Who will be speaking at Data Day Texas?

We had a pretty incredible line-up for Data Day Texas 2016 -- and we intend to exceed your expectations again for 2017. Tell us whom you want to see, what topics you want to learn about, and let us make it happen. Please share your thoughts at suggestions@datadaytexas.com. If you wish to propose a talk or workshop, please visit the Data Day Proposals page.

(NEW) Juliet Hougland (SF Bay) @JulietHougland

Juliet Hougland is a data scientist at Cloudera, and contributor/committer/maintainer for the Sparkling Pandas project. Her commercial applications of data science include developing predictive maintenance models for oil and gas pipelines at Deep Signal, and designing/building a platform for real-time model application, data storage, and model building at WibiData. Juliet was the technical editor for Learning Spark by Karau et al. and Advanced Analytics with Spark by Ryza et al. She holds an M.S. in applied mathematics from the University of Colorado, Boulder and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Reed College with a BA in math-physics..

Juliet will be holding the following session: How to Observe: Lessons from Epidemiologists, Actuaries and Charlatans.

Nicholas Gaylord (SF Bay) @texastacos

Nicholas Gaylord is Senior Data Scientist at CrowdFlower, where he helps build out their new machine learning offering, CrowdFlower AI. CrowdFlower AI allows data scientists to construct, monitor, and improve machine learning models using data collected at scale from human contributors via the CrowdFlower platform, in a tightly integrated human-in-the-loop active learning environment. Prior to CrowdFlower, Nick was a data scientist at SF text analytics startup Idibon. He has a PhD from the University of Texas at Austin, where his research focused on human language comprehension and the construction of datasets for NLP applications. In his spare time he fixes bikes and collaborates on work applying cognitive science principles to the public health domain.
Nicholas Gaylord will be appearing as part of NLP Day Texas.

Dr. Denise Koessler Gosnell (Charleston) @DeniseKGosnell

Dr. Denise Gosnell, a driving member of the PokitDok Data Science team since 2014, has brought her research in applied graph theory to help architect the graph database while also serving as an analytics thought leader. Her work with the Data Science team aims to extract insight from the trenches of hidden data in healthcare and build products to bring the industry into the 21st century. She has represented PokitDok's Data Science Team at numerous conferences including, PyData, KDD (Knowledge Discovery & Data Mining) and the inaugural GraphDay.
Prior to PokitDok, Dr. Gosnell earned her Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Tennessee. Her research on how our online interactions leave behind unique identifiers that form a “social fingerprint” led to presentations at major conferences from San Diego to London and drew the interest of such tech industry giants as Microsoft Research and Apple. Additionally, she was a leader in addressing the underrepresentation of women in her field and founded a branch of Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In Circles.

Holden Karau (San Francisco) @holdenkarau

Holden Karau is a software development engineer and is active in open source. She a co-author of Learning Spark & Fast Data Processing with Spark and has taught intro Spark workshops. Prior to IBM she worked on a variety of big data, search, and classification problems at Alpine, DataBricks, Google, Foursquare, and Amazon. She graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Bachelors of Mathematics in Computer Science. Outside of computers she enjoys dancing & playing with fire.

Check out the recent Global Data Geeks interview with Holden Karau.
While at Data Day, Holden will be holding office hours and signing copies of her O'Reilly book: High Performance Spark.

Taylor Martin (Santa Rosa) @taylormartin42

Dr. Taylor Martin's mission in life is understanding how people learn. She's particularly interested in how adaptive and personalized learning can best be used to help people reach their learning goals faster.
As an established academic and thought-leader in the Learning Sciences, Dr. Martin has spearheaded data-centric approaches to developing learning environments and then measuring how people learn Science, Math, Engineering and Computer Science in these environments. This includes environments such as online games, online programming environments (e.g., scratch.mit.edu), internship programs, Maker spaces, and engineering design labs.
In her current role as Principal Learning Scientist at O’Reilly Media, she's focused on implementation. She's helping a team of data scientists and engineers mix in just the right amount of data-driven "learning engineering" to personalize the learning experience across various forms of published media.
Check out our interview with Taylor Martin.

Rob McDaniel (Seattle)

Rob McDaniel is the co-founder of Lingistic -- a Seattle-based machine learning startup currently exploring the semantic modeling and analysis of political text. Lingistic's first product was a text classifier designed to identify political bias in news articles, which the company is currently expanding into a public service. He first fell in love with natural language processing and machine learning while building machine translation software for mobile phones, and has since focused his career on unsupervised learning problems, natural language processing, and the extraction of taxonomies and semantics from unstructured text.
Nicholas Gaylord will be appearing as part of NLP Day Texas.


Melissa Santos (Portland) @ansate

Melissa Santos has over a decade of experience working with data, from ETLs and reporting to Hadoop clusters and marketing analytics. In her previous role as Engineering Manager of Etsy, she led her team from being a Hadoop Infrastructure team that was constantly fixing problems and cleaning up messes, to declaring themselves to be a Data Platform team, expanding into investigating new tools, teaching coworkers about big data, and consulting with other teams about how to meet their data needs. Favorite past projects include implementing a beta-binomial model in SAS, creating neighborhood boundaries from Flickr and OpenStreetMap data, using principal components analysis to detect spam emails, and teaching coworkers to write Scalding jobs. Melissa's professional goal is to make data more accessible to all parts of the business, and to businesses of every size. She has a PhD in Applied Math and is currently the (sole) Data Scientist for Big Cartel.


Julie Steele (NYC)

Julie Steele , Julie thinks in metaphors and finds beauty in the clear communication of ideas. She is particularly drawn to visual media as a way to understand and transmit information, and is co-author of Beautiful Visualization (O’Reilly 2010) and Designing Data Visualizations (O’Reilly 2012).





Jana Thompson (San Francisco)

Jana Thompson is an R&D Technology Associate Principal at Accenture. Prior to joining Accenture, Jana was an NLP Engineer at Idibon, where she developed the core technologies to build custom AI models for their customers’ problems. She has worked in artificial intelligence, speech recognition, and field linguistics, and has an MA in Germanic Studies, BS in mathematics, and BA in anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin. Jana frequently forages for edible plants in Golden Gate Park with her daughter in her quest to perfect her local-to-table dining experience.
Nicholas Gaylord will be appearing as part of NLP Day Texas.


Laine Campbell (Santa Cruz) @lainevcampbell

Laine Campbell specializes in database architecture and operations, particularly MySQL and Cassandra. Most recently, Laine was the CTO at OrderWithMe. Prior, she was a co-founder at Pythian, where she led the open source database practice. Laine founded and led PalominoDB, then Blackbird for 8 years, where her team of DBAs supported many of the most exciting database infrastructures in the industry. Before that, she designed, built and supported the Travelocity databases for 8 years with her remarkable team. Laine has also supported such organizations as Obama for America, Zappos, Chegg, LiveJournal, Disney Mobile, and Adobe.

While at Data Day, Laine will be holding office hours and signing copies of her upcoming O'Reilly book: Database Reliability Engineering.


Dean Wampler (Chicago)

Dean Wampler, is a software developer, new data scientist, technical author, and frequent public speaker living in Chicago. Dean is the author of Functional Programming for Java Developers, the co-author (with Alex Payne) of Programming Scala, and the co-author (with Edward Capriolo and Jason Rutherglen) of Programming Hive, all published by O'Reilly Media. Dean is a frequent speaker at conferences and user groups. Many of his presentations can be found at his Polyglot Programming site. Dean also helps organize several conferences as well as started the Chicago-Area Scala Enthusiasts user group.
Website / Blog
Twitter: @deanwampler

(NEW) Jacob Su Wang (Austin)

Jacob Su Wang works as a data scientist at OJO Labs. Inc., an Austin-based artificial intelligence startup, and is currently a second-year graduate student at the Department of Linguistics at the University of Texas at Austin, where he specializes in Computational Linguistics. Jacob now serves as a research assistant for Dr. Katrin Erk at UT, working on distributional semantics and Bayesian Hierarchical Models, with which he explores how humans can learn and use words appropriately with very little experiential exposure.
Before working at OJO, Jacob studied general linguistics (CS minor) and applied linguistics at the University at Buffalo (SUNY) and Yunnan University (China), before graduating with two M.A.s in linguistics. He also holds a B.S. in Informatics.
Jacob Su Wang will be appearing as part of NLP Day Texas.



Chris Moody of Stitch Fix taking the audience in the weeds with recent NLP techniques at DDTX16.


Spark contributor Holden Karau packs the room at DDTX16.