Women in Data Science @ Penn Conference

This is What a Data Scientist Looks Like


Danielle Bassett
J Peter Skirkanich Professor
Associate Professor of Bioengineering
University of Pennsylvania

On February 11, 2021, Danielle Bassett, Associate Professor of Bioengineering, presented her talk, “How Humans Build Models of the World,” at the Women in Data Science (WiDS) @ Penn Conference.

As humans experience the world, they acquire not only disconnected bits of information, but complex interconnected networks of relational knowledge. The capacity for such learning naturally depends on the architecture of the knowledge network itself. Danielle reviewed recent work assessing network constraints on the learnability of relational knowledge, and describe a mathematical model that offers an explanation for such constraints. We will see that humans build fundamentally biased models of the world. Why? And might the processes of model building impact how optimally we can share our knowledge structures with one another? Danielle then broadened the discussion to the generic manner in which humans communicate using systems of interconnected stimuli or concepts, from language and music, to literature and science.

About WiDS @ Penn Conference

Women in Data Science (WiDS) @ Penn is an independent virtual event presented by the University of Pennsylvania to coincide with the annual Global WiDS Conference held at Stanford University and an estimated 150+ organizations worldwide. All genders are invited to attend WiDS regional events, which features outstanding women doing outstanding work. This year’s theme for WiDS Philadelphia @ Penn was: This is What a Data Scientist Looks Like.