Astronomers-Turned-Data-Scientists (ATDS) 2020 Meeting

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The inspiration for this splinter meeting is our desire to create a more cohesive community among Astronomers-Turned-Data-Scientists (ATDS) and other data-adjacent folks working in industry and between ATDS and current astronomers (especially those who use data science tools and techniques in their research, as well as those who might be interested in transitioning into a data science career).

The meeting will take place during the AAS 2020 Winter meeting in Honolulu, HI on Sunday, January 5.

The meeting will include a series of talks (in Room 301A) that cover a wide range of topics and is aimed specifically at ATDS who are currently working as data scientists (or in data-adjacent roles) in industry. The schedule will include mostly technical talks by data scientists, for data scientists. We have hope to include some career-related presentations as well, parts of which might be more applicable to current data scientists and parts of which might be more applicable to prospective data scientists at the AAS Meeting. The full list of talks can be found below.

In addition, networking and recruiting among the current data scientists and among prospective data scientists will be strongly encouraged, including participation in various AAS Career Services events on other days of the meeting. More info about recruiting and other data-related and career-related events at the AAS Meeting can be found below.

We also plan to have an official evening event for ATDS attendees after the main ATDS meeting on the evening of January 5.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us at Astro2Data{at}gmail{dot}com and we look forward to seeing you in January!

Jeffrey Silverman (Samba TV)
Chris Lindner (Indeed)

Meeting Info

In order to strengthen the connection between the AAS and former members, the AAS created a new class of membership: Alumni Affiliate. The 2020 membership fee is $105 and one qualifies for this membership if they "do not depend on the astronomical sciences or related fields as their primary source of income or support". Furthermore, prior AAS membership at the Full, Associate, or Junior (i.e., student) level is desired (for ATDS attendees), but not required. Note that it takes a few days for an Alumni Affiliate application to be processed, and you will receive an email confirmation and member ID once your membership is approved. If you have any questions regarding AAS membership, please contact Diane Frendak.

Once someone is an Alumni Affiliate member of the AAS (and has their valid member ID), they can register for the AAS Winter Meeting at the highly reduced rate of $238 (this is in addition to the membership fee mentioned above), valid through October 29. After that date and through December 10, the registration rate is still highly reduced, but will go up to $270 (and even after December 10 you can still register onsite). You must register for the AAS Meeting in order to attend the ATDS Splinter Meeting, but the registration does include all aspects of the AAS Meeting, not just the ATDS Splinter Meeting. Note that meeting registration is $929/$1018 for non-members.

Talks & Schedule


The talks will take place on Sunday, January 5, in Room 301A. All talks will be 20 minutes total (10-15 minutes of content with ~5 minutes of Q&A). Speakers and talks will be posted here when submissions are done. Click here for more information about the speakers and their talks, including the full abstracts.

Speaker Title
Chris Lindner The Data Science Job Market Through the Eyes of Indeed
James Guillochon From Black Holes to Data Science to Robots: Tips and tricks for transitioning into industry
Jeremy Ritter A Neuro-evolutionary Approach to Automated Model Building
John Wu Insights on Galaxy Evolution from Computer Vision
Jonathan Whitmore Future Career Success Starting from Your First Tech Job
Joshua Miller Utilizing Machine Learning to Predict TV Viewership
Kevin Moore Automating your machine learning pipelines: What could possibly go wrong?
Padma Yanamandra-Fisher Data Science in Planetary Sciences
Taka Tanaka The Data Teams at WW: Bringing cutting edge tools to an establishment business


The scientific program for entire AAS Meeting can be found here. The ATDS schedule avoids most Plenary and Prize Talks and includes ample time for mingling and networking during coffee breaks and lunch.

Event Time
AAS Plenary Lecture 08:00am - 09:00pm
ATDS Welcome Remarks 09:10am - 09:20am
Morning Session 1 (C. Lindner, J. Guillochon, J. Whitmore) 09:20am - 10:20am
Morning Coffee Break (sponsored by Berkshire Grey) 10:20am - 10:40am
Panel on DS Interviewing Advice & Best Practices (J. Guillochon, J. Miller, J. Whitmore) 10:40am - 11:10am
Morning Session 2 (K. Moore) 11:10am - 11:30am
Break for AAS Plenary Lecture 11:40am - 12:30pm
Lunch 12:30pm - 02:00pm
Afternoon Session 1 (J. Wu, P. Yanamandra-Fisher) 02:00pm - 02:40pm
Afternoon Break 1 02:40pm - 02:50pm
Afternoon Session 1 (J. Miller, J. Ritter) 02:50pm - 03:30pm
Afternoon Break 2 03:30pm - 03:50pm
Directed Group Discussion (Topic TBD) 03:50pm - 04:10pm
Afternoon Session 2 (T. Tanaka) 04:10pm - 04:30pm
AAS Plenary Lecture 04:40pm - 05:30pm

Official Evening Event

Sunday, January 5, 6:00pm - 9:00pm

Rock Island Cafe has agreed to extend their Happy Hour drink specials through the evening (until closing) for ATDS attendees. This includes $3 beer and $5 Mai Tais, Blue Hawaiis, well/standard cocktails, and wine. They also have a full menu of "classic American diner" food including hot dogs, burgers, pizza, ice cream and other desserts, and coffee and soda! They're located just a few blocks (~7 minute walk) from the Convention Center at 1911 Kalakaua Ave.

Related AAS Meeting Info (i.e., Data, Career, and Recruiting Events & Info)

Throughout the AAS meeting there are a variety of events and activities that are related to Big Data, Data Science, and Careers/Recruiting (for both academic and non-academic positions). In addition, there will be space throughout the AAS Meeting to speak to & even interview candidates if you are planning to recruit onsite, as well as numerous opportunities to give general career advice to students/postdocs who are interested in transitioning to data science and the wider tech industry. Further details about some of these events can be found below.

Beyond the Academy

Career Center in the Exhibit Hall

AAS Job Register (pre- & post-meeting)

Exhibitor Booth or AAS Meeting Sponsorship

Other Related Events at the Meeting