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20 Years of Data Science: Music, Genomics, and Hurricane Maria

Wednesday, August 1, 2018 - 16:00
Dr. Rafael Irizarry (Professor, Applied Statistics, Harvard & Dana-Faber Cancer Institute)
Statistics Seminar
Hugh Dempster Pavilion, Room 110

The UBC Data Science Institute is delighted to have Dr. Rafael Irizarry speak in our DSI Distinguished Seminar Series on August 1, 2018. 

The talk will take place in Hugh Dempster Pavilion, room 110 at 4:00PM. We look forward to you joining us. Details below.

Speaker:  Dr. Rafael Irizarry (Professor, Applied Statistics, Harvard & Dana-Faber Cancer Institute) 


Title: 20 Years of Data Science: Music, Genomics, and Hurricane Maria


Abstract: As new academic data science departments and training programs are created, statisticians are left wondering what role our discipline plays in this emerging field. In this talk I will share my related thoughts via examples from my own work that I now describe as data science projects. I will highlight both the statistical insights and the important considerations that fall outside the realm of the current scope of the statistics disciple. The first example relates to the analysis of musical sound signals. I will describe how locally harmonic models can be used to provide meaningful parameters useful for manipulation of sounds. The second example relates to a biological discovery enabled by statistical reasoning. Finally, I will describe a project in which we collected and analyzed data to describe the effects of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.


Bio: Rafael Irizarry received his Bachelor’s in Mathematics in 1993 from the University of Puerto Rico and went on to receive a Ph.D. in Statistics in 1998 from the University of California, Berkeley. He is now Professor of Biostatistics and Computational Biology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and a Professor of Biostatistics at Harvard School of Public Health. Since 1999, Rafael Irizarry’s work has focused on Genomics and Computational Biology problems. In particular, he has worked on the analysis and signal processing of microarray, next-generation sequencing, and genomic data. He is currently interested in leveraging his knowledge in translational work, e.g. developing diagnostic tools and discovering biomarkers. Source:


If you are interested to attend, please register for Dr. Rafael Irizarry’s lecture (on August 1, 4:00PM) here:


There will be a small reception after his talk so please RSVP to save your spot and ensure we order the appropriate amount of snacks and drinks. Details about the talk below and at our webpage (