Multidisciplinary Research and Data Science

Student + Postdoc Workshop

May 23-27, 2016
Purdue University, West Lafayette Campus

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Workshop Agenda [PDF]

Off campus students should plan to arrive at Purdue by Sunday evening, May 22. The workshop will conclude by 3pm on Friday, May 27. Participants requiring lodging for Friday evening should indicate this during registration.

Team Project Descriptions: Six projects with interdisciplinary aspects will be presented on day 1, and workshop participants will form teams around these projects.

Workshop Audience:

Graduate students, advanced undergraduates and postdocs in the computer sciences, statistics, mathematics, electrical engineering, life sciences, social sciences and environmental sciences or similar fields with an interest in learning data science approaches and tools to apply for analysis and visualization of data. Variations of this workshop have taken place in 2012, 2014, 2015 and is being offered again for 2016.

Students and Postdocs from outside Purdue are eligible to apply for reimbursement of airfare and shuttle expenses to attend the full week workshop. Please indicate this during the registration in the last question. Space is limited to 24 participants.

Workshop Purpose:

The spirit of this workshop is to bring together students and postdocs from multiple fields to lower barriers for understanding the language and approaches across multiple disciplines and data science. Students will gain an understanding of the approaches, methods, and tools of another field of study, while having the opportunity to gain experience working in small interdisciplinary groups focused on cutting edge research. Students will be encouraged to work toward potential solutions for data analysis and visualization with potential funding to continue team research during 2016-2017.

Testimonials from Previous Workshops:

“This workshop provided an environment to let me deeply communicate with researchers from other fields. Within our team, we were able to explain our research and exchange thoughts without using jargon, which is a very important skill in our careers. On top of that, our team was able to generate an algorithm that progressed our research.”

“I presented an idea about bringing informatics to a [clinical medical issue] which was only nascent. Interactions with peers and faculty mentors who found this idea interesting in this workshop has made the proposal much more concrete and grounded in reality. This experience has proved to be invaluable with my vision and in formulating specific technical problems that will benefit from being solved.”

“I experienced how a solution to a problem can be approached from different perspectives. Brain storming sessions, exploring new techniques, continuously looking forward for an efficient algorithm with compatibility really helps a person to be a valuable team member for any project in the future.”

“Being a fresh BSc graduate and having the opportunity to work with a post-doc and a Phd student provided me relevant exposure to a research environment. I developed new ways of thinking about problem solving by working with them. Furthermore, the interdisciplinary nature of the workshop encouraged a high level of interaction. I have come to realize the importance and power of expression of simple yet elegant visualizations to represent complex research is simply phenomenal. I was surprised and thrilled to have accomplished so much in such a short period of time.”

Research and Data Problems From Past Workshops

Browse research project data problems from previous workshops that subsequently received funding: Student Research


Data Science Tools and Code:

Event Photos

Professional Development Session

Unconscious Bias in Science - led by Dr. Carolyn Johnson, Director, Diversity Resource Office, Purdue University.


Data Science Faculty workshop leaders: Mark D. Ward , PhD, Statistics; Jen Neville, PhD, Computer Sciences and Statistics
Center contact: Brent T. Ladd, Director of Education,
Travel Reinbursiment: Robynne McCormick, Research Account Specialist,

Lodging and Meals:

Lodging will be provided and paid for by the Center for all non-Purdue students. Students from outside Purdue requiring lodging will be staying at First Street Towers. The office is open 24 hours so students can check in whenever they arrive. Phone for First Street Towers is 765-494-0200 for assistance If you take an airport shuttle to Purdue, a shuttle pickup/drop-off spot is often at the Purdue West shopping area next to Follett's along McCutcheon Drive. It is then only 1 block east to First Street Towers along State Street (see map below)

Off campus students should plan to arrive at Purdue by Sunday evening, May 22. The workshop will conclude by 3pm on Friday, May 27.

Student and Postdocs from outside Purdue are eligible to apply for reimbursement of airfare and shuttle expenses to attend the full week workshop. Please indicate this during the registration.

Lunch will be catered onsite each day during the workshop. Students staying in the dorm will receive dining cards at check-in that can be used at specific locations on campus for breakfast and dinner (for use up to $100 for the duration of workshop). Purdue students will receive dining cards on the 1st day of the workshop. Your dining/boiler express card can be used at Wiley residential dining court (breakfast 7-8:30am; dinner: 5-6:30pm ) as well as the Computer Science Port (in Lawson building 1st floor) from 8am - 2pm during the week. there are a few additional cafes, markets, and restaurants at campus locations open during the summer session. You should view hours of operations for these non-residential locations here:

Wiley Dining will be closed Sunday May 22, and Saturday May 28, however will be open for dinner Friday evening May 27th for those staying. There are non-Purdue options available at Purdue West - two blocks West of First Street Towers - during these times.

Travel to/from Purdue

Note that you will want the Purdue West/Follett's location for shuttle drop-off/pick-up to and from the airport. This is along McCutcheon Drive by Follett's book store, and is directly two blocks west from the First Street Towers dorm (see map below).

Participants traveling from outside Purdue to the workshop will be contacted by the organizers with reimbursement form and instructions.

Workshop Location:

Meeting location:Lawson Computer Science, Room 3102, 305 N. University Street, West Lafayette, IN, 47907

Campus locations for breakfast & dinner:
  • Wiley Court Dining Hall, open for breakfast 7 am - 8:30 am and open for dinner 5:00 - 6:30 pm
  • Starbucks, located in the Purdue Union
  • Pappy’s Sweet Shop, located in the Purdue Union
  • Villa Pizza, located in the Purdue Union.

Check open hours for these locations:

Wireless Connection:

Connecting to Purdue's Wireless Offerings

Follow the directions at the link above for connecting to Purdue available wireless options on your arrival to campus. On Monday morning in Lawson 3102, all participants will receive a CS/Purdue login for accessing computing resources for use during the workshop.

Post Workshop Activities

Post-workshop - Interdisciplinary Team Grants:

Students will have opportunity to submit proposals to the Center for funding to continue team collaborations with intention of producing co-presentations and paper at future conferences. View results of the student research teams that formed as a result of previous workshops.


Funded under grant agreement NSF CCF-0939370 Center for Science of Information from the National Science Foundation and with support from the Department of Computer Science, Purdue University.