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Data Science and Statistics Influencing Science, Technology, and Society

1 October 2021 No Comment
Claire Bowen, SDSS 2022 Committee Chair

The last year and a half have been trying for all of us. The pandemic has instigated and worsened social inequalities, forced evictions, threatened the education system, contributed to job losses and employment shortages, demanded reformation of health care and education systems, and more. This is why I chose the theme “Influencing Science, Technology, and Society” for the 2022 Symposium on Data Science and Statistics (SDSS). I want the meeting to feature the data science and statistics community’s science and technology work that focuses on bettering our society.

As in previous years, the SDSS 2022 committee plans for the conference to be in person in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This was the original location for SDSS 2020, where David Hunter, SDSS 2020 program chair, noted the following:

Located at the southwest edge of the Strip District—home to an assortment of restaurants, boutiques, old-style grocers, and more—The Westin is also less than a mile from the scenic confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers known as Point State Park, or simply The Point. We have paid attention to the survey responses of past SDSS attendees who hoped for more unscheduled time to experience the host city, and the downtown Pittsburgh location will allow ample opportunity to explore. Beyond the venue itself, Pittsburgh is home to several world-class universities and a thriving high-tech sector heavily influenced by data science.

As part of the conference, the SDSS 2022 committee will provide a list of local restaurants and attractions to check out in between sessions so attendees can build and develop their professional networks.

Similar to SDSS 2021, this next conference will host refereed presentations, lightning talks paired with poster sessions, short courses, and plenary panels. We will also continue our partnership with Stat Editor Helen Zhang and authors of refereed presentations will be invited to submit papers for the SDSS 2022 special issue. The SDSS 2020 special issue came out earlier this year, and the SDSS 2021 special issue is underway.

As with every SDSS, the program committees help shape the conference based on community needs. I am happy to bring together diverse perspectives from industry, government, and academia, along with different backgrounds in public policy, physics, computer science, and more for the SDSS 2022 committee.

Although the virtual environment has kept us connected, students and early-career professionals often rely on in-person conferences to initially create and build connections, so the SDSS 2022 committee decided to focus on how we can help students and early-career professionals. One of the three plenary talks is a career panel that will feature data scientists from industry, government, and academia, followed by subpanels in each sector. This unique panel session will provide students and early-career professionals with more opportunities to ask questions and network with other professionals. We will also host a speed mentoring session.

I am excited to see what amazing work the data science and statistics community has accomplished. Let us come together and influence our society for the better.

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