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Rob Chew named National Consortium for Data Science Data Fellow

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC – Rob Chew, research data scientist at RTI International, has been selected as a 2017-2018 Data Fellow by the National Consortium for Data Science. The National Consortium for Data Science (NCDS) will provide funding to support an innovative data science research project proposed by Chew through its Data Fellows program.

The NCDS, a public-private partnership to advance data science and address the challenges and opportunities of big data, will provide each Data Fellow with $30,000 to support work that addresses data science research issues in novel and innovative ways. In addition to Chew, the NCDS chose Samira Shaikh, assistant professor of cognitive science at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, as a Data Fellow.

Chew’s research project, titled, SMART: Smarter Manual Annotation for Resource-constrained collection of Training data, aims to reduce the effort of annotating data using active machine learning, a process in which learning algorithms actively query a user or other sources for data labels.

Chew plans to develop an annotation software prototype that leverages elements of active machine learning, gamification, and Ul/UX design to help data scientists and researchers reduce manual coding time and effort, making machine learning classification tasks more affordable and widely accessible.

“We reviewed many thought-provoking proposals that showed promise of advancing the field of data science. The hardest part of the process was choosing the two award winners,” said Shannon McKeen, director of engagement and business development for the NCDS. “The two researchers selected as Data Fellows will be exciting additions to the NCDS community. Their work is relevant to the interests of our corporate members and address important real-world concerns.”

Data Fellow positions are open to faculty and researchers at NCDS member institutions, which includes all universities in the University of North Carolina system, Drexel University, Deloitte, EMC, GE, IBM, MCNC, RTI, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. A total of 22 researchers from eight member organizations applied for fellowships this year. Proposals addressed a wide range of data science research questions, from using patient-generated data to improve healthcare to analyzing social media data and its ability to improve business analytics and communicate important public messages.