The Ken Kennedy Institute's January Member of the Month, Risa Myers, is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Computer Science Department. She teaches databases and data science. Given her extensive industry experience, one of her key teaching goals is to bring real world data, applications, and challenging to the classroom.
Dr. Myers is interested in exploring and innovating in data science pedagogy. She does this both through the development of interactive learning materials and by bringing lessons learned from research into the classroom in the form of examples, assignments, and exercises. Together with Lydia Kavraki and Chris Jermaine she has packaged a graduate level course on Data Science Tools & Models with an emphasis on healthcare data. Her research with the CEHI team is focused on data management in healthcare. There she explores approaches to making healthcare data more accessible and available.
What is your favorite book?
One of my favorite books is "Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning", by Peter Brown, Henry Roediger III, and Mark McDaniel. It provides some very practical and applicable strategies for helping students learn and retain knowledge.
How do you explain your research in one sentence?
My research focuses on making data useful, which includes making data more findable, building models for prediction, and helping students understand how to use data properly.
What is your favorite aspect of your research?
I really enjoy bringing what I have learned from my research into the classroom. It can be a dataset, an exercise, an example, or an insight.
What challenges do you see in your research that you didn't expect?
I work primarily with healthcare data and while it's not unexpected, getting access to data is always a challenge. It's especially difficult to find healthcare data that can be used in the classroom, due to privacy concerns.
What is a favorite experience with the Ken Kennedy Institute or describe a time the Ken Kennedy Institute supported you in the past?
For the past few years, I have been a committee member for the annual Ken Kennedy Institute Data Science Conference. I appreciate and enjoy the opportunity to shape the direction of experience at the conference.