Short Courses

WSDS 2020 will offer two half-day courses on Wednesday, September 30. Courses are ticketed events that require an additional fee.


Wednesday, September 30
1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. ET

Introduction to Python for Data Scientists
Instructor: Vicki Boykis, CapTech Consulting

Looking to power up your analyses? This course will cover the basics of Python, a flexible language that many consider the Swiss army knife of data work. It includes the basics of setting up Python, working with Python data structures, reading in files, and using Pandas for data analysis, as well as a brief introduction to Python’s other capabilities.

Wednesday, September 30
1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. ET

Ethics Along the Data Science Pipeline
Instructor: Rochelle Tractenberg, Georgetown University

Data science is a discipline that has emerged at the intersection of computing and statistics—two disciplines with long-standing guidance for ethical practice that feature professional integrity and responsibility. The American Statistical Association (ASA) and Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) revised their professional ethical practice standards in 2018. Both sets of guidance represent the perspectives of experienced professionals in their respective domains, but both organizations explicitly state the guidelines apply to—should be utilized by—all who employ the domain in their work, irrespective of job title or training/professional preparation.

The ASA Ethical Guidelines for Statistical Practice (ASA, 2018) includes 52 items under eight general areas, while the ACM Code of Ethics describes 25 elements across four areas. Both seek to support ethical decision-making, rather than to establish punishment or describe explicitly what is right or wrong about aspects of practice.

In this workshop, we will examine ethical reasoning, a six-step process, in support of ethical decision-making along the “data science pipeline.” The data science pipeline can be conceptualized as comprising six tasks: planning/designing; data collection/munging/wrangling; analysis (perform or program to perform); interpretation; documenting your work; and reporting your results/communication, plus a seventh area—engaging in team science/team work.

Examples of ethical reasoning in each task will be worked through to promote engagement with the ethical practice standards of the ASA and ACM.

Another “pipeline” to consider is describing a career trajectory or set of roles comprising responsibilities of the individual, instructor, mentor, and supervisor. Stakeholder analysis will be used to support reasoning and communication about ethical practice, as well as initiating discussions in the classroom and workplace.


Key Dates

  • February 13, 2020 – May 21, 2020
    Concurrent, Panel, and Speed Submission
  • July 1, 2020
    Early Registration Opens
  • July 24, 2020
    Speaker Registration Deadline
  • August 20, 2020
    Early Registration Deadline
  • August 21, 2020
    Regular Registration (increased fees apply)
  • September 30, 2020 – October 2, 2020
    Virtual WSDS2020