2010 DSSI Deemed Success!

July 28, 2010

by Nancy Komlanc, DSSI Education Director


The 2010 Data Sciences Summer Institute (DSSI) held on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) campus was a success! This year’s DSSI brought in 22 top college computer science juniors, seniors and graduate students from around the U.S. from as far east as New York, south as Florida and Texas, and north as Minnesota. The program also brought in over 12 Data Science expert speakers from around the U.S., as well as two officials from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the funding agency.


The first week of the program included a Kick-off of presentations with UIUC and Computer Science Department administrators, an informative panel of current UIUC graduate students discussing life at UIUC and the upcoming advanced research projects, and a “meet & greet” social activity. 


During the 6 week workshop, the students attended half-day classes in the Thomas Siebel Computer Science building for a total of 36 hours in the advanced course: “Foundations of Data Sciences:  The Mathematics, Algorithms and Tools for Data Analytics”.  Along with the Data Science course taught by Dr. Cinda Heeren, every afternoon for the first 4 weeks students were able to take advantage of other rich instruction offered by some of the world’s foremost researchers in Data Science: Professor Dan Roth, Machine Learning Approaches for Natural Language Understanding and Information Extraction; Professor Jiawei Han, Knowledge Discovery in Social and Information Networks; Professor ChengXiang Zhai, Information Retrieval and Web Information Access; and Professor David Forsyth, Computer Vision.


DSSI participantThree weeks into the program the DSSI students held formal presentations highlighting the large systems research projects they had been working on. These public presentations were well-attended and included a presentation from the DHS program manager.


Education Director of the DSSI program, Nancy Komlanc, said, “This year’s DSSI has been the most successful so far taking into consideration the over-all caliber of the students, the program organization, online application process, and advanced projects. Even the awards on the Final Presentation day were a big hit. I was extremely impressed with the Final Presentations and the advanced computer systems that the students were able to create in such a short period of time. One of the projects they worked on, “Crime Map”, is an official iPhone and iPod app entitled “Illini Crime”.”

The culminating event on the last day of the DSSI was the “Final Research Project Presentations”.  With over 80 in attendance by UIUC administrators, local media, campus personnel, and DHS official, the research project presentations were extremely impressive. Projects presented were: 1) Expert Finder, 2) Computer Vision and 3) Crime Map. Media coverage included: WCIA-TV (CBS), UIUC Daily Illini Newspaper, and the UIUC College of Engineering.

Information for the 2011 Data Sciences Summer Institute (DSSI) can be found at: http://mias.illinois.edu/DSSI2011.

DSSI group

About DSSI
The annual Data Sciences Summer Institute (DSSI) at the University of Illinois at Urban-Champaign is a 6-week long study in Data Science areas. Our educational initiatives have been developed to encourage computer science students to pursue graduate studies at stronger institutions where they can make a bigger impact on the field, and to expose them to national lab professionals. The mission of the Data Sciences Summer Institute (DSSI) is to develop diverse human resources to enhance the scientific research, education, and government workforce in Data Science disciplines. This program is funded by the Department of Homeland Security’s Center of Excellence—Command, Control, and Interoperability Center for Advanced Data Analysis (CCICADA) at the UIUC’s Multimodal Information Access & Synthesis (MIAS) Center.