

*To access the meeting link, please check your email inbox. All registered attendees were sent the Zoom link on 10/29 at 10:00am from mmott@iastate.edu*

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Ming Li, Research Science Manager, Amazon. 

  • Keynote Title: Bridge the Gaps Between Traditional Quantitative Training and Data Science
  • Abstract: With recent developments in data science, there are a few gaps between traditional quantitative training and data science. In this talk, we walk through these gaps in details from the lens of industry applications. First, we discuss the difference between statistician and data scientist and how cloud platforms help. Then, we focus on the project cycles and common pitfalls of typical data science projects. Lastly, we describe the roles of deep learning in data science. 
  • Speaker Biography: Dr. Ming Li is currently a research science manager at Amazon’s last mile team and was a research scientist at the customer service team and a senior research scientist at the seller partner services team. He organized and presented the 2018 Joint Statistical Meetings Introductory Overview Lecture: Leading Data Science: Talent, Strategy, and Impact. He was the Chair of Quality & Productivity Section of the American Statistical Association. Before joining Amazon, he was a data scientist at Walmart and a statistical leader at General Electric Global Research Center. He holds a Ph.D. in Statistics and Physics from Iowa State University. He was also an instructor of Amazon’s internal Machine Learning University and the recipient of Amazon's Best Science Mentor Award. He is also an adjunct instructor at the University of Washington. He has trained and mentored numerous junior data scientists with different backgrounds such as statistician, software developer, and business analyst.

Panel Discussion:

  • Panel Title: Graduate Studies in Data Science at Iowa State University
  • Abstract : This panel discussion will inform students of opportunities for data science graduate studies in the four departments leading Iowa State's NSF-funded TRIPODS D4 Institute. Panelists will cover topics including programs and departments, admissions and funding, research areas, and activities. After, there will be time for audience Q&A. 
  • Panelists : Dr. Pavankumar Aduri (Computer Science), Dr. Namrata Vaswani (Electrical and Computer Engineering), Dr. Eric Weber (Mathematics), and Dr. Heike Hofmann (Statistics). 


  • 1:00 - 1:05 pm, Welcome and conference introduction
  • 1:05 - 1:50 pm, Keynote address by Ming Li, Research Science Manager at Amazon
  • 1:50 - 2:00 pm, Keynote speaker Q&A
  • 2:05 - 2:20 pm, Break
  • 2:20 - 3:00 pm, Panel discussion
  • 3:00 - 4:00 pm, Poster session 


To attend, all interested parties must fill out the free registration form found here. The Zoom link sent later in the month for the keynote and panelist sessions will be sent to the email applicants provide in the form. The poster session will take place on Gather Town

To register to present a poster: 

  • Applicants must first register for the conference as a whole via the link above. 
  • Then, applicants must go to this link to submit their poster proposal by October 27th. 
    • Posters with more than one author require only one poster registration by one of the authors.
  • Posters must be a single-image file satisfying the following requirements:
    • PNG format;
    • Min. resolution of 1000 px width, 600 px height;
    • Max. resolution of 5120 px width, 2880 px height; 
    • Max. file size of 3 MB;
    • No transparent backgrounds. 

Please email mmott@iastate.edu with any questions. We look forward to seeing you there!