We’re back from San Francisco! ODSC West 2021 was our official return to in-person events and we’re still feeling that high of excitement and community. It was great to see our speakers and attendees again, connecting face-to-face, and getting that personal touch of data science training that we all missed dearly. Now that the event has passed, here are some highlights from the week – both from the in-person and virtual side of things – and some plans for ODSC East 2022.


Over in San Francisco, we had three days of training, keynote speakers, and the in-person component of the Expo Hall. There was also a fun networking session where people could relax and network after a long few days of training and workshops.

On Wednesday, the day started strong with a keynote address from Stuart Russell, PhD, the Smith-Zadeh Chair in Engineering & Professor at UC Berkeley, as well as the DIrector of the Center for Human-Compatible AI. In his session, he discussed how AI can be better to avoid bias, but also noted how its potential to aid humans is limitless. It was an urgent yet uplifting talk!

Stuart wasn’t the only uplifting speaker at ODSC West 2021. We had plenty of popular talks, workshops, and training sessions that saw plenty of (masked!) attendees listening to the speakers’ every word, following each tutorial and case study with care. Some of the most popular sessions were:

  • Victor Lo, PhD | Head of Data Science & Artificial Intelligence | Fidelity Investments | Tutorial on Uplift Modeling: How to Optimize using Uplift Predictive Models and Uplift Prescriptive Analytics
  • Julian McAuley, PhD | Professor | Artificial Intelligence Group, UCSD | Personalized Machine Learning
  • Seth Juarez | Principal Cloud Advocate | Microsoft | ML Ops: Doing the Things to Preserve Tomorrow’s Machine Learning Sanity Today
  • Brian Kent, PhD | Data Scientist | Founder The Crosstab Kite | Applications of Modern Survival Modeling with Python
  • Daliana Liu & Allie Miller | Senior Data Scientist & Global Head of ML BD, Startups and VC | Amazon AWS | How to Prepare for the Future of Data Science
  • Arica Kulm | Lead Digital Forensic Analyst | DigForCE Lab, Dakota State University | A Framework for Identifying Host-Based Artifacts in Dark Web Investigations
  • May Masoud | Data Science Advisor | SAS | A ModelOps Approach to Address Ethical Concerns in AI Systems

The AI Expo & Demo Hall proved to be popular again, with many attendees seeking thought leadership and new resources to bring back to their organizations to better integrate AI into their business. Companies like Microsoft, Vertica, Neo4j, S&P Global, and others, shared their latest AI and data science research, solutions, and developments.

ODSC West 2021 expo

And for one of our favorite parts of an in-person event, the networking session! Even with a smaller, more intimate crowd, it was great to unwind a bit and catch up with old and new friends. 


ODSC West 2021 virtual expo

The virtual side of ODSC West 2021 was just as engaging, featuring more talks, sessions, keynotes, and the Career Expo on Thursday.

In fact, we had a number of virtual keynotes! They included:

We also had plenty of engaging virtual talks, highlighted by the Responsible AI track where our speakers focused on ethical AI, how to implement unbiased AI into your business, and so on. We will also be providing a playlist of responsible AI sessions!

ODSC West 2021 slide

Slide from the Responsible AI Track session, “Artificial Intelligence for Conservation and Sustainability: From the Local to the Global.” See the full slide deck here.

Next up – ODSC East 2021!

Now that ODSC West 2021 is wrapped up, we’re turning our focus to ODSC East 2022 April 19th-21st in Boston, MA. This event will also be a hybrid with in-person and virtual components. Expect to learn more about keynotes, the first speakers, focus areas, and more in the coming weeks.

See more slides and repositories here!