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Jeff Leek: “Data science education as an economic and public health intervention – how statisticians can lead change in the world”

Jeff Leek from Johns Hopkins University is speaking in our statistics department seminar next week:

Data science education as an economic and public health intervention – how statisticians can lead change in the world

Time: 4:10pm Monday, October 7

Location: 903 School of Social Work

Abstract: The data science revolution has led to massive new opportunities in technology, medicine, and business for people with data skills. Most people who have been able to take advantage of this revolution are already well educated, white-collar workers. In this talk I will describe our effort to expand access to data science jobs to individuals from under-served populations in East Baltimore. I will show how we are combining cloud based data science technologies, high-throughput educational data, and deep, low-throughput collaboration with local non-profits to use data science education as an economic and public health intervention. I will use this project to illustrate how statisticians have a unique opportunity in this data moment to lead change in the world.

This is the best abstract for a statistics seminar that I’ve ever seen. I’ve talked a lot about how many problems in statistics are our fault (see for example here), so it’s great to think there could be ways that we could make things better.


  1. Ron Kenett says:

    Seems that Jeff Leek is talking at a regional implementation of what we discussed, at an organisational level, in

  2. Intriguing to say the least.

    I have always wondered why governments don’t seem to see the economic trade advantages to having say better health care research that gets proper and timely adoption into practice (e.g. the immediate rejection of the $1.5 billion innovation fund proposed by the Naylor Panel [the Healthcare Innovation Fund]). (My first research job was on US-Canada free trade.)

    On the other hand, I probably went too far suggesting “That it is up to the masses to fix the current faulty evidence generating”

    Although if Jeff succeeds in training up under-served populations maybe I went just far enough.

    On another distraction, I noticed this nice Sense about Science Data Science: A Guide for Society that from my skimming seems very thoughtful and then I noticed the acknowledgement to Phil Dawid and other at the bottom. Now its on my carefully read and disseminate to do list

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