Big Data Literacy Workshop, April 13-14, 2017


Thanks to all our speakers and participants for an amazing workshop! More materials are coming to this page soon, including slides and video from the event. You can read a blog about the workshop at


Increasingly, the prosperity, innovation and security of individuals
 and communities depend on a big data-literate society, which calls for a concerted effort
 to determine what it means to be a big data literate citizen, information worker, researcher, 
or policymaker. As a step toward that goal, the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) is holding a Big Data Literacy Workshop, at which participants will work to identify the quality of regional learning resources and programs that can improve 
big data literacy, and to chart a path forward that will bridge big data practice with big
 data learning, education and career readiness. The Workshop will bring together experts from the institutions of the Northeast Big Data Innovation Hub (NEBDIH) 
and elsewhere to study the state of big data literacy across the Northeast and beyond,
 and to make recommendations for its trajectory over the next 5 years.

As a stakeholder in the Northeast region, we invite you to the Workshop to articulate the education needs of the big data community.
 Please join us for a series of keynote talks on the current and future needs of the big data practice community and a collaborative effort to draft a fundamental set of essential big data literacy concepts. An agenda is provided below – please check back for updates.

Please note this event is invitation only.

Invited guests should RSVP by March 20th, 2017. 


If you will require a hotel room, a block has been reserved at the Holiday Inn LaGuardia, within walking distance of NYSCI and a brief cab ride from LaGuardia airport. Please contact Catherine Cramer at to request a room.


New York Hall of Science, 47-01 111th Street, Queens NY 11368

Visit NYSCI’s website for directions.


Day One: Thursday April 13

8:30 Breakfast

9:00 Inquiry Group meeting

Topic research and preparation

9:00 Group 1

9:45 Group 2

10:30 Coffee Break

10:45 Report out from research

12:30 lunch and general conference registration

1:30 welcome and kickoff: Kathy McKeown, Columbia University, Director of the Institute for Data Sciences and Engineering, Henry and Gertrude Rothschild Professor of Computer Science

1:45 Keynote: Alessandro Vespignani, Northeastern University, Sternberg Family Distinguished University Professor and Director, Network Science Institute

2:30 Intro to meeting agenda and deliverables

2:40 Intro to evaluation

2:45 IG presentation

3:00 coffee break

3:15 Wisdom of Crowd exercise

3:30 Response to topic research

4:00 Report-out on each topic

5:00 Reception

Day Two: Friday April 14

8:30 Breakfast

9:00 Welcome back, travel reimbursement info

9:15 Keynote: Andee Rubin, TERC , Senior Scientist

10:00 Coffee break

10:15 Visualization exercise

10:30 Big Data definition process and report out

11:30 Big Data Literacy definition process

12:00 Lunch

1:00 Keynote: Jody Avirgan, FiveThirtyEight, Producer

1:45 Big Data Literacy definition process, continued

2:30 Surveys

2:45 Closing remarks

3:00 Adjourn

Speaker Information

Vespignani_Alessandro_linder1119-0020-webAlessandro Vespignani is currently Sternberg Family Distinguished University Professor at Northeastern University where he is the founding director of the Northeastern Network Science Institute. Vespignani is elected fellow of the American Physical Society, member of the Academy of Europe, and fellow of the Institute for Quantitative Social Sciences at Harvard University. Recently Vespignani’s research activity focuses on the data-driven computational modeling of epidemic and spreading phenomena and the study of biological, social and technological networks.

A Rubin photo

Andee Rubin, Senior Scientist at TERC, has done research and development in the fields of mathematics education, educational technology, and informal learning for over 30 years. Much of her work has focused on the growth of students’ and teachers’ statistical reasoning, particularly as it is enabled by research-based tools for statistics education. She was involved in the development of several such pieces of software: Stretchy Histograms and Shifty Lines, TinkerPlots and Fathom. She also led the ViSOR (Visualizing Statistical Reasoning) project, which studied how middle and high school teachers used data visualization tools with their students. She is currently co-PI of Science Literacy through Infographics (SLI), which is studying the development of a socio-technical system for supporting high school students in creating and publishing science infographics.


Jody Avirgan runs the new 30 for 30 Podcasts effort, part of ESPN Films. He also developed FiveThirtyEight Podcasts, where he continues to host, report and edit. He was the host of the FiveThirtyEight elections podcast, covering the 2016 campaign, and What’s The Point, a show about how data affects our lives. Prior to arriving at ESPN, he was a producer at WNYC radio, and has worked with shows such as On The Media, Marketplace, Freakonomics, and many more. On the side he hosts the comedy and storytelling series Ask Roulette.