Attending the 2023 RDAP Summit was an informative and rewarding experience. I am grateful to be chosen as a scholarship recipient and to get the opportunity to meet so many diverse people in the data and information fields. I attended only a couple of presentations for the full duration. One of the sessions that I attended was “Communication Skills for Data & Information Science Professionals” facilitated by Christopher Eaker. Professor Eaker’s presentation made an emphasis on effectively communicating. He broke down the presentation into three parts:
- Communicating with a Purpose
- Communicating about Problems
- Communicating about Complexity
The topic of purpose Professor Eaker emphasized getting to know the audience. Whether you are making introductions for the first time or meeting people you have met in the past, the point is to establish a familiarity so that sharing your ideas and interests is more acceptable. Once your audience is open and engaged with your presentation, providing resources of information, materials, or processes would be a bit easier to present and put into context. This session was an excellent presentation on how to explain complex topics to a wide variety of people.
I got a chance to attend Malik Redwood’s presentation “Python for Quantitative Research” which was an introduction to how Python was used for quantitative research along with programming Python tutorials. Malik’s presentation defined the differences between quantitative and qualitative analysis. In his presentation, he defined what descriptive data was used for determining mean, median, and mode along with how inferential data is used to determine correlations or regressions using quantitative methods. The most rewarding part of the presentation was going through the tutorials on coding challenges as a group. The tutorials were a great addition to the presentation which provided insights on how to use Python to provide quantitative analysis.
The RDAP Summit has been a fun and rewarding experience for me. The communication session I attended helped me better understand how to break the ice with introductions which should relax the audience and it should help me become a better presenter. I enjoyed the Python sessions because of the tutorials that I can go over later in the summer for practice. The most surprising thing about the summit was meeting so many interesting people working in different fields of industry and learning how data can be and should be used. I plan to attend the summit next year and hopefully attend more sessions.
Michael Rozier, Master of Science in Information Management student, University of Washington