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April 22nd: Principles for AI in the Real World

Thursday, April 22nd, 11:30 am – 12:30 pm Central
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Join us for a fireside chat with Martin Casado, General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz and Nick Feamster, Neubauer Professor of Computer Science at the University of Chicago to discuss what businesses, governments, and researchers need to know about operationalizing AI in the real world (and why it is different than traditional software). They will focus on the state of the field both in academia and industry and where they see opportunities for innovation.

Recent breakthroughs in artificial intelligence and big data have the potential to significantly advance science, healthcare, technology, and industry over the next decade. Despite the immense possibilities, many machine learning techniques present barriers to entry that make them difficult, if not prohibitive to implement, deploy, and maintain for all but the very largest cloud providers and content delivery networks.

Research groups, municipal governments, small businesses, and even Internet service providers report difficulty implementing and utilizing machine learning. Unlike traditional software, AI systems have unique properties that can become barriers when operationalizing a learning solution such as data acquisition and management, large-scale compute, storage costs, privacy, edge cases, and potential environmental impacts of training models. These constraints require new data architectures, machine learning algorithms, and fundamentally new business models to succeed. The discussion will also include practical advice for industry leaders, researchers, founders, and students to overcome or mitigate these challenges.

This event is part of the Chicago Data Discovery Virtual Summit, a two-day workshop that will bring together researchers and practitioners to discuss on how to overcome technical, organizational, and regulatory barriers that hinder data science. The summit will consist of talks, panels, and a demo of a prototype software stack developed at the University of Chicago. See the full agenda and registration information.

Save the date, May 12th, for our next CDAC Data & Technology Outlook: “Future of AI and Data Science in Telecommunications,” with Bryan Larish, Chief Security Architect, Networks at Verizon and Nick Feamster, Neubauer Professor of Computer Science at the University of Chicago. And watch for more information on a June CDAC Outlook featuring Olufunmilayo Olopade, Walter L. Palmer Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine and Human Genetics and Director of the Center for Clinical Cancer Genetics and Global Health at UChicago Medicine.

CDAC Discovery Challenge Awardees Tackle Medicine, Clean Water, and Education

Four new projects funded by the CDAC Discovery Challenge program will build interdisciplinary partnerships, open source software, and tools that enable major new advances against difficult real-world problems.

The new Discovery Challenge program from the Center for Data and Computing (CDAC), with support from UChicago’s Office of Research and National Laboratories Joint Task Force Initiative, helps build the partnerships, open source software, and tools that will make powerful innovations and solutions for interdisciplinary challenges possible. By combining experts from across the UChicago campus, its national laboratory partners, and government, non-profit, and industry collaborators, these projects target transformative impact in medicine, public health, molecular engineering, genomics, and education.

The first group of Discovery Challenge collaborations will build a database of social factors that influence health and disease, combine machine learning and computer vision to improve personalized cancer treatment, develop new probes for sensing and removing water contaminants, and incorporate AI-driven tutorials into radiology education. Participants come from University of Chicago Medicine, the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, Argonne National Laboratory, and many other UChicago departments and units.

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CDAC Job Openings & Opportunities

We have several positions open for project managers, postdoctoral researchers, and software engineers on CDAC projects and initiatives. Please share these opportunities far and wide across your networks. New openings include:


The Community Project Manager, in collaboration with the faculty project leads, will be responsible for supporting successful execution of the Urban Digital Divide project’s objectives, particularly in the area of integrating research and community collaboration tasks. The Community Project Manager will work closely with an interdisciplinary team of researchers and staff at The Crown Family School, the Computer Science Department, and the Center for Data and Computing (CDAC), with primary responsibility for developing and maintaining relationships with City and neighborhood-based collaborators, such as community-based organizations, civic groups, and other neighborhood stakeholders. Apply.


The University of Chicago is seeking a Postdoctoral Scholar focused on internet performance and measurement to work closely with Nick Feamster, Neubauer Professor of Computer Science and Faculty Director of the Center for Data and Computing (CDAC). The Urban Digital Divide project is a major interdisciplinary research initiative, funded by, focused on addressing the issue of Internet access by using large-scale Internet measurement and data science to help communities and stakeholders to better assess the quality and accessibility of broadband Internet access. Apply.


The University of Chicago Data Science Initiative is looking for an outstanding candidate to contribute to the success of the Civic Data & Technology Clinic program. The Clinic is an experiential learning setting for data science students to engage real-world data science problems. The position is aimed at candidates whose passion lies in developing innovative solutions to real-world data science problems, and offers the opportunity to develop projects in partnership with social impact organizations, government, industry and research groups. Apply.


The Center for Data and Computing (CDAC) is seeking current UChicago graduate students from computer science and statistics to join the Data and Computing Summer Lab team as Graduate Lab Coordinators for the 2021 program. The Data & Computing Summer Lab is an immersive 10-week summer research program at the University of Chicago focused on broadening participation in data science among high school and undergraduate students. Benefits of the position include a generous stipend, mentoring experience, networking within the UChicago data science ecosystem, and working as part of a team to broaden participation in data science and computer science. We anticipate the 2021 program will be virtual. Apply.

More CDAC Jobs and Opportunities