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  • Destenie Nock

Data Science for Social Good (#DS4SG) Workshop

Updated: Apr 17, 2019

April 2, 2019 by Destenie Nock


I’m down in Atlanta at Georgia Tech‘s 1st annual Data Science for Social Good Workshop. I am one of the plenary speakers and I have had the pleasure to present alongside other speakers who are discussing their research, which ranges from machine learning and modeling patient care in hospitals to energy planning and game theoretic mechanism design.

Students and researchers came from all over to discuss research and opportunities with a social good focus.

At this undergraduate research conference there were over 35 attendants. My talk titled “Paths Towards Universal Electricity Access: Increasing Social Welfare using Optimization" focused on my research on equality and electricity access in the global south (i.e. developing countries). Here I use optimization to answer questions relating to how decision maker preferences impact power system planning. In the talk I also spoke to the students about my path to, through, and beyond the PhD, as well as some tips for them as they progress on their journey.

I accepted my first PhD student. Charles will start in the Fall of 2019 in the Engineering and Public Policy Department.

Many students told me that they enjoyed the motivational quotes I put at the end of my talk. If you need some motivation, but missed the talk please see below:

  • "Don't compare your beginning to someone else's middle or end." - Everyone looks better, smarter, stronger, wiser, etc at the end of their journey. There is no difference in your capabilities so stop comparing yourself to others.

  • "If you set your goals ridiculously high and it's a failure, you will fail above everyone else's success." (by James Cameron). There is no reason for you to downplay your goals. Stop listening to people that say it cannot be done, or that it will be difficult.

If anyone is considering going to the Data Science for Social Good Workshop in the future I highly recommend it. The organizers (Rachel Cummings, Omar Isaac, Ira Wheaton, Natashia Boland, and Jamie Morgenstern) did a fantastic job, and the speakers were phenomenal!

The list of speakers included:

  1. Rediet Abebe - Computer Science

  2. Sean Barnes, Ph.D. - Operations Management with healthcare applications

  3. Kira Goldner - Mechanism Design

  4. Sanmi (Oluwasanmi) Koyejo, Ph.D. - Machine Learning

  5. Destenie Nock, Ph.D. - Industrial Engineering and Operations Research applied to Energy Planning

  6. Jennifer Lewis Priestley, Ph.D. - Analytics and Data Science

  7. Kaitlin Rizk -Artificial Intelligence

  8. Alba C. Rojas-Cordova, Ph.D. -Healthcare Analytics

Don't compare your beginning to someone else's middle or end.

Note about the author: Destenie Nock holds a PhD in Industrial Engineering and Operations research from UMass Amherst and two BS degrees from North Carolina A&T State University. Her research focuses on energy planning, and using optimization and economics to understand how we can enhance a person's quality of life.

#DS4SG #STEMPhD #WomeInSTEM #PhDStudents #inspiration #equity

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