Week 1: Sonia Pascua, I am a LEADS-4-NDP 2019 Fellow

LEADS site: Digital Scholarship Center
Project title: SKOS of the 1910 Library of Congress Subject Heading
                 As I am so privileged that I am one of the LEADS-4-NDP fellows for this year grant. My placement is with the Digital Scholarship Center of Temple University and my mentor is Peter Logan. Currently, we are at the project proposal stage and establishing proof of concept. We’re looking at a paper too to be one of our outputs which we target to submit to a conference like NKOS or Dublin Core.
                 As a fellow, I was included in the recent 3-day Data Science boot camp held at our University, Drexel University. As I posted it to LinkedIn, I was really excited to learn and to meet co-fellows in this boot camp. The days had gone by so quickly for this great endeavor. Nonetheless, I had a good account of my experience with this boot camp.
Day 1 was a full pack lecture and getting to know co-fellow and our respective projects. Our ice breaker was fantastic. It gave us the opportunity to know participants in a more fun way by asking a couple of questions to a partner then presented to everyone in the room what you’d found. It revealed exciting facts about co-fellow and broke rigidity amongst ourselves. From that moment on I felt comfortable with everyone.  
Lectures on Intro to Data Science by Prof. Erjia and Big Data Management by Prof. Il-Yeong, both from CCI were inspiring especially when they shared their own comprehension of concepts. I liked how Prof Erjia started with “A hundred people will have a hundred definitions of Data science (DS)…” which gave the right understanding on why there’s different treatment experienced in the DS field. I liked too how he drilled on the multidisciplinary skills needed by a modern data scientist and coached us that we should be getting just one skill and be good at it; that it would be hard to work on all four skillsets (Mathematics and Statistics, Programming and Databases, Domain Knowledge and Soft skills, Communications and Visualizations) and be the jack of all trades to them. This may end you up master of none which is not fruitful for a career. As an academic researcher, it’s advisable to boast of one skill and be a good part of a team in a DS endeavor. I appreciated Prof Erjia’s list of biases which I believe if understood, could be keys to overcoming challenges encountered DS.
On the other note, Prof Il-Yeong did expose a lot of compendium account of what happened through time in the database field. His story of “Old SQL to NO SQL to New SQL” was awesome. It provided an understanding of what we have now. It’s also great experiencing validation of what I was teaching. Hearing the database from an “antiqua” person. Don’t get me wrong. For me, “antiqua” term is full of respect and admiration. In my 10 years of teaching database, only a handful of people whom I regard as knowledgeable of the heart and soul of database and Il-Yeong is one of them.
Data Science talk of one of the mentors, Dr. Jean Godby, a senior research scientist at OCLC, was precious. She laid a good perspective to understand data science challenges and promises.
That day ended with our group dinner at Han Dynasty. We were joined by the Department Head of CCI Drexel University, Dr. Xia and Dr. Michelle Rogers and Dr. Peter Logan, one of the mentors of the LEADS-4-NDP Project and the director of Digital Scholarship Center which is my placement.
Day 2 as well as day 3, I should say were another stretches of lectures together with workshop in R. We got our hands dirty with the coding and building of our tech skill in the basics of R. Various topics ran from data pre-processing, data visualization and visual analytics, data mining and machine learning II to text processing and mini-workshop on BigML, a code-free tool for Automated Data Analytics. Dr. Richard Marciano did a small Data Science talk and presented the projects he and Digital Curation Innovation Center (DCIC) were working on. Additionally, Dr. Jane Greenberg delivered her presentation on metadata, data quality, and metadata integration.
I will miss the fellows. We had not gotten much time to really get to know each other but by heart, they are colleague and cohorts whom I can work with in this research journey of my life. I wish all of our successes in all our projects. Looking forward to our virtual meeting because we’re all working in Summer but from different states. How I wish we got time for bonding and trips.

1 thought on “Week 1: Sonia Pascua, I am a LEADS-4-NDP 2019 Fellow”

  1. Hi Sonia,

    Thanks for the great post! I’m really glad you enjoyed the icebreaker! I don’t usually like conference and workshop icebreaker activities, because they feel “hokey” and forced to me, but this style of icebreaker activity feels much more casual and genuine.

    As for Il-Yeol’s database session, I’m glad you found that validating for your database teaching!

    I have stayed in touch with some of my 2018 LEADS Fellows through Twitter, so that is always an option for you. 🙂

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