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Center for Data Science

Supporting research in the production, analysis, and storage of 21st Century data types.

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Eileen LeFurgy
Program Coordinator

Kerwin Hall, Room 109 J

Center for Data Science 4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW Washington, DC 20016-8012 United States

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Center for Data Science

We are living in a data-driven world. Every sector in our global economy is using data to make better management and policy decisions. The mission of the AU School of Public Affairs' new Center for Data Science is to provide technical, managerial, and institutional resources to aid research and grant development focused on the production, analysis, and storage of 21st century data.

Across public, private, and nonprofit sectors, big data is making a big difference. Those with the right skills will lead this change. In fact, Data Scientist has ranked the number one job in America for the last three consecutive years. And by 2020, it is predicted that there will be a 28 percent increase in data science jobs.

In 2018, SPA established its Center for Data Science to focus on the theoretical and practical research aspects of computer technology, software engineering, computer architecture, artificial intelligence, simulation, modeling, and much more.

Upcoming Events

"Bayesian Regression for Group Testing Data"

November 8, 2019, 1:00-2:00 PM, Kerwin Hall 301

Joshua Tebbs, Professor of Statistics, University of South Carolina

This is an open event. Please register at the link above. 

Group testing involves pooling individual specimens (e.g., blood, urine, swabs, etc.) and testing the pools for the presence of a disease. When individual covariate information is available (e.g., age, gender, number of sexual partners, etc.), a common goal is to relate an individual's true disease status to the covariates in a regression model. Estimating this relationship is a nonstandard problem in group testing because true individual statuses are not observed and all testing responses (on pools and on individuals) are subject to misclassification arising from assay error. Previous regression methods for group testing data can be inefficient because they are restricted to using only initial pool responses and/or they make potentially unrealistic assumptions regarding the assay accuracy probabilities. To overcome these limitations, we propose a general Bayesian regression framework for modeling group testing data. The novelty of our approach is that it can be easily implemented with data from any group testing protocol. Furthermore, our approach will simultaneously estimate assay accuracy probabilities (along with the covariate effects) and can even be applied in screening situations where multiple assays are used. We apply our methods to group testing data collected in Iowa as part of statewide screening efforts for chlamydia.


Workshop on Causal Inference

December 13, 2019

Additional details forthcoming. 

Upcoming Affiliate Activities

"Data Privacy as Digital Discourse"

October 18, 2019, 3:00-4:30 PM, SIS 300

Saif Shahin, Assistant Professor, School of Communication

Recent Events

Workshop on Spatial Statistics for the Social Sciences

June 14, 2019

Workshop: Text As Data

Justin Grimmer, Professor, Department of Political Science, Stanford University
May 23-24, 2019

For detailed information on recent events, see the "Workshops" tab on the left navigation menu. 


Learn more about Jeff Gill, Distinguished Professor of Government, Professor of Statistics, and Member of the Center for Behavioral Neuroscience at American University.
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Program Coordinator

Eileen LeFurgy,

Women teaching data science class

MS Data Science

Build your skill set in data science with this shared degree program, offered by SPA and the AU College of Arts and Sciences (CAS).

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Institute for Data Science

In January, 2020, the center will sponsor a 2-week Institute for Data Science with 3 graduate course credits. Professor Ryan Moore will be the instructor. Participants also receive a certificate of completion. 

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data & code representation

Achievements ·

SPA Joins National Alliance to Help Preserve At-Risk Social Science Data

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Undergraduate Researchers

The Center for Data Science is looking for undergraduate researchers who are interested in working with faculty projects associated with the center. Contact Jeff Gill


Mailing List

Sign up for the Center for Data Science mailing list to learn about upcoming opportunities and events.

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