CDS Goes Virtual: How We Brought our Community Online

When asked, many of our community members will say that the thing that one of the things like most about CDS is our talks and seminars. Johann Brehmer, CDS Postdoc and organizer for the Moore Sloane Brown Bag Lunches, reflected on the impact of the weekly events on his CDS experience by saying,

“The Wednesday lunch seminar has been a fixture and a weekly highlight since my first week at NYU. Not only did we have some great talks, but getting together in the open space on the 7th floor was a ritual that gave us the chance to catch up with friends and colleagues.”

This March, however, COVID-19 impacted CDS as it did to almost every other part of our lives. In-person gatherings became all but impossible, but it also became apparent that it was especially important to preserve the sense of community and shared learning that our events give to our students, faculty, and staff. Johann Brehmer, speaks on the transition to remote events this Spring,

“Thanks to [CDS Head of Communications] Emily’s initiative, we decided to try a Zoom version of the seminar series. Overall, I would say it worked pretty well. And in one way the virtual version is better than the in-person format: we can finally invite speakers (and audience members) from outside NYC.”

Another success over the Spring was the transformation of the Math and Data seminar series into MaD+, a virtual seminar series hosted in collaboration with ETH Zurich. The series has continually boasted a healthy turn out from week-to-week. CDS faculty Jonathan Niles-Weed and organizer for the MaD+ seminar speaks on his experience,

“The MaD+ seminar has been a tremendous success so far. One benefit of our virtual format is that we can invite speakers and participants from all over the world and operate outside the bounds of the traditional academic calendar. We have continued to host speakers throughout the summer and plan to continue our series virtually during the academic year, even as NYU begins to reopen.”

Indeed, these and many other CDS events will continue in the Fall virtually so as NYU prepares to return on September 1st. We are looking forward to the opportunity to extend our reach beyond the walls of 60th 5th Ave and NYU’s campus and make connections across the globe through our events.




Official account of the Center for Data Science at NYU, home of the Undergraduate, Master’s, and Ph.D. programs in Data Science.

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NYU Center for Data Science

NYU Center for Data Science

Official account of the Center for Data Science at NYU, home of the Undergraduate, Master’s, and Ph.D. programs in Data Science.

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