Thank You, Sponsors!

Sponsors for the Data Science Research Bazaar include on-campus departments and Madison-based companies. Read about our sponsors below.

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AE Business Solutions

Describe what AE Business Solutions does, and how it relates to data science.

AE Business Solutions is a leading IT and Workforce Management company that serves enterprise organizations throughout Wisconsin. The Business Intelligence and Analytics team at AE helps organizations grow their analytics capabilities. We work across the entire spectrum of analytics, from integration and warehousing to visualization and predictive modeling, in order to help organizations make better use of their data. Data science is about learning from data, and our goal is to enable organizations to be data-informed.

How is AE furthering social progress?

One of the core values of our team is to engage with our community. We are a Wisconsin-based team, so we focus on giving back to the state of Wisconsin. We have partnered with local organizations in order to offer pro bono services in analytics, delivering training and advising in order to use the skillsets of our team to help our community. In 2020, AE Business Solutions launched a charitable branch of our organization, AE Cares, to further our mission of engaging locally. AE Cares is dedicated to giving back to the community through charity work, engaging with and elevating the voices of racial equality organizations, and helping our veterans.

What is something you’re looking forward to at the Data Science Research Bazaar?

Last year’s Research Bazaar was an excellent opportunity to meet people working within this field within Wisconsin. The lightning talks especially were a fun and innovative way to see everyone’s work.

What is something data science-related that has excited or interested you recently?

Brian Christian recently released a book, The Alignment Problem: Machine Learning and Human Values, which is an excellent contribution to the ongoing conversation surrounding the biases embedded in predictive models and how they might be addressed. He uses illuminating examples from real world problems to make the case that data science must continue to commit itself to transparency and ethics.

Why is sponsoring the Data Science Research Bazaar important to you?

We are excited to help expand the practice of data science within the state of Wisconsin. Data science is for everyone.

All of Us Research Program

Describe what the All of Us Research Program does, and how it relates to data science.

UW-Madison is actively recruiting and enrolling participants into the nationwide All of Us Research Program, led by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which aims to enroll more than 1 million people. All data are being stored in an online database to be accessed by health researchers to help advance medical breakthroughs in the prevention and treatment of a range of diseases.

How is All of Us furthering social progress?

A primary goal of the program is to enroll individuals who have, historically, been underrepresented in health research, such as the African American, Latinx, LGBTQ, rural, and elderly populations. To date, over 80% of the sample identifies with at least one of these communities, which may help researchers better understand why some diseases, such as COVID-19, impact these populations more severely than others.

What is something you’re looking forward to at the Data Science Research Bazaar?

We’re looking forward to meeting and learning from other campus researchers about their work and having a discussion about how the All of Us data could help advance their research goals.

What is something data science-related that has excited or interested you recently?

The amount of underrepresented participants in the All of Us sample, thus far, is exciting and could prove to be a real game changer in the advancement of precision medicine.

Why is supporting the Data Science Research Bazaar important to you?

We want to support the UW research community, in general. But, specifically, we are proud of the mission and work of the All of Us program, so we want to meet researchers to be able to take advantage of this incredible resource as much as possible.


Describe what IBM does, and how it relates to data science.

IBM is one of the foremost recognized companies within the data science space.  As a leader and innovator, IBM continues to push the boundaries for data science with new advancements, open source, and community outreach.  IBM is positioned in the Leaders category in the 2020 IDC MarketScape for Worldwide Advanced Machine Learning Software Platforms.  As members of IBM’s Data, AI, and Automation organization, we are on the forefront of this field and excited to be part of the Data Science Bazaar.

How is IBM furthering social progress?

Launched in 2016, IBM Science for Social Good partners IBM Research scientists and engineers with academic fellows, subject matter experts from a diverse range of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), public sector agencies, and social enterprises to tackle emerging societal challenges using science and technology. The Science for Social Good program is built on the premise that applied science and technology can solve the world’s toughest problems by accelerating the rate and pace of solutions through the scientific method.

IBM Science for Social Good has executed 28 projects, from detecting new epidemics and diseases and understanding the causes of opioid addiction recognizing hate speech, and accelerating scientific discovery.

What is something you’re looking forward to at the Data Science Research Bazaar?

Observing other perspectives and methods as well as hearing about unique projects being undertaken.

What is something data science-related that has excited or interested you recently?

A project by our Watson Health and Truven Analytics teams to help curb the opioid epidemic. Understanding the patterns of addiction, learning evidence-based guidelines for responsible prescription and creating early warning systems are instrumental when battling new addictions.

Why is sponsoring the Data Science Research Bazaar important to you?

IBM knows applied science can help solve the world’s toughest problems and inspire business innovation.  We hope to make meaningful contributions as well understand emerging opportunities.

UW-Madison Division of Information Technology (DoIT)

Describe what DoIT does, and how it relates to data science.

The UW-Madison Division of Information Technology mission is to serve as a collaborative information and technology organization working with our community to enable and equip the university with high-quality, sustainable technologies and services.

Our vision is to create and implement solutions designed together—with seamless technology moving the university forward.

Today’s researchers work within many types of data, collaborate with other institutions, leverage on-campus and public cloud computing resources, and transmit data from remote locations. This reality requires resources and support that are reliable, available, effective and secure. Helping researchers use new modes of computation and visualization enables the university to stay on the cutting edge and to continue expanding knowledge through future discoveries.

How is DoIT furthering social progress?

In addition to furthering our longstanding work within DoIT in the equity, diversity and inclusion space with a renewed action plan for 2021, we’ve also kicked off campus-wide efforts to use more inclusive, respectful language in our work via a collaborative “UW IT Talks Technical” project.

For years, the cybersecurity community has labeled functions or identified different teams by colors—with examples to include “whitelists” for good websites and “blacklists” for bad sites, users, and IP addresses. As technologists, we also need to deal with old school thinking with such terms as “master” and “slave” when talking about data backups and recordings. Generational backup strategies we used to call “grandfather”, “father”, and “son” are no longer appropriate.

Where we used to communicate with colors, offensive terms and jargon or shorthand for technical terms, we must now commit to using more accurate and less offensive terms. Through the UW IT Technical Initiative, we’re working together to coin and socialize new terms that are more accurate—and also less confusing, dated, and offensive.

What is something you’re looking forward to at the Data Science Research Bazaar?

The year behind us was certainly an intense one. When the pandemic shifted much of the university’s operations online, DoIT led the charge in providing, maintaining, and improving robust and secure IT infrastructure and services to support the mission of the university—not the least of which included working with our campus partners to quickly move thousands of courses online.

The pandemic has had far-reaching impacts on us all, personally and professionally. During such a critical and stressful time, it’s easy to lose focus on self-care. We’re grateful for the opportunity to bring this to the forefront of the Data Science Research Bazaar, with Dr. Shilagh Mirgain’s examination of self-care, wellness, and meditation in the digital age.

And there’s perhaps never been a more important time to focus on data science for the social good—we applaud Data Science Research Bazaar organizers for honing in on such a critical theme, developing a robust examination of how data science can augment equity along racial lines, within health and environmentally, and in our cities.

What is something data science-related that has excited or interested you recently?

Perhaps what excites us the most about data science is our ability as technologists to support and underpin the innovative work and discovery that’s always evolving in the data science space. Consistently ranked among the top 10 universities in the country for research volume, UW-Madison needs a robust, secure and evolving infrastructure to support researchers in making new discoveries and fostering innovation.

To support these critical needs in a rapidly-changing environment, the Research Cyberinfrastructure Initiative is designed to expand and update UW-Madison’s resources and capabilities. Led by the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education and Chief Information Officer, the initiative is a collaborative effort with DoIT, the Research Technology Advisory Group (RTAG), the Libraries, and other groups on campus.

Modern research runs on technology, and researchers increasingly are conducting data- and computation-intensive discovery—from sophisticated genome sequencing to new methods of light sheet microscopy.

As research itself evolves, so too must the infrastructure that supports it. Our researchers at UW-Madison need a diverse set of computing resources, reliable and secure storage, and tools for managing data across its lifecycle. Finally, they also need help using these tools and resources.

Along with having secure, on-premise methods of storage, researchers also need to be able to connect with peers at other institutions, leveraging public cloud computing resources. We can help by paving a pathway to the public cloud—making sure that it’s secure, sustainable and adaptable—to promote collaboration and drive discovery on future research challenges.

With the launch of the ResearchDrive service, principal investigators and their research group members now have access to secure, permanent, shareable storage space on the UW-Madison campus network. ResearchDrive offers backup and archive capabilities, as well as appropriate storage for the voluminous data inputs and outputs of research computing. Learn more about ResearchDrive and other Research Cyberinfrastructure services.

Why is sponsoring the Data Science Research Bazaar important to you?

UW-Madison embraces data science on multiple fronts: through our Data Science Institute, through our data science degree program, through research across campus, and countless engagements. The Division of Information Technology strives to be a partner to all of these groups and organizations—providing technology infrastructure, process, solutions, and governance to enable the success of each endeavor. We’re honors to sponsor the Data Science Research Bazaar, and we look forward to engaging and learning more about the needs of our campus partners.

UW-Madison Libraries

Describe what the Libraries do, and how it relates to data science.

If you are a member of the UW-Madison community, it’s likely that you’ve already seen our work in action. You’ve probably worked in one of our campus libraries, accessed an article from a database or an e-book, or maybe you’ve checked out some of the really cool items in Special Collections. In short, the Libraries help support the research and teaching missions of our university and that includes data science, too!

How are the Libraries furthering social progress?

Furthering social progress is at the heart of many of the Libraries’ functions. Making information and resources accessible, providing space for research and creativity, and investing in collecting and resources are all critical to supporting research that can improve the lives and well-being of those in our state and beyond.

We are also committed to doing better in our work. We know that collections can hold historically harmful descriptions, content, subject headings, and contribute to erasure of underrepresented communities. We also recognize that librarianship is still a predominantly white and very homogeneous field. We are committed to improving our organization, our collections, and addressing the ways in which we perpetuate inequities and harm.

What is something you’re looking forward to at the Data Science Research Bazaar?

We’re thrilled about this year’s theme of Data Science for the Social Good! We are so excited about the centering of ethics, care, and social justice in data science through this theme. We’re also really looking forward to many of the interactive discussions and workshops, which will help the attendees put the theme into practice.

What is something data science-related that has excited or interested you lately?

During the pandemic we have seen the value of the open and rapid dissemination of data and publications for innovation and discovery. The public is also more aware than ever of the importance of data science to help address critical issues like COVID and other public health crises. However, we are also seeing the open call for more equitable algorithms and systems from Timnit Gebru, Joy Buolamwini, Alex Hanna, and many, many more. We encourage everyone to read the works of those listed above, attend the book discussion on race and technology during the Research Bazaar, and check out this recent blog post that highlights some other resources.

Why is sponsoring the Data Science Research Bazaar important to you?

Last year’s Data Science Research Bazaar was such a great opportunity to build cross-campus connections, learn about campus research, and gain practical skills through the workshops and sessions. It was valuable not just for helping enable research on our campus, but for creating a community and shared space to connect and learn from one another. We are thrilled to sponsor it again this year.

School of Computer, Data, and Information Sciences (CDIS)

The School of Computer Data, and Information Sciences (CDIS) comprises the departments of library and information studies (iSchool), computer science, and statistics.

Describe what CDIS’ departments do, and how it relates to data science.

iSchool: the iSchool trains experts who collect, describe, clean, manage, disseminate, digitize, curate, structure, analyze, visualize, secure, preserve, teach about, and most importantly critique information in many forms, of which data (however defined) is only one.

Computer Science: Our department is the largest  on campus and continues to grow. We offer a broad range of educational offerings that include undergraduate degrees, an MS/PhD program, and professional graduate programs, along with classes that many non-majors take to enrich their academic experience. Students engage in many of the problems and technical challenges facing society today, and learn computational skills and literacy that enables them to thrive in many career settings. The department offers a dynamic environment for study and research in many areas including computer architecture, database systems, distributed and grid computing, and nonlinear optimization. In the department, academic and private sector collaboration is the norm, and innovative discoveries have seeded many start-ups. Specializations in many areas are possible, and the interactions between mathematics, computation, and efficient and effective use of data provides a backbone for many research and teaching efforts in the department.

Statistics: Data science is at the heart of the discipline of statistics, which includes the theory, development, and application of methods to make inferences from data in light of uncertainty. The strategic direction of the department is to build upon existing strengths in data science. The department has offered an option in data science in its masters program for over five years and is the administrative home of the new undergraduate baccalaureate program in data science. Recent growth in faculty includes several new assistant professors whose research expertise and teaching specialization are in different aspects of data science.

How are CDIS’ departments furthering social progress?

iSchool: iSchool faculty and staff do cutting-edge research on consumer health informatics; digital youth; history of books and digital culture; human-centered systems designed to support information retrieval, evaluation, management, use, and collaboration; information ethics, especially privacy; information technology and labor; scholarly communication; and data analytics. iSchool graduates bring their information management, technology, and people skills to startups, established businesses, non-profits, schools, governments, libraries, and archives. iSchool students read to children, help people of all ages get started with new technology, ensure that incarcerated people in Dane County Jails have books and magazines to read, and help Wisconsin’s First Nations start tribal libraries and preserve their languages and cultures.

Computer Science: Technology developed in our department impacts just about all aspects of society. From environmental research, to health care, to robotics, to agriculture, work at UW-Madison in computer science helps people live better lives. While our work is far-reaching, we also value making a positive impact. We make effort to ensure that our technologies are supporting, and being developed by, diverse groups, and that they advance societal good. Privacy, security, and notions of fairness in predictions are topics that are at the forefront of our research foci.

Statistics: Members of the Department of Statistics have participated in a number of outreach activities aimed at promoting diversity in the fields of data science and statistics. Examples include graduate students participating in the WID Science Saturdays aimed at K-12 students, delivering a machine learning seminar and podcast interview to a school in Nigeria, serving as mentors in the “STEM Power is Girl Power” program and in the American Statistical Association diversity mentoring program, and serving on boards and committees to promote diversity in international organizations as well as campus groups.

What is something you’re looking forward to at the Research Bazaar?

iSchool: In a tumultuous year, we have not had much chance to mingle with like-minded people on campus and in Madison—not even virtually. We welcome the opportunity to do so!

Computer Science: Collaboration and connection are important to the work of all our department’s students, faculty, and staff. Having an opportunity to learn about new areas of research and discovery from diverse scholars is a prime opportunity for us to listen and share.

Statistics: I am looking forward to learning from the session on Data Science for Racial Equity.

What is something data science-related that has excited or interested you recently?

iSchool: Dr. Corey Jackson et al’s award-winning article on volunteer learning in online citizen science! Internet-facilitated large-scale collaborative work is both tremendously important to many fields of endeavor and very difficult to scaffold well. Dr. Jackson and his colleagues have elicited several insights on how participants learn the ropes and where they seek help that should help many more projects succeed. See

Computer Science: With the pandemic on our minds, we are excited to see how many UW researchers, including many in Computer Sciences, are using data to help solve problems that are particularly relevant right now. For example, Dr. Michael Ferris, one of our faculty, is working with the Wisconsin National Guard and Department of Health Services to do COVID modeling that will help with both the efficient and fair distribution of vaccines across the state.

Statistics: I am excited to see rapid growth in students in the new undergraduate data science major and look forward to offering additional opportunities for students in other majors to become engaged with data science as part of their undergraduate curriculum. I can imagine a time in the near future when a high percentage of UW graduates across many majors and disciplines will have achieved substantial data science literacy and associated skills and be entering the world empowered to harvest knowledge from data and to do good for the world.

Why is sponsoring the Data Science Research Bazaar important to you?

iSchool: We in the iSchool are very familiar with the value of a community of practice, and (unfortunately) the sense of isolation that comes from not having one. We believe events like the Data Science Research Bazaar enable a data science community of practice to come together and accomplish great things!

Computer Science: At UW-Madison, we have an opportunity to work with incredible students and scholars, but right now it’s hard to make connections and find pathways to build relationships. Being able to hear about interesting work helps us think about new approaches and offers connection points for developing collaborative projects. We also love to learn about new things, and the Data Science Research Bazaar is designed to expose us, and all the UW-Madison community to new and innovative data science research and applications. Computer Science has a long history of industrial collaborations, providing a rich source of new technologies and ideas that have had impact across the state and the country. We continue to be interested in developing new areas for research topics and practical impacts and we are hopeful that the Bazaar will foster these new collaborations.

Statistics: While data science is at the heart of the discipline of statistics, it touches upon most disciplines present on campus. The collection and sharing of massive data sets affects the knowledge and skills required by many students and researchers in areas as diverse as the computer scientist interested in the hardware and software to manage and administer data, the ethicist who examines the consequences of data collection and its moral use, to the journalist who seeks to convey information clearly and effectively with data visualization to complement the written word. The Data Science Research Bazaar provides an opportunity for researchers and students to see how data science is used across campus and may catalyze new collaborations or sharing of ideas and expertise.