The Data Science Initiative at the Hariri Institute for Computing is pleased to announce that the 5th Annual BU Data Science (BUDS) Day will be held on Wednesday, February 5, 2020. 

The event features both BU researchers and external data scientists for a day-long symposium. From social sciences, humanities, business, medicine, engineering, computer science, and statistics – BUDS Day aims to provide an environment for cross-disciplinary connections and drive future research collaborations.

BU Data Science (BUDS) Day
Wednesday, February 5, 2020, 8:45 am – 5:00 pm
Trustee Ballroom, Metcalf Trustee Center
1 Silber Way (9th Floor)

Boston University
Social media: #BUDS2020

Audience: Anyone who builds, analyzes, or utilizes computational and statistical methods, tools, and software artifacts to collect, curate, store, transfer, analyze, or visualize various types of data in their work or research.


8:45 am – 9:15 am Registration & Light Refreshments
9:15 am – 9:30 am Welcome & Opening Remarks
• Eric Kolaczyk (Professor, Director of Hariri Institute for Computing)
• Gloria Waters (Professor, VP and Associate Provost, Sargent College)
9:30 am – 10:45 am

Session I – “Data-driven Modeling of Harmful Online Behavior”‘

The Web and social media have facilitated harmful activities such as online harassment, disinformation, and radicalization. While Data Science can help model these phenomena, these are inherently socio-technical problems, which have long been studied by research fields like Psychology, Sociology, Communication, and Ethics. In this session experts in various fields will provide their view on the challenges and opportunities in leveraging Data Science to study and mitigate online harmful activity.

Session Organizer: Gianluca Stringhini (Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, ENG)

10:45 am – 11:00 am Coffee Break
11:00 am – 12:15 pm
Session II – “Industry-enabled Data Science Research”

This session will explore the current state and future of industry-enabled data science research at BU. Participants, including faculty and representatives from BU’s offices of Industry Engagement and Technology Development, will present recent work involving external engagements and participate in a panel discussion on the opportunities and challenges that arise in conducting research with industry and other external partners in the era of data science.

Session Organizer: Georgios Zervas (Associate Professor of Marketing, QST)
12:15 pm – 12:30 pm Provost Remarks: University Updates
Jean Morrison (University Provost and Chief Academic Officer)
12:30 pm – 1:15 pm Lunch
1:15 pm – 1:45 pm Briefing and Q&A on the Faculty of Computing & Data Sciences

This session will feature plenary remarks and an open discussion on the progress and planning for the new Faculty of Computing & Data Sciences (CDS). Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs, Maureen O’Rourke, will give a short update on the work of the planning committee developing recommendations related to faculty appointments in CDS, and Professor Mark Crovella will give a short update on the work of the planning committee developing recommendations related to CDS curriculum and academic programs. The session will conclude with an open discussion and Q&A.

Session Organizer: Azer Bestavros (Associate Provost for Computing and Data Sciences)

• Maureen O’Rourke (Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs)
• Mark Crovella (Professor of Computer Science, CAS)

1:45 pm – 2:30 pm

BU Spark! Student-Driven Data Science @ BU
Ziba Cranmer (Director of BU SPARK!)

2:30 pm – 2:45 pm Coffee Break
2:45 pm – 4:00 pm

Session III – “Improving Health Outcomes with Data”

The data science and health session aim to bring together public health practitioners, clinicians and researchers working on improving health outcomes using data. The speakers will present their perspectives on the role of data in patient care and population health. We will also discuss challenges including, privacy and population representation, associated with the use of data in health research.

Session Organizer: Elaine Nsoesie (Assistant Professor of Global Health, SPH)

• Patricia Fabian (Associate Professor of Environmental Health, SPH)
• Greg Herschel (Statistical Analyst of Epidemiology, SPH)
• Nina Cesare (Postdoctoral Associate Center for Global Health & Development, SPH)
• Charlene Ong (Assistant Professor of Neurology, MED)
• Thomas B. Kepler (Professor of Microbiology, MED)
• Belinda Borrelli (Professor of Health Policy & Health Services Research, SDM)

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm Reception: Data Science Social

Past BUDS Day Events

BUDS Day 2019 (February 6, 2019)
BUDS Day 2018 (January 26, 2018)
BUDS Day 2017 (January 27, 2017)
BUDS Day 2016 (January 26, 2016)

Click here for more past photos



BUDS Day Reactions

“The event has become a tradition that reinforces the strengths of BU in high-level computation and machine learning sciences. This is crucial based on the initiatives that we have been implementing at the university and relative to the university’s stature in mathematics, computation, and science in general.”

The event was very successful and created a platform for researchers from different fields to get to know each other’s work and foster collaborations.”

The event was incredibly successful. On my panel alone I learned a lot, and I found myself talking about other panels long after BUDS was over. I was particularly intrigued by Chris Schmidtt’s presentation. Having panelists from multiple disciplines is genius.”

2020 BUDS Day Co-Chairs

Assistant Professor
Global Health, College of Arts
& Sciences
Assistant Professor
Electrical & Computer Engineering,
College of Engineering
Associate Professor

Marketing, Questrom School
of Business

BUDS Day Officers & Past C0-Chairs

Eric Kolaczyk, Professor
Department of Math & Statistics, College of Arts & Sciences
Director, Hariri Institute for Computing

Azer Bestavros, William Fairfield Warren Distinguished Professor
Department of Computer Science, College of Arts & Sciences
Founding Director, Hariri Institute for Computing

John Byers, Data Science Faculty Fellow, Data Science Initiative
Department of Computer Science, College of Arts & Sciences
Interim Associate Dean of the MCS Faculty, College of Arts & Sciences

Lei Guo (2019 Co-Chair), Assistant Professor
Emerging Media Studies, College of Communication

Vijaya Kolachalama (2019 Co-Chair), Assistant Professor
Computational Biomedicine, School of Medicine

Evimaria Terzi (2019 Co-Chair), Associate Professor
Department of Computer Science, College of Arts & Sciences

Neha Gondal (2018 Co-Chair), Assistant Professor
Department of Sociology, College of Arts & Sciences

Brian Kulis (2018 Co-Chair), Paul J. Levine Career Development Assistant Professor
Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, College of Engineering

William Evan Johnson (2017 Co-Chair), Associate Professor
Computational Biomedicine, School of Medicine

Dylan Walker (2017 Co-Chair), Assistant Professor
Information Systems, Questrom School of Business

Dino Christenson (2016 Co-Chair), Associate Professor
Political Sciences, College & Graduate School of Arts & Sciences

Prakesh Ishwar (2016 Co-Chair), Professor
Ishwar Lab, College of Engineering

Data Science Defined
Methodological, generalizable, and scalable extraction of knowledge from data by developing and applying methods from computer science and statistics and by building software artifacts to collect, curate, analyze, mine, synthesize, and visualize various types of data.