Enabling Data Science for the Majority

Seminar | February 15 | 4 p.m. | Soda Hall, 306 Soda Hall

 Aditya Parameswaran, Assistant Professor, University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign

 Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences (EECS)

Despite great strides in the generation, collection, and processing of data at scale, data science is still extremely inconvenient for the majority of the population. The driving goal of our research is to help individuals and teams--regardless of programming ability--manage, analyze, make sense of, and draw insights from large datasets. In my talk, I will describe a suite of tools that we’ve been building that empower individuals and teams to perform data science more effectively and effortlessly, including DataSpread, a "big data" spreadsheet tool that combines the benefits of spreadsheets and databases; ZenVisage, a visual exploration tool that facilitates the rapid discovery of trends or patterns; and Orpheus, a collaborative data analytics tool that enables the efficient recording and retrieval of dataset versions at various stages of analysis. I will describe some of the key technical challenges underlying the development of these tools, and how we addressed them, drawing from ideas in multiple disciplines. I will finally outline a future research agenda for tool development to truly democratize data science, with the ultimate goal of allowing everyone to tap into the hidden potential in their datasets at scale.

Aditya Parameswaran is an Assistant Professor in Computer Science at the University of Illinois (UIUC). He spent a year as a PostDoc at MIT CSAIL following his PhD at Stanford University (2013), before starting at Illinois in August 2014. He develops systems and algorithms for interactive or "human-in-the-loop" data analytics, synthesizing techniques from database systems, data mining, and human computation.