News & Blog

Announcing the latest set of speakers at DataFest18

Posted on February 21, 2018

We've already announced an amazing lineup of inspirational speakers we're looking forward to seeing at DataFest in 3 weeks. Now, we have some very exciting new additions to share with you - the final few keynote speakers across both Data Summit and Data Talent Scotland. These newest additions to DataFest are arguably some of the most talked about individuals from the data science world for many different reasons.

Cathy O’ Neil

Cathy O’Neil is the author of the New York Times bestselling Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy, which was also a semifinalist for the National Book Award. She earned a Ph.D. in math from Harvard, was a postdoctoral fellow in the MIT math department, and a professor at Barnard College where she published a number of research papers in arithmetic algebraic geometry. She then switched over to the private sector, working as a quantitative analyst for the hedge fund D.E. Shaw in the middle of the credit crisis, and then for RiskMetrics, a risk software company that assesses risk for the holdings of hedge funds and banks. She left finance in 2011 and started working as a data scientist in the New York startup scene, building models that predicted people’s purchases and clicks.
Cathy wrote Doing Data Science in 2013 and launched the Lede Program in Data Journalism at Columbia in 2014. She is a columnist for Bloomberg View. Cathy will be speaking at Data Summit.

Dr. Kirk Borne

Dr. Kirk Borne is the Principal Data Scientist and an Executive Advisor at global technology and consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton (since 2015). He previously spent 12 years as Professor of Astrophysics and Computational Science at George Mason University where he taught and advised students in the graduate and undergraduate Data Science degree programs. Before that, he worked 18 years on NASA projects developing and managing large data systems for space science research, in various roles, including Data Archive Project Scientist for the Hubble Space Telescope. He has a PhD in Astronomy from Caltech and a BS in Physics from LSU. In 2014 he was named an IBM Big Data and Analytics Hero, and in 2016 he was elected Fellow of the International Astrostatistics Association "for his two decades of work as a research scientist dealing with big data concerns." He has presented invited keynote presentations at many dozens of data science and analytics conferences globally. He is an active contributor on social media, where he has been named consistently among the top worldwide influencers in big data and data science since 2013. Follow him on Twitter at @KirkDBorne. Kirk will be speaking at Data Summit.

Lydia Nicholas

Lydia Nicholas is an anthropologist working in data ethics and human computer interaction. With experience as a developer and in studying how information moves through biotechnology research and healthcare, she specialises in exploring tangled problems where culture, code, science, and policy problems meet. She has worked on ethical issues surrounding data in government and healthcare with the UK Cabinet Office, the Science Museum, the BBC World Service, Amnesty International, and the Wellcome Trust amongst others. She writes regularly for New Scientist. Lydia will be speaking at Data Talent Scotland.

Other new speakers and panelists include Warwick Beresford Jones, Founder & Joint CEO, Merkle Aquila; Shakeel Khan, Data Science Capability Building Manager, HM Revenue & Customs; and Roger Halliday, Scotland's Chief Statistician and Data Officer.

And with that we have all but announced the lineups for Data Summit and Data Talent Scotland. We will have some more special guests to announce closer to the time, however as of now all keynote speakers are listed on the website. We’ll also be announcing their talk titles so be sure to download the app and keep an eye on updates through there. As a reminder all DataFest updates go live within the app earlier than the site. If you’re not sure how to use the app we have created a blog to assist here.

Finally, ticket prices will be changing at the end of the month, and moving to the final release price. This will mean they are more expensive from March onwards! Be sure to get them now while you still can. All you have to do is follow this link.

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