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June 15, 2022

The American Family Insurance Data Science Institute (DSI) at UW-Madison announced nine campus research projects selected for funding through the fourth round of the American Family Funding Initiative.

The Funding Initiative is a partnership between DSI and American Family Insurance that provides UW-Madison faculty and staff with support for data science and artificial intelligence research that is relevant to the insurance industry. Launched in 2020, this initiative has provided 27 researchers and teams with nearly $4 million for their work, and it is expected to position UW-Madison faculty to launch and further their cutting-edge data science research.

Funds are awarded through a competitive application process administered by DSI, and American Family Insurance provides selected projects with funding and mentoring by their data scientists. Both organizations evaluate applications on their novelty, potential impact to data science and alignment with topics of interest to American Family.

American Family Insurance has committed $10 million over 10 years to this unique research partnership with UW-Madison. The Round 5 call for proposals will be announced in January 2023.

Learn about the projects funded in round four on the data science @ uw website.

Upcoming Trainings & Workshops

mRNA Sequencing Data Analysis Workshop, Bioinformatics Resource Core
June 17, 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Learn the principles behind mRNA-Seq analysis with a hands-on introduction to Linux-based open source software and analysis pipelines for mRNA-Seq. Workshop is aimed at teaching the computational process that takes the raw data all the way through the high level analysis. Participants are expected to have a basic knowledge of the Linux environment (bash shell) and a basic understanding of statistical methods. Visit the mRNA-Seq workshop page to register.

Fundamentals of Deep Learning, NVIDIA
July 13-14, 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., In this workshop, you’ll learn how deep learning works through hands-on exercises in computer vision and natural language processing (tokenization and word embeddings). You’ll train deep learning models from scratch, learning tools and tricks to achieve highly accurate results. You’ll also learn to leverage freely available, state-of-the-art pre-trained models to save time and get your deep learning application up and running quickly. The workshop takes place virtually. For more information and to register ($10 for UW-Madison affiliates), visit the Fundamentals of Deep Learning Eventbrite page.

Software Carpentry Workshop, Data Science Hub
July 18-19, 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Software Carpentry aims to help researchers get their work done in less time and with less pain by teaching them basic research computing skills. This hands-on workshop will cover basic concepts and tools, including program design, version control, data management, and task automation. Participants will be encouraged to help one another and to apply what they have learned to their own research problems. The workshop will take place in-person. For more information, visit the Software Carpentry workshop website. Registration opens on June 20.

Upcoming Seminars & Events

SILO, Summer Series
Summer SILO will meet at Memorial Union from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. every Wednesday. Each week they will have an informal presentation about ongoing research activities, open problems, or new research directions to stimulate discussion and potentially new collaborations. Professor Tim Rodgers will be speaking today about the AI+Society Initiative at UW-Madison. Check Today in the Union (TITU) in the union lobby for the meeting location.

Machine Learning and Coffee, Machine Learning Community
Hosted by the Machine Learning (ML) Community, this monthly summer event is intended to help ML practitioners across campus connect with one another, discuss and work on ML projects together, and most importantly — enjoy some free refreshments. Those who wish to attend are encouraged to bring their laptops and any questions related to their ML projects. Alternatively, feel free to stop by to simply socialize and meet some new faces. The next ML+Coffee event will be hosted inside the Discovery Building on Thursday, June 23rd, 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Fill out the ML+Coffee registration form by June 15 to receive the calendar invite containing the room location.

Annual McPherson Endowed Lecture, McPherson Eye Research Institute
The McPherson Eye Research Institute will be hosting a lecture on Artificial Intelligence and Data Science for Eye Care featuring Dr. Michael F. Chiang for their 10th annual endowed lecture on June 23. Artificial intelligence and data science have the potential to change the landscape of clinical care and research ophthalmology. This talk will discuss the promises and challenges in this field, as well as ways in which the National Eye Institute hopes to work with the scientific community to address those challenges. For more information about the lecture, visit the McPherson Eye Institute event page.

Student Opportunities

Research Experience for Undergrads, Information School
The Collaborative Computing Group in the Information School is looking to hire multiple undergraduate students for an exciting 10-week summer and Fall 2022 research experience. Students will learn techniques in the areas of human-computer interaction and to gain exposure to scholarly research skills such as: synthesizing related work, developing research questions, qualitative data collection and analysis, and presenting research results in papers, posters, and oral presentations. For more information and to apply, visit the Research Experience for Undergrads position description.

Professional Opportunities


On Campus

Postdoctoral Research Position, Digital Agricultural Lab
A interdisciplinary team at the University of Wisconsin seeks a postdoctoral scholar to apply novel remote sensing techniques to improve estimates of crop yields. Specifically, the project seeks to use geostationary (“weather”) satellites to monitor plant productivity at half-hourly time steps in U.S. agroecosystems, and to link these observations to crop yield using Machine Learning techniques. They are seeking an enthusiastic postdoctoral research associate and encourage applicants with a broad range of skills and experiences in biological, physical, and computer sciences. For more information and to apply, visit the Postdoctoral Research Position description.

Off Campus

Postdoctoral Fellow, Computational Genomics at Calico
Calico is inviting applications from computational biologists for a postdoctoral fellowship position at the intersection of functional genomics and machine learning. The successful candidate will develop machine learning methods to infer and map gene regulatory networks by combining two rich information sources – the DNA sequence surrounding each gene and the observed covariance in single cell genomics experiments. For more information and to apply, visit the Postdoctoral Fellow position description.
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