University of Iowa

Sudha Ram
Keynote Speaker

To kick off the conference, Sudha Ram, professor of computer science, Anheuser-Busch endowed professor of MIS, entrepreneurship & innovation, and director of INSITE Center for Business Intelligence and Analytics at the University of Arizona will present the keynote address. To read Sudha's full bio, click here

Keynote Presentation

Integration of Data Science and Social Science to build a Smart Campus


"Prediction modeling using big data can be considerably enhanced by using network science along with machine learning and social science theories. In this talk, I will describe how we can leverage big data to identify students at risk of dropping out, in a proactive and timely manner. We use network science to extract signals about social interactions among students on a large campus. We also extract signals about regularity of habits by analyzing students’ activity patterns from their location check-ins. These signals are gleaned from large spatio temporal datasets of smart card transactions that are anonymized. We use a combination of commonly available (student demographic and academic) data in academic institutions augmented by these signals to predict student retention using machine learning. We demonstrate the value of our techniques, by testing it on real-world data obtained from a large public educational institution. Our experimental results show that signals from campus activity patterns and social interactions are critical for developing accurate predictions."