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March 8, 2023

Data Democratization Panel | Priya Donti, Julia Stewart Lowndes, Nikki Tulley, Michela Taufer

About This Video

Panel: Data democratization: a powerful means for creating sustainable and equitable communities

In This Video
ACM Distinguished Scientist, University of Tennessee Knoxville (UTK)

Michela Taufer is an ACM Distinguished Scientist and holds the Dongarra Professorship in High-Performance Computing in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Tennessee Knoxville (UTK). She earned her undergraduate degree (Laurea) in Computer Engineering from the University of Padova (Italy) and her doctoral degree (Ph.D.) in Computer Science from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology or ETH (Switzerland). From 2003 to 2004, she was a La Jolla Interfaces in Science Training Program (LJIS) Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) and The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), where she worked on interdisciplinary projects in computer systems and computational chemistry.

Co-Founder & Executive Director, Climate Change AI (CCAI)

Priya Donti is the Co-founder and Executive Director of Climate Change AI, a global non-profit initiative to catalyze impactful work at the intersection of climate change and machine learning, which she is currently running through the Cornell Tech Runway Startup Postdoc Program. She will also join MIT EECS as an Assistant Professor in Fall 2023. Her research focuses on developing physics-informed machine learning methods for forecasting, optimization, and control in high-renewables power grids. Priya received her Ph.D. in Computer Science and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University, and is a recipient of the MIT Technology Review’s 2021 “35 Innovators Under 35” award, the ACM SIGEnergy Doctoral Dissertation Award, the Siebel Scholarship, the U.S. Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellowship, and best paper awards at ICML (honorable mention), ACM e-Energy (runner-up), PECI, the Duke Energy Data Analytics Symposium, and the NeurIPS workshop on AI for Social Good.

Director, Openscapes

Julia Stewart Lowndes, PhD, is a marine ecologist working at the intersection of actionable environmental science, data science, and open science. Julia’s main focus is mentoring teams to develop technical and leadership mindsets and skills for data-intensive research, grounded in climate solutions, inclusion, and kindness. She founded Openscapes in 2018 as a Mozilla Fellow and Senior Fellow at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) at the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB), having earned her PhD from Stanford University in 2012 studying drivers and impacts of Humboldt squid in a changing climate.

Doctoral Student, University of Arizona

Nikki Tulley, Doctoral Student, University of Arizona; Indigenous Researcher, NASA Ames Research Center. Nikki is from the Navajo Nation (NN), an Indigenous Nation located in the United States. The work and research Nikki does is influenced by her upbringing. Born and raised on the NN Reservation, she has seen firsthand the impacts of water access and water quality challenges rural communities face. The NN has wicked water problems related to anthropogenic activities and climate change. Now, as an Indigenous Scientist, she recognizes that opportunity to braid traditional ecological knowledge and western science together to address water challenges. Taking a step beyond braiding the two knowledge systems together she has begun to use Earth Observation satellite imagery to tell a story of the changes being monitored from space and those observed from the landscapes. Nikki’s passion is empowering communities through data access and capacity building. She believes that community involvement in research can significantly aid in seeking solutions for resilient and sustainable communities.