January 2021 Newsletter

January 2021 Newsletter
Dear Ken Kennedy Institute Members,

This past year has been a challenging one for all of us and has required flexibility, patience, and determination. On behalf of the Ken Kennedy Institute team, thank you all for your support as we found new ways to engage audiences and support our members, which we look to continue to improve this year.

We can't wait to welcome you to our first virtual networking member luncheon on February 5th with Akane Sano as our speaker. This luncheon will have a new networking format and will be on a different platform called Remo.

Additionally, we welcome you to join us at our upcoming virtual Oil & Gas High Performance Computing Conference on March 5th.

In the meantime, please accept our warmest wishes for health and happiness for the upcoming year.

Lydia Kavraki, Director
Angela Wilkins, Executive Director

Member of the Month, Dr. 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 challenges to the classroom.

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 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.
Ken Kennedy Institute 2020/21 Fellowship Recipients

The Ken Kennedy Institute's annual graduate fellowship program has awarded $50,000 to seven Rice graduate students in five departments. Recipients use fellowship awards to further research pursuits, attend conferences, travel and develop networking relationships in industry. Past recipients have spent summers as research interns with sponsoring companies.

With the support of industry and the conference, the Ken Kennedy Institute has awarded more than $1.3 million to 160 students since 2001. The 2020-21 graduate fellowships are supported by BP, ExxonMobil, Schlumberger, the Oil & Gas High Performance Computing Conference, and the Andrew Ladd and Ken Kennedy-Cray endowments.

We congratulate the 2020-21 fellowship recipients:

  • Alejandro Diaz, Computational and Applied Mathematics: BP, $7,500
  • Boning Li, Electrical and Computer Engineering: Ken Kennedy-Cray, $7,500
  • Huiming Lin, Statistics: OG-HPC Conference, $7,500
  • Tharun Medini, Electrical and Computer Engineering: BP, $7,500
  • Thomas (Mitch) Roddenberry, Electrical and Computer Engineering: ExxonMobil, $7,500
  • Ivan Rosa de Siqueira, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering: Schlumberger, $7,500
  • Jiarong Xing, Computer Science: Andrew Ladd, $5,000

Save the Date: Virtual Networking Member Luncheon

Date: Friday, February 5 at 12:00 PM

We will be holding our first member luncheon of the year on February 5th with Akane Sano on "Digital Health and Wellbeing: Data-Driven and Human-Centered Personalized and Adaptive Assistant." This luncheon will have a new networking format and will be on a different platform called Remo. Register here!

Missed Last Month's Data Science Coast to Coast Seminar?

If you missed last month's talk with Dr. Jeanne Holm, click here to watch. Dr. Holm presents "Using Data to Improve Equity." She discusses how can we use data, behavioral science, and our shared need for safety to create a more connected ecosystem where government, residents, and businesses share information in more intertwined ways. Getting access to that information, equitably, is a challenge throughout the world.

Register Now: 2021 Oil & Gas HPC Conference

NEW DATE: Friday, March 5, 2021

The 14th annual Oil & Gas HPC Conference is going virtual! This year's conference will have an online venue for networking, collaborating, and building partnerships. Registration is free thanks to this year's sponsors! Pre and post-conference workshops will also be offered for free on Friday, Feb 26th and Friday, March 12th. Visit og-hpc.rice.edu for more info.

More Events

World-Logic-Day Moshe Vardi Lecture: From Aristotle to the iPhone

Time: Thursday, Jan 14th at 12-1:00 PM
In this online lecture, Rice Computer Science Professor Moshe Vardi will tell the story of how logic begat computing, tracing the surprising path from Aristotle to the iPhone. The talk is aimed at a general audience. Click here to register.

D2K Industry Insights Seminar: Using deep learning to understand documents

Time: Tuesday, Feb 2nd at 5-6:00 PM
Speaker: Eitan Anzenberg, Chief Data Scientist at bill.com will be discussing "Beyond OCR: Using deep learning to understand documents." Click here for more info.

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