Published 05/04/18

CMU data scientist an RED18 keynote speaker Dr. Rebecca Nugent addresses audience

The RED18 keynote speaker was Dr. Rebecca Nugent, Teaching Professor, Associate Department Head and Director of Undergraduate Studies at Carnegie Mellon University. Her speech explored why she believes everyone is a data scientist.

Bryant "ahead of national curve" in data science, RED18 speaker says

Every spring, Bryant University celebrates the scholarly and creative work of the Bryant community in a day-long Research and Engagement Day. It's an annual showcase of inspired learning and teaching as students, faculty and staff present their work through posters, panels, presentations, and creative expression. Classes are cancelled so that the campus community can come together to enjoy the event.

Student presentation during RED18 RED18, with the theme “Celebrating Scholarship,” involved more than 630 students and 80 faculty members, and included more than 90 presentation sessions and hundreds of individual posters. In addition to the annual Economic Undergraduate Symposium and presentations by many Honors Program students, RED18 covered a range of themes; sustainable business, digital storytelling, Chinese literature, and international steel trade were a few – and just the tip of the iceberg. In addition, this year’s event saw the University’s first 3D Printing Challenge, for which students build and race cars constructed with Bryant’s 3D printer.

RED18 video

"This is a celebration of the diversity of scholarship."

“This is a celebration of the diversity of scholarship,” says Provost and Chief Academic Officer Glenn Sulmasy, J.D., LL.M. “We are a learning environment that focuses on applied scholarship and presentation skills, that values creativity in all of its forms, and that encourages collaboration between faculty, staff, and students. This dedicated day highlights our community that has been on the leading edge of innovation since Bryant’s founding in 1863."

Bryant ahead of data science curve

The keynote speaker was Dr. Rebecca Nugent, Teaching Professor, Associate Department Head and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Statistics and Data Science at Carnegie Mellon University. Her speech explored why she believes everyone is a data scientist. She proposed that data science is a field that belongs to everyone and called for all of us to seize the opportunity to become data scientists within our own fields.

“Data science … is the internal process you do—every day you are a data scientist," she said. Those who understand people and how they make decisions "are the people who are going to rise to the top in about 10, 15 years,” she told the audience.

Bryant is "ahead of the national curve,” she continued, noting that the University launched its undergraduate data science program before other elite institutions. She also labeled as "brilliant" the way Bryant academics integrate business with the arts and sciences. This interdisciplinary education gives Bryant graduates an advantage: "You are going to finish being a much more well-rounded person to move into these data science fields,” she said.

"An honor to exchange ideas"

The selection of Nugent as keynote speaker demonstrates Bryant’s commitment to preparing students for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. “We are delighted Rebecca Nugent is our keynote" for RED18, noted Sulmasy. "She is a distinguished scholar, a highly acclaimed professor, and her research interests in data science match perfectly with Bryant’s Data Science Initiative, which has tremendous momentum. Her mantra, ‘everyone is a data scientist,’ affirms President Machtley’s belief that we are now living in the Fourth Industrial Revolution and we must prepare our students for that reality.”

"It was an honor to exchange ideas with my fellow classmates."

The day’s events impressed Mila Cvetkovic ‘18. An International Business major with a double concentration in Finance and Global Supply Chain Management and a Spanish minor, she presented her paper “Emerging Trends in Supply Chain Risk Management.”

“I was able to attend many presentations of my peers and hear some amazing content. It was an honor to exchange ideas with my fellow classmates and get insights into the topics I didn’t have much knowledge of.”

The day concluded with the presentation of Bryant's first-ever Best Student Paper Award to Brennen Epps '18 for “The Effect of Tax Policy on Growth and Inequality within the United States.” This year's Champion of Academic Affairs award was given to Laurie Hazard, Ph.D., Assistant Dean for the Center for Student Success.