Celebrating Innovation, Success, and the Future at Data Science...

Nathan Chappell

Ya Xu
Head of Data and AI at LinkedIn

Last week, the global LinkedIn Data Science team joined together for our third-annual Data Science Week. This virtual event included workshops, conference talks, networking events, an awards ceremony, and a fireside chat with Mohak Shroff, LinkedIn’s Senior Vice President of Engineering. It was a celebration of our team and our successes over the past year, a chance to take a moment to reconnect.

While attendance at Data Science Week is limited to LinkedIn employees, we were also excited to welcome a special guest, Dr. Xiao-Li Meng, former Chair of Harvard’s Department of Statistics and Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Data Science Review. He was invited to give the keynote speech this year, and his reputation as an innovative thinker did not disappoint. Titled “Sleepless Data Scientists: COVID-19, 2020 Election, and Differential Privacy for 2020 Census” the talk covered many subjects that are on the minds of people not just at LinkedIn, but around the world.

In order to get a sampling of some of the content from Data Science Week, Dr. Meng has graciously agreed to let us share the content of his talk with folks outside of the LinkedIn community. I highly recommend watching this talk, even if you are not a data scientist; it will make you think differently about the role that statistics can play in our understanding of the world.

Not only did we have presentations about interesting research and some of the notable successes that have been written about on this blog, but we also took time to celebrate the importance of diversity at LinkedIn, host peer mentoring sessions, and have trainings designed to help our people meet their own career growth goals (whether they are managers, individual contributors, or are looking to move from one track to another).

A key purpose of Data Science Week is for our team to come together and reinforce the bonds that make for a healthy and inclusive work environment. I was very impressed by the level of enthusiasm and engagement from our employees. The energy across the team clearly showed that the desire to connect with each other is stronger than ever, especially at a time when we cannot meet face-to-face.

It’s true that 2020 has been a challenging year in many ways, but that makes it even more important that we come together in order to celebrate not only our past successes, but also our work relationships as we look forward to the future.

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