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By Jayasree Jaganatha, Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI) – 

Notes, takeaways, and resources from our second event (featuring Deen Freelon, Andrés Hincapié, and Matt Jansen) – 

On February 24, 2022, Carolina Data Science Now hosted the second iteration of its seminar series, which will strive to link the people, research, and resources by highlighting the many faces of data science across our campus, and demonstrating the integral role data science can play in all disciplines.

This Month’s Speakers

The theme of the event was “Tackling Underrepresentation with Data Science.” The speakers were selected to provide insight on how data science is used across different disciplines to address underrepresentation.

Deen Freelon | Hussman School of Journalism & Media

Deen Freelon presented, “Ethnic/Racial and Gender Inequities in Computational Science,” and shared his observations, industry statistics, and current roadblocks in addressing underrepresentation in the data science field.

Read more about the lightning talk here.

Andrés Hincapié | Economics

Andrés Hincapié discussed his research project, “Entrepreneurship in Black and White: Life Cycle Differences in Entrepreneurship between Black and White Males,” which aims to examine the various mechanisms and decision factors behind the increasing gap in entrepreneurship between white and black males as they age by using a life cycle model of occupational choice.

Read more about the lightning talk here.

Matt Jansen | University Libraries

Matt Jansen spoke on the development of the “On the Books: Jim Crow and Algorithms of Resistance” project, a collections as data and machine learning project of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Libraries with the goal of discovering Jim Crow and racially-based legislation signed into law in North Carolina between Reconstruction and the Civil Rights Movement (1866/67-1967). Jansen was joined by project team members Amanda Henley, Lorin Bruckner, and Brianna Nuñez during the Q&A portion of the event to provide more context on the project overall.

Read more about the lightning talk here.

Speaker Q&A

Questions for the speakers were collected through an EasyRetro board. Topics during this section included:

  • The public domain and time-related benefits of using the Jim Crow corpus over other resources, and projects that have utilized it so far.
  • The inclusion of HBCUs and MSIs in the second phase of the Jim Crow projects.
  • Effective scholarship, resources, and practices for broadening participation in data science for K – 12 and post-secondary students.
  • Reasons behind why the gap in entrepreneurial returns is significant between black and white males.
  • Examples of data science being used for research within the communications and economics fields and used to demonstrate research findings and suggest changes to policy-makers and.
  • Signs for researchers to consider using data science tools and resources in their research projects.

Conversations with the Data Science Community

For this month’s community activity, Aikat encouraged attendees to share resources that are focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and have provided support or learning opportunities in their career, or in the careers of colleagues. Those who submitted entries were called on during our community discussion to present a one-minute stand-up talk on their resource.

Resources were collected through an EasyRetro board. Members of the UNC data science community are encouraged to continue adding resources to the board. Entries can have a professional or social focus, and may include educational programs & short courses, funding & support, on-campus resources, data science projects with a DEI focus, and tools & software.

A full list of educational programs, funding opportunities, on-campus support services, tools and software, and more shared during Carolina Data Science Now seminars can be found on our Resources page. A new Social & Professional Organizations page has also been added with a special focus on organizations that empower and support diversity in the technology and data science field.

Next Seminar

On March 24 at 12 PM (EST), please join us for “Transforming Youth Advocacy.” The event will feature three lightning talks by professors and researchers in UNC-Chapel Hill’s academic community, centered around how data science tools are applied to create safe, enriching environments for the growth and development of minors. These talks will be followed by a guided panel, an opportunity for questions and answers with the speakers, and a discussion with the data science community at UNC-Chapel Hill. Please register here.

Check out a playlist of our previous events here.

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