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From the Deputy Director, Spring 2022

IDSC Grants Explore Data Ethics and Social Processes

by Helen Gynell

January 29, 2022

from the deputy director

Big data, sophisticated analytics, and deep learning tools help drive advances in the sciences, medicine, architecture, the arts and humanities, and many other academic disciplines and commercial sectors. Today, a growing number of researchers are drawing on these powerful resources of the Institute for Data Science and Computing (IDSC) to probe more deeply into the challenging issues of our time.

Earlier this year, we invited University of Miami faculty interested in collaborative projects exploring social, behavioral, and ethical issues to apply for our second round of IDSC grants on “Expanding the Use of Collaborative Data Science at UM.” We had a large number of applications on a wide range of topics,  as each grant includes an award of $20,000, and 1M Service Units (SUs) to be used for high-performance computing at IDSC. Here are the five winners of our 2021 collaborative data science grants.

  • Soyeon Ahn, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Educational and Psychological Studies in the School of Education and Human Development. Her project is “Automated Computational Tools for Estimating Effectiveness (ACTEE) of Intervention.”
  • Lynn Perry, Ph.D., associate professor in the Child Division of the Department of Psychology in the College of Arts & Sciences. Her project is “Novel Social Network Approaches to Understand Transmission of Language in Preschool Classrooms.”
  • Mei-Ling Shyu, Ph.D., associate chair and professor at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the College of Engineering. Her project is “Multimodal Computational Approach to Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Assessment and Diagnosis.”
  • Rebecca J. Bulotsky-Shearer, Ph.D., associate professor, Department of Psychology in the College of Arts & Sciences. Her project is “Co-Creating Big Data Tools for Equitable Access to Community Early Learning Resources.”
  • Andrew Dykstra, Ph.D., assistant professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering in the College of Engineering. His project is “Top-Down Influences on (Speech) Perception in Humans and Machines.”

We are looking forward to hearing from these grant recipients when they present their work at IDSC’s seminars series in fall 2022.  Looking ahead, IDSC will continue to promote data science within the University’s research community through our collaborative grant programs.  Stay tuned for further announcements this spring!


Ben Kirtman, PhD
idsc deputy director  |  director, idsc earth systems


For more information on the IDSC Grants Program, please visit

In this photo, Dr. Kirtman is filming a video for the Master of Science in Data Science degree.




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