APRIL 19, 2023 - The UTSA School of Data Science (SDS) will host its inaugural Los Datos Conference from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, April 20. This free conference, hosted at San Pedro I in the heart of downtown San Antonio, will center on the theme of data science for a more equitable, informed, and secure world.
Speakers at the conference will include educators from around the country – including UTSA faculty members – and scientists, government organizations and industry leaders. The Los Datos Conference has been in the works almost as long as the School of Data Science itself, sais SDS Founding Director David Mongeau. With this year’s grand opening of San Pedro I, the conference finally has a home.
The conference’s theme of data science for an equitable, informed, and secure world was developed as an extension of the School of Data Science’s commitments, Mongeau said.
“This focus captures the vision of the school,” he explained. “We thought it appropriate that the first conference feature conversations about the attributes of data science theories and practices that we aim to embody, advance and use.”
Equity in data science includes accessibility and inclusion, prioritizing the availability of artificial intelligence (AI) technology and training. Informed data science centers on the awareness of how tech can be used to create sustainable social impact through collaboration with fields outside of math, science and statistics. Finally, Los Datos prioritizes discussions of security, in a nod to UTSA’s role as a national leader in cybersecurity education and innovation.
UTSA is one of just a few universities in the nation—and the only Hispanic Serving Institution—to hold three National Center of Excellence designations from the National Security Agency and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
The School of Data Science is the first school of its kind in Texas.
Given the triple focus of the event, Los Datos will serve as a confluence of key players in data science, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity. Mongeau said the School of Data Science is currently collaborating with Frost Bank, various independent school districts and start-ups around San Antonio, Mexico-based private university Tec de Monterrey and government agencies such as the NSA and the U.S. Census Bureau.
“Our community of collaborators is dispersed and does not always have occasion to get together to learn from one another,” Mongeau said. “Los Datos Conference provides an occasion for these collaborators to come together.”
At the same time, the conference is intended to enhance data science collaboration within UTSA. With the school’s data science faculty spread across numerous colleges and departments, Los Datos will feature an incredibly diverse field of scientific and academic endeavors, from computer science and statistics to anthropology and music.
“Our faculty will be exchanging information about the data science methods and tools that they use to solve real scientific and societal problems, which will lead to some recognizing how others’ approaches can be adapted and adopted,” Mongeau said.
While Los Datos is geared toward data scientists, analysts, researchers and students who have at least a foundational understanding of data science and artificial intelligence concepts, Mongeau notes that the conference also serves as an outreach to the community that has been so supportive of the School of Data Science.
In fact, Los Datos Conference is timed to coincide with Fiesta San Antonio, the 10-day festival celebrating San Antonio culture, and those who attend the conference will receive a special Fiesta medal as another way to celebrate the university’s local roots.
Mongeau believes that San Antonio’s community and flourishing tech industry, combined with UTSA’s academic and research strengths, will allow the School of Data Science to continue developing as a leader in data science nationally, and he hopes that Los Datos Conference will be an annual occasion to demonstrate that leadership and benefit others.
“I want Los Datos to become a destination for all of those engaged in the digital economy who recognize that equitable, informed and secure data science matters, that the UTSA students who make up the most diverse group learning and researching in data science and AI deserve their attention, and that San Antonio is a place to come and establish relationships to advance their interests through the talent and thought leadership we offer,” he said.
Registration has reopened, as demand quickly exceeded the event’s original cap, but the chance to attend this year’s Los Datos Conference is fading quickly.
Come celebrate the doctoral students graduating this commencement season.H-E-B Student Union Ballrooms, UTSA Main Campus
Celebrate the accomplishments of the graduates of the College for Health, Community and Policy, College of Liberal and Fine Arts and College of Sciences.Alamodome, 100 Montana St, San Antonio, TX 78203
Celebrate the accomplishments of the graduates of the Carlos Alvarez College of Business, College of Education and Human Development, Margie and Bill Klesse College of Engineering and Integrated Design and University College.Alamodome, 100 Montana St, San Antonio, TX 78203
First Friday Stargazing gives anyone free access to the night sky using university telescopes and teaching equipment. Weather permitting, experienced astronomers will provide a handful of telescopes of varying designs, give training on how each operates, and point to various astronomical objects that may appear in the sky for that given time of the year. If you have a telescope and do not know how to operate it, feel free to bring it and get instructions on its use.4th Floor of Flawn Science Building, Main Campus
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