A close up of a tablet with an Amazon Echo Dot in the background.
A close up of a tablet with an Amazon Echo Dot in the background.
Photo by Waldemar Brandt on Unsplash

by Ilkay Altintas

2020 was not an easy year, taking more from society than it gave. However, it was arguably one of the best years for artificial intelligence (AI). Let’s take a look at some of the ways AI touched our lives and impacted our society while most of us lived in isolation, depending on technology to connect with the world.

As “stay-at-home” and remote work become a necessity due to COVID-19, AI assisted many parts of our virtual work lives from teleconferencing to team management and hiring. While teleconferencing platforms already made use of AI for many tasks, our…


by Jennifer Lane

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

“All science is data science: one of the foundational principles of science is that it is data driven.”

Never has the intersection of data science and public health been so keen as it has been during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Now that we are rounding the corner on a year since the virus reached American shores, we have seen how vital it is that the surrounding data be accurately interpreted, and that the corresponding findings are turned around quickly. To this end, I spoke with the co-founders of the COVID Outlook Project, a volunteer-run website that provides independent…


By Taner Halıcıoğlu

A man, out of focus, looks at computer code.
A man, out of focus, looks at computer code.
Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

I never considered myself a “data scientist.” I’m certainly not one by training, and I didn’t go to school to learn how to understand data and use it for business. That being said, when I reflect back on what I’ve been doing the last nearly 25 years of my life, it turns out data science has been there the entire time.

Since I was a kid, I’ve always been interested in how things work. I was driven to understand the mechanics behind things and see how all the pieces fit together to make one cohesive unit. Perhaps…


By Nedim Halıcıoğlu​

Photo by Stefan Cosma on Unsplash

Never before in the history of our time have we been able to create and capture more information. Our ability to understand and communicate what this information means, however, is still in its infancy. This infancy has already been highlighted with amazing feats of ingenuity in the science and medical fields, as well as in the technology sector with the growing success of data-based companies. There is also a growing trend of criticism of how companies and institutions use the data they collect. …


Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Dr. Bradley Voytek did not set out to become a renegade data scientist or the brains involved in Uber’s expansion from a small San Francisco startup to a global phenomenon. Instead, he started as a first generation college student from San Diego with big plans to study physics at the University of Southern California (USC).

But there was a small problem: Bradley was a bit of a slacker, and physics wasn’t motivating him to become the serious college student he’d set out to be. …


Photo by AbsolutVision on Unsplash

In 2003, Patricia Lopez, alongside her parents and five siblings, emigrated from the Philippines to the United States. As the oldest child, Patricia was charged with carrying bags and bags full of paper copies of the family’s medical records and vaccinations. So, she lugged the bags of handwritten medical records across two continents and oceans, files that contained every immunization, every doctor’s visit note, and every prescription written for every member of her family. And while she was hauling bags of paper file folders, Patricia asked herself, why are all these records on paper? Why aren’t they in a database…


Photo by William White on Unsplash

I want you to close your eyes and imagine something. You are standing in downtown San Diego. The sun is shining down and you’re overlooking the Pacific Ocean harbor. To your left is the U.S.S. Midway, a symbol of the city’s status as a military power center. To your right is the airport and all the people who’ve come to vacation in America’s Finest City. Still further to your right, following the coastline north a bit, sits a biotech hub, one of the largest in the country, known for advances in medical research and development, a hotbed of innovation. …


Photo by Andy Kelly on Unsplash

Analyzing large quantities of data is just not what humans were meant to do. We are, quite simply, not good at it. Anyone that has spent any time with a hefty spreadsheet knows what I mean. Our brains can never be trained to parse through thousands of pieces of information and put it to good use. We are, after all, creative beings.

Data science, on the contrary, excels at this task. Combing through data, analyzing the information and creating models — we are just getting started. In fact, data science and artificial intelligence (AI) work better with more information, not…


Photo by Alex Perez on Unsplash

San Diego is known for it’s perfect 73-degree weather, its world famous zoo, and the invention of carne asada fries. It has street cred in the tourism, defense and biotech industries — and a rep for being a big city that feels like a small town.

Less well known than these sterling credentials is San Diego’s status as a pioneer of data science.

Our city’s love affair with data began with a University of California, San Diego (UCSD) professor whose groundbreaking research and corporate problem solving has transformed virtually every industry it has touched. …


Photo by Gary Butterfield on Unsplash

For as long as I can remember, I grew up asking questions and seeking truth. I was born in Afghanistan but raised here in the West, free to ask questions that were otherwise off limits:

  • Why don’t we celebrate Christmas?
  • Why can my brothers attend sleepovers but my sister and I can’t?
  • Why do my uncles talk finance while my aunts talk flatbread?

That’s right, I was that kid! I wanted answers; I wanted better questions. And as I absorbed more of the world and more of its information, my parents encouraged my curiosity (or maybe they just wanted me…

Bahija Humphrey

CEO of the Data Science Alliance. Working to advance San Diego’s data science ecosystem and revolutionize the way data is used across the globe.

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