Two CAS women are among six Washington State University women who were honored for their professional accomplishments and contributions to their communities at the Women* of Distinction Awards in April.
Boeing Distinguished Professor of Math and Sciences Nairanjana (Jan) Dasgupta was named Woman of the Year for her tireless work in advancing statistics and increasing opportunities for women in the field. Dasgupta has an impressive professional record: she is a fellow in the American Statistical Association, has co-authored more than 60 papers, organized WSU’s Center for Interdisciplinary Statistical Education and Research (CISER), serves as the director of WSU’s multidisciplinary and multi-campus Data Analytics program, and has advised more than 70 graduate students in her career – more than half of whom are women.
As a WSU Global Campus student, Undergraduate Woman of Distinction Amanda Westbrook balances school, work, and a host of extracurricular activities aimed at enhancing the student experience. Westbrook is an anthropology student who maintains a 4.0 GPA while working full-time in the travel industry and serving as the ASWSUG director of communications and compliance. In that role, she creates content for the weekly Global Campus student newsletters, keeping students informed about campus issues and activities.
Washington State University and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) will kick off the Discuss, Discourse, Disseminate with Data (D4) joint seminar series at noon on Wednesday, Dec. 1 via Teams.
Chris Keane, vice president for research and vice chancellor for research at WSU, and Mike Wolcott, associate vice president for National Laboratory Partnerships, will introduce the session along with Nairanjana (Jan) Dasgupta, director of Data Analytics and Data Science Fellow. She will briefly share some highlights about the field of data science.
The series will continue through the spring 2022 semester on the second and fourth Wednesday every month at noon, ending in mid-June with a WSU-hosted Data Science Day. The series will feature Bala Krishnamoorthy, professor in the WSU College of Arts and Sciences Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Sutanay Choudhury, computer scientist at PNNL, Assefaw Gebremedhin, associate professor in the WSU Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Chris Oehmen, computer science in the Biological Sciences Division at PNNL, Daryl Deford assistant professor of data analytics in the WSU College of Arts and Sciences Department of Mathematics and Statistics at WSU, William Cannon, multiscale modeling and UQ computational scientist at PNNL, Xiongzhi Chen, assistant professor in the WSU College of Arts and Sciences Department of Mathematics and Statistics, and Eric Lofgren, assistant professor in the WSU Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health
Tableau for Teaching is on a mission to create a data-literate world. At Tableau, we feel that data literacy is essential for everyday life. We consume data across all disciplines and subject areas. What used to be thought of as a specialized field, it has become apparent that more than ever, data literacy is a necessity for everyone.
Our first spotlight is Dr. Nairanjana “Jan” Dasgupta—Director of Data Analytics, Boeing Distinguished Professor of Math and Science Ed., Professor of Statistics at Washington State University.
“At WSU I am building on a foundation that is highly collaborative and brings together multiple units and disciplines. Engineering, mathematics, statistics, and the domain areas all have a role to play, and have people passionate about these issues—also reaching out to education, arts, communication, and economics,” Dasgupta said. “The idea is there are people, like me, who are passionate about these ideas—giving them a forum.”
The Student Legal Research Association will help evaluate arrest data from WSU’s police department as part of measures to address racial disparity in arrests on the Pullman campus. The campus police are also taking collaborating with university researchers to address implicit bias.
These actions are part of an effort to address disproportionate arrests of Black people by campus police, a problem identified by a Daily Evergreen article in fall 2019 and a following report by WSU Office of Compliance and Civil Rights (CCR) in May 2020. The term “arrest” in police data includes non-custody interactions such as issuing traffic citations.
The CBTSim program is just one that the WSU campus force will undertake, Gardner said. The department is working on another project with WSU criminal justice professor David Makin and the Complex Social Interactions Lab where officers will review body camera footage in very specific ways to try to understand the effect their actions have.
Working to build community among students learning remotely this fall, expert problem solvers in the data analytics program at Washington State University designed course-related games to stimulate interaction while providing some educational fun and valuable professional networking opportunities.
In collaboration with academic advisors for the WSU Pullman, Everett, Vancouver, and Global campuses, the program director and statistics professor Nairanjana “Jan” Dasgupta brought together students from across the U.S. outside of class time to play online Data Analytics Bingo and a pandemic-inspired False Positive game.
“Our goal was familiarizing students with the 17 core classes, ranging from mathematics and statistics to philosophy and computer science,” Dasgupta said.
A fast-growing field worldwide, DA is used to solve complex problems often involving large datasets. The core curriculum and multiple specialization tracks in DA at WSU help students develop technical skills and knowledge in specific application areas, along with skills in communication and teamwork.