Home Sen. Warner to host Virginia Science Summit at National Academy of Sciences

Sen. Warner to host Virginia Science Summit at National Academy of Sciences


mark warnerOn Friday, December 5, U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) will bring together a cross-section of Virginia’s leaders in science on Friday for the second annual Virginia Summit on Science, Engineering and Medicine, co-hosted by Sen. Warner, the Virginia Academy of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (VASEM) and Virginia Tech. This summit will provide an opportunity for VASEM members and their protégés to join with representatives from government, industry, and institutions of higher education in Virginia to discuss Big Data and its implications for science, technology, healthcare and industry.

“In an era of diminished federal support for research and development, it is more important than ever for Virginia’s leading thinkers across institutions and disciplines to increase collaboration,” Sen. Warner said.  “Virginia is home to some of the nation’s top technology companies and leading education and research institutions. That means the Commonwealth can play an important role in the rapidly growing sector of Big Data.  This second annual Summit provides an exciting venue for some of the best and brightest in Virginia to discuss the challenges and benefits of Big Data.  I am eager to see what Friday’s program inspires.”

Virginia has some of the nation’s leading universities, and I commend the Virginia Academy for addressing important ‘big data’ applications that will enable us to be on the forefront in solving some of the most complex societal and medical problems of our day,” said Virginia Tech President Timothy Sands.

“We have worked hard over the past year and a half to get VASEM off the ground. This is the second convergence of the group, and I’m looking forward to the further collaboration and conversations that this meeting stimulates,” said Joe Campbell, the Lucian Carr Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Virginia and President of VASEM.

Summit participants include representatives from some of Virginia’s top educational institutions; healthcare organizations including the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Inova Health Systems and the Virginia BioScience Health Research Corporation; government agencies including NASA Langley, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Naval Research Laboratory and National Science Foundation; and private sector partners including Orbital Sciences, Amazon Web Services, and Metron.  Each participant is also encouraged to bring a protégé to engage the next generation of the Commonwealth’s leaders in the sciences.

Senator Warner established VASEM in 2013 to bring together many of Virginia’s most prominent scientists to foster and promote a vibrant intellectual exchange and serve as a resource for the Commonwealth. The group is comprised of Virginia’s members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. Election to one of the three national academies is a lifetime designation, and represents one of the highest honors for scientists in the U.S.


List of speakers and event program:

8:30 – 9:00am

Lecture Room


Opening Remarks


Joe Campbell, PhD, President, Virginia Academy of Science, Engineering, and Medicine

Mark R. Warner, U.S. Senator, Commonwealth of Virginia

Sallie Keller, Director and Professor of Statistics, Social and Decision Analytics Lab, Virginia Tech

9:00 – 9:45am

Lecture Room


How ‘Big’ is So-called Big Data?


Ken Prewitt, Carnegie Professor of Public Affairs, Columbia University

10:15 – 11:45am

Lecture Room


Session One: Big Data in Technology and Industry


Moderator: Donald E. Brown, Director of the Data Science Institute and William S. Calcott Professor of Systems and Information Engineering, University of Virginia


  • Arati Prabhakar, PhD, Director, DARPA
  • Ellen Williams, PhD, Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Energy, DOE
  • Vinton Cerf, PhD, VP and Chief Internet Evangelist, Google
11:45am – 1:15pm

Great Hall

Introduction of New Academy Members

Patricia Dove, University Distinguished Professor and C.P. Miles Professor of Science, Virginia Tech



Introduction: Stephanie Shipp, Deputy Director and Research Professor, Social and Decision Analytics Lab Virginia Tech


Michael Batty, Bartlett Professor of Planning , University College London; Chair, Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA)

“Creating a New Science of the City”

1:15 – 2:30pm

Lecture Room


Session Two: Going Forward – The Role of Big Data in Social and Economic Statistics


Facilitator: Chris Barrett, Executive Director and Professor of Computer Science, Virginia Bioinformatics Institute, Virginia Tech



Robert Groves, Provost, Georgetown University

Erica Groshen, PhD, Commissioner, Bureau of Labor Statistics

John Thompson, Director, U.S. Census Bureau

2:45 – 4:15pm

Lecture Room


Session Three: Big Data in Health and Medicine


Moderator: Steven Woolf, MD, MPH, Director, Center on Society and Health, Virginia Commonwealth University


Sandro Galea, MD, DrPH, Gelman Professor and Chair, Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University

Larry Green, MD, Professor of Family Medicine, Epperson Zorn Chair for Innovation in Family Medicine and Primary Care, University of Colorado Denver; Chair, National Committee on Vital Health Statistics

Kevin Patrick, MD, MS, Professor of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of California, San Diego; Director, Center for Wireless and Population Health Systems, The Qualcomm Institute/Calit2 




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