The Masters of Science in Data Science and Analytics (DSAN) program, part of the Georgetown University Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, hosted “The Evolution of Data Science” conference at Georgetown on Sept. 8 and 9.
The event showed how the landscape of data science has evolved and highlighted the different career fields that have been impacted. The conference included discussions with faculty members from other institutions and professionals from companies like Microsoft and Salesforce.
Ashley Stowe, communications and events coordinator for DSAN, said that the discussions of data science allow institutions and individuals to keep up with the different advancements in the field.
“Data science is constantly evolving with emerging technologies, methodologies, and applications. Understanding its evolution is crucial for researchers, students, and professionals to remain relevant and effective in their roles,” Stowe wrote to The Hoya.
“Academic institutions also benefit from these discussions, as they can adapt their curricula to ensure that students acquire the most relevant skills and knowledge,” Stowe added.
According to Stowe, the conference featured discussion panels that covered a diverse range of topics, such as “Academics and the Evolution of Data Science,” “Past, Present, and Future of AI” and “Evolution of Blockchain: Past, Present, and Future,” and included a poster session that allowed participants to engage with the current research.
The conference’s keynote speaker was Keeghan Hines, an AI and security researcher at Microsoft, co-founder of a conference around machine learning and cybersecurity, and former adjunct professor at Georgetown.
“His expertise and background make him an ideal candidate to address the importance of generative AI in his speech. Generative AI, particularly in the context of models like GPT-3 and GPT-4, has sparked tremendous interest and debate in recent years,” Stowe wrote.
Stowe said that the DSAN program is crucial because we are living in the “age of data.”
“Our program plays a crucial role in addressing this demand by equipping students with the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in the field of data science and analytics,” Stowe wrote.
Isfar Baset (GRD ’25), a student volunteer for the conference, is a graduate student in the DSAN program and a member of its social committee. Baset said that being a first-year in the program is different from a being in a typical lecture-style class.
“This experience, which is quite different than a standard classroom lecture, presented the different avenues of data science in an engaging way by showcasing the relevance of the technical knowledge as it’s currently being used in different industries,” Baset told The Hoya.
Marck Vaisman, a DSAN adjunct faculty member and senior cloud solutions architect at Microsoft, was a panelist at the conference and spoke on industry views of data science.
Vaisman said that the event was the first time the program has done this type of programming and that it was a way to bring together individuals from different institutions. Vaisman said he hopes the event raised the visibility of the program’s work.
“I am hoping that it just exposed other people in the university to the program and what we are doing and maybe open up those lines of communication between different schools at Georgetown and how to collaborate better,” Vaisman told The Hoya.
Baset said she enjoyed her time volunteering at the conference because it gave her a refreshing opportunity to connect with others in the specialty.
“It created a heightened sense of enthusiasm amongst data science students while giving them the access to network with professionals in the field.”