Data Science Student Profiles: Stefan de Villiers


The University of Washington hosted the Data Science Minor Showcase several weeks ago, an event for undergraduates to explore the curriculum offered as part of the Data Science Minor program that was launched in Fall 2020. The showcase featured UW faculty outlining the new courses they have developed for the Minor, personal experiences from students who are currently enrolled in the minor, as well as smaller breakout sessions for participants to learn more about possible pathways towards data science from their areas of interest. One of the students who shared their experience with the Data Science Minor program was Stefan de Villiers, a UW senior who is majoring in Economics in addition to minoring in both Data Science and Mathematics.

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Data Science Student Profiles: Bonnie Du

The University of Washington’s Data Science Minor brings data science to a wide range of undergraduates within and beyond the STEM fields. 186 students are currently enrolled in the new minor, representing 54 areas of study at the university. UW undergrads interested in gaining literacy in data science methods and understanding their implications for society should look into adding a Data Science Minor to their studies. Ben Marwick, Senior Data Science Fellow and Director of the Data Science minor, described how the program will balance data skills and studies: “The goal is to combine the technical skills that relate to the new developments of generating and analyzing large amounts of data, then give students the context and the critical thinking skills to do something meaningful with that.”

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Using Cloud Computing to Aid Seattle’s Covid Response

Over the past year, the University of Washington and UW Medicine have been at the heart of the city of Seattle’s Covid-19 response: researchers studying social distancing and how the virus spreads on our communities, volunteers collecting and distributing supplies, clinical vaccine trials, and a partnership with the city to process over 2 million test samples at no cost to residents – all of which have helped Seattle maintain one of the lowest Covid-19 rates of major US cities. And with so many departments and teams working together, often involving clinical patient data, an adaptable and secure info-sharing system is absolutely necessary.

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Help the Fibr Algorithm Learn to Read MRI Scans

At the University of Washington, eScience Data Science Fellow and Research Assistant Professor of Psychology Ariel Rokem and UW Data Science Postdoctoral Fellow Adam Richie-Halford have created a way for the general public to help an algorithm learn to read MRI scans. Fibr utilizes the vast dataset of the Healthy Brain Network to better understand how mental health disorders are first diagnosed in childhood and adolescence. But in order for the algorithm to differentiate between scans that show long-range fiber connections in the brain and those that don’t, it must first learn what to look for. Regardless of scientific training, anyone who wants to participate can view a short tutorial and start guiding Fibr towards new innovations in neuroscience and beyond.

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Art Pilgrimage to New York City

I recently returned from my solo trip to New York City, and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect! I originally booked the trip in late October so that I could see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Lyric Theatre on Halloween, but as I started researching other activities to fill the rest of my trip, I realized that I had inadvertently planned everything to coincide with tons of exciting limited-run art and music experiences!

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The Final Chapter of the Viaduct

The 66-year reign of the Alaskan Way Viaduct has officially come to an end. I can’t say that I’m sad to see it go because it was an ugly, inefficient and unstable piece of Seattle’s infrastructure. But like many other pieces of the city’s history, it creates a small void when it’s suddenly gone. I was one of the 30,000 people who came to say goodbye to the Viaduct and be one of the first to travel in the new replacement tunnel in the Tunnel to Viaduct 8K earlier this month.

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Clark University: a History of Challenging Convention

Last Friday, Clark University was just one of many colleges across the United States to publicly announce that students who are involved in protests against gun violence will not be penalized for their actions, and it will not impact their admission or enrollment status. From the school’s Twitter:

“A statement to future Clarkies from President David Angel: We’re aware many high school students around the U.S. plan to engage in peaceful walkouts over the coming weeks to protest gun violence. Some high schools indicate students may face disciplinary action for doing so. Working toward meaningful change on issues of consequence is central to who we are as a community, as expressed by our motto, “Challenge Convention. Change Our World.” If you’re considering Clark, we doubt you’re waiting for our permission to stand up for your beliefs.”

But this certainly isn’t the first time – nor the last – that Clark students and professors have been intent on disrupting the status quo.

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Beyond Transparency: Material Disclosure and Practice

Materials Matter is a five-session series from the AIA Seattle chapter that delivers comprehensive, high-level knowledge and strategies for assessing and selecting healthy, sustainable materials. I had the opportunity to attend the first run of the newly-developed series with many of the local industry leaders who helped create the innovative course materials. AIA Seattle has just finished hosting the series for a second time.

The series encompasses everything tied to building materials and how they impact our lives: human health, the tools and data available for assessing and prioritizing materials, and strategies for integrating informed decision-making into projects and practice. Join me as I discover exactly why Materials Matter.

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Just Do It: Strategies for Projects

Materials Matter is a five-session series from the AIA Seattle chapter that delivers comprehensive, high-level knowledge and strategies for assessing and selecting healthy, sustainable materials. I had the opportunity to attend the first run of the newly-developed series with many of the local industry leaders who helped create the innovative course materials. AIA Seattle is currently hosting the series for a second time.

The series encompasses everything tied to building materials and how they impact our lives: human health, the tools and data available for assessing and prioritizing materials, and strategies for integrating informed decision-making into projects and practice. Join me as I discover exactly why Materials Matter.

AIA MM 4

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