2015 SUMMER INTERNS of the
Interactive Knowledge Capture Group

Four students interns joined the Interactive Knowledge Capture group this summer, three undergraduates and one high-school student. The undergraduates were Taylor Alarcon (a computer science major at Brown University), Kate Musen (an economics major at Swarthmore College), and Alyssa Deng (a junior at Troy High School).

2015 summer interns in USC/ISI's Interactive Knowledge Capture Group, from left to right: Kate Musen from Swarthmore College, Taylor Alarcon from Brown University, and Alyssa Deng from Troy High School. Next to them are Yolanda Gil, Director of Knowledge Technologies and Research Professor at USC, and collaborator Sarah Rubin from Children's Hospital Los Angeles

The three interns worked with their faculty advisor Dr. Yolanda Gil to create teaching materials for non-programmers to learn about data science. The project is funded by the National Science Foundation to develop new curriculum for data science. Dr. Gil is planning to teach a new course at USC for non-computer science majors, and tasked the students to improve the lectures and homeworks that she had prepared as part of that project.

Taylor Alarcon and Alyssa Deng collaborated to create examples involving processing of image data. Using the OpenCV open source package, they created examples for the lectures and homeworks where the students can experiment with their own images. Kate Musen worked on machine learning topics to teach classification, clustering, and causal models. She also worked on motivating examples for statistics concepts and visualizations.

A visit by pediatric critical care physician Sarah Rubin, a long-time collaborator of Dr. Gil, helped the student interns put in perspective the need for teaching data science for non-programmers. Dr. Rubin wants to use data collected from patients over many years in order to prevent respiratory diseases that often arise during their stay at the intensive care unit. She described the challenges in locating and accessing the data, integrating it, and mining it to find useful predictions.

The student interns and Dr. Gil co-authored an overview of public perception of data science, which was published as an ISI Technical Report and will be an introductory reading for future students of the class. The report can be downloaded here.

Student interns from all over the world join the AI group at ISI every Summer. For more information, please contact gil@isi.edu.