2024 Data Science Leadership Summit

Host the next Summit!

Proposals to host the U.S.-based 2025 Leadership Summit are due June 1.

Thank you!

The 2024 Leadership Summit was hosted at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, GA on May 6-8. Thank you for joining us for a fantastic event!

Program At-A-Glance

Here is an overview of the schedule. Scroll down for more details.

Fireside Chat

Donnie Beamer

Donnie Beamer

Office of the Mayor, Atlanta

Senior Tech Advisor

Talitha Washington

Talitha Washington

Atlanta University Center Consortium

Director, Data Science Initiative

We were delighted to host Donnie Beamer and Talitha Washington in a fireside chat on Monday evening about their work building partnerships across the tech industry, academia, and city government.

Donnie Beamer, CFA was appointed by Mayor Andre Dickens as Atlanta’s first-ever Senior Technology Advisor. He serves as the Mayor’s chief liaison with the tech sector and assists with shaping policy and programs to grow the ecosystem. Beamer also works with Invest Atlanta to attract new companies to the city, grow existing ones and advises the Administration on fostering Atlanta’s technology workforce.

Dr. Talitha Washington is the inaugural Director of the Atlanta University Center (AUC) Data Science Initiative, a Professor of Mathematics at Clark Atlanta University and an affiliate faculty at Morehouse College, Morehouse School of Medicine, and Spelman College. She is the Director and lead principal investigator of the NSF-funded National Data Science Alliance (NDSA) and the President of the Association for Women in Mathematics. She works across Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to increase the number of Blacks with expertise in data science and expand data science research that advocates for social justice.

Keynote Speaker Announced!

We were thrilled to welcome our keynote speaker: David Leslie, Director of Ethics and Responsible Innovation Research at The Alan Turing Institute and Professor of Ethics, Technology and Society at Queen Mary University of London.

Headshot of David Leslie

David previously taught at Princeton’s University Center for Human Values, Yale’s programme in Ethics, Politics and Economics and at Harvard’s Committee on Degrees in Social Studies, where he received over a dozen teaching awards including the 2014 Stanley Hoffman Prize for Teaching Excellence. David is the author of the UK Government’s official guidance on the responsible design and implementation of AI systems in the public sector, Understanding artificial intelligence ethics and safety (2019) and a principal co-author of Explaining decisions made with AI (2020), a co-badged guidance on AI explainability published by the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office and The Alan Turing Institute. After serving as an elected member of the Bureau of the Council of Europe’s (CoE) Ad Hoc Committee on Artificial Intelligence (CAHAI) (2021-2022), he was appointed, in 2022, as Specialist Advisor to the CoE’s Committee on AI where he has led the writing of the zero draft of its Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law Impact Assessment for AI, which will accompany its forthcoming AI Convention. He also serves on UNESCO’s High-Level Expert Group steering the implementation of its Recommendation on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence. David’s recent publications include ‘Does the sun rise for ChatGPT? Scientific discovery in the age of generative AI’ published in the journal AI & Ethics, and ‘The Ethics of Computational Social Science’, (2023) written for the European Commission Joint Research Centre/Centre for Advanced Studies.

Thank you to our Sponsors!

Interested in Sponsoring the Summit? Check out all our options, including an invitation to the event with complimentary registration!



Session Descriptions

AI for Research

Arthur "Barney" Maccabe (University of Arizona)
Bhuvnesh "Bhuv" Jain (University of Pennsylvania)

This panel will consider aspects of using AI technologies in research programs. How is AI driving the frontiers of research in different fields – STEM fields and beyond, including medicine and the humanities? How is AI enhancing the process of research, such as via LLMs? How is AI enhancing collaboration across disciplines? In addition, we will cover the emerging national infrastructure to support AI in research (NAIRR) and local structures (within universities) to support the use of AI technologies in research.
Confirmed Panelists:
Andrew Connolly (University of Washington)
Bryan Carter (University of Arizona)
Jing Liu (University of Michigan)
Colin Twomey (University of Pennsylvania)
Ellen Zegura (CISE NSF)


AI and Data Science Education

Megan Mittelstadt (University of Georgia)
Eric Van Dusen (University of California, Berkeley)

We will begin with a panel discussion, focusing on AI’s pivotal role in teaching data science and fostering AI literacy among students. Panelists will share practical examples and advice regarding project-based and interactive learning that leverages cloud computing and Large Language Models to provide students with hands-on experience, collaborative learning, and real-world application. Our discussion will embrace a holistic approach to the incorporation of foundational AI knowledge, programming proficiency, data analysis, ethical considerations, interdisciplinary understanding, and continuous learning. Following the panel, session participants will participate in structured breakout conversations, sharing effective practices and brainstorming strategies to address the challenges and opportunities posed by AI in data science curricula.
Confirmed Panelists:
Rohan Alexander (University of Toronto)
Varada Kolhatkar (University of British Columbia)
Brian Wright (University of Virginia)


AI for Program Operations

Arlyn Burgess (University of Virginia)
Stella Wenxing Liu (Arizona State University)

This session will start with a discussion of what Universities and administrations are looking for in the conversation about AI in operations. We will highlight the task forces and groups that many institutions have formed, outline the common questions and approaches, and speak to the application of traditional data science approaches into the integration of AI into administration. This discussion will delve into the culture of higher education and navigating successful collaboration between academic and administrative units. With this framing, the discussion will end with the presentation of Arizona State University’s AI Acceleration Evaluation Framework. This will lead into an interactive workshop where participants can engage in an exercise of developing a similar process for their initiative and/or institution, identifying the components and stakeholders for successful implementation.
Confirmed Panelists:
Ron Hutchins, Golden State Net and University of Virginia


AI Ethics

Celeste Lee (Spelman College)
Robert Rosenberger (Georgia Institute of Technology)

Generative artificial intelligence (AI) has taken the world by storm and has teased promises of enhancing all aspects of society. The notion of generative AI is not new, but large language models (LLMs), chatbots, and multimodal translational technologies (e.g., text to video) have advanced rapidly over the past year. As artificial intelligence systems become increasingly pervasive and advanced, it is crucial that academic institutions and data science programs prioritize the ethical considerations and value alignment of these technologies. This seminar examines the intricate relationship between AI, ethics, embodiment, and value installation through design. We will delve into the profound ethical quandaries posed by AI systems, examining issues such as bias, privacy, accountability, and the potential for misuse or unintended consequences. Likewise, we will discuss the importance of imbuing AI with human values and the challenges inherent in aligning advanced systems with diverse cultural and moral frameworks. The session will conclude with an interactive activity in which we break up the audience into small groups for the discussion of specific questions on topics including: (1) the development of curriculum or program details that include objectives related to ethics, (2) the brainstorming of program initiatives that foster interdisciplinary collaborations between data scientist, technologists, and ethicists, and (3) the identification of ethical issues specific to their area of study. Discussion groups will report their results back to the larger audience.
Confirmed Speakers:
Justin Biddle (Georgia Institute of Technology)
Yanni Loukissas (Georgia Institute of Technology)
Damian Patrick Williams (University of North Carolina, Charlotte)
Shay Welch (Spelman College)


Program Evaluation & Metrics: Mapping your Success

Michael Colaresi (University of Pittsburgh)
Rachel (Ray) Levy (North Carolina State University)
Sondra LoRe (STEM Program Evaluation, Assessment, & Research)

In this interactive workshop, hands-on materials for program evaluation mapping, including case study materials from an existing grant-funded program, will be infused into group discussion so that participants can make connections to programming opportunities of their own. Samples of Theories of Change (ToC) and Logic Models (LMs) will support small group discussions about designing their own program maps. The workshop will also include sample metrics, such as survey and interview protocols, and techniques for designing these tools to gather information for data-informed decision-making. It will conclude with ways to report in culturally responsive and inclusive ways to all people intended to be served by programs.
Participants will leave the workshop with a ready set of materials for mapping their programs, sample metrics for measuring, and tangible ways for communicating return on investment in inclusive and accessible ways.

Confirmed Speakers:
Sondra LoRe, SPEAR (STEM Program Evaluation, Assessment, & Research)
Greg LoRe, SPEAR


Summit Feedback and ADSA Working Group Updates

Micaela Parker (ADSA)
Steve Van Tuyl (ADSA)

In this final session, we will briefly review ADSA activities from the past year, including updates from an active Working Group, and cover how to start a Working Group with suggested topics that we have heard are important to our community. We will then ask you for feedback on the Data Science Leadership Summit and how we can improve the meeting next year. Finally, we will discuss what you need from ADSA in the coming year and how we can encourage the community to get involved.

Georgia Tech CODA building


The 2024 Data Science Leadership Summit was hosted by Georgia Tech Institute for Data Engineering and Science.

Rennaissance Atlanta Midtown Hotel


The Renaissance Atlanta Midtown Hotel is a convenient 5-minute walk from GA Tech.

Group photo from the Data Science Leadership Summit


The Data Science Leadership Summit is an invitation-only event.

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Program Committee

Srinivas Aluru

Srinivas Aluru

Georgia Institute of Technology
Mario Banuelos

Mario Banuelos

California State University, Fresno
Azer Bestavros

Azer Bestavros

Boston University
Arlyn Burgess

Arlyn Burgess

University of Virginia
Helen Burn

Helen Burn

Highline College
Celeste Lee

Celeste Lee

Spelman College
Rachel Levy

Rachel Levy

North Carolina State University

Arthur "Barney" Maccabe

University of Arizona
Melissa Ngamini

Melissa Ngamini

ADP and ATLytiCS
B. Aditya Prakash

B. Aditya Prakash

Georgia Institute of Technology
David Uminsky

David Uminsky

University of Chicago