Meet the Panel


Chris Wiggins

Chief Data Scientist | The New York Times
Associate Professor, Data Science Institute at Columbia University

Chris Wiggins is an associate professor of applied mathematics at Columbia University, and is also a founding member of Columbia's Center for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics (C2B2). Prior to joining the faculty at Columbia he was a Courant Instructor at NYU and earned his PhD at Princeton University. Chris is also the Chief Data Scientist at The New York Times.

Since 2001 he has also held appointments as a visiting scientist at Institut Curie (Paris), the Hahn-Meitner Institut (Berlin), and the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics (Santa Barbara). 


Jonathan Roberts

Chief Innovation OfficerDotdash

Dr. Jon Roberts has a PhD in theoretical high-energy physics with ten years of research experience in high-energy particle physics and ultrahigh energy cosmic rays. At Dotdash, Dr. Roberts leads a team of researchers deriving insights from more than 20 years of Internet data across thousands of topics.

As a Marie Curie research fellow at Warsaw University, Dr. Roberts studied how dark matter might appear at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. After Poland, Dr. Roberts spent five years as a researcher at New York University, where he made predictions for solar system cosmic rays, currently being tested by NASA’s AMS detector on the International Space Station.


Haile Owusu

Chief Data Scientist | Mashable

Haile Owusu is Chief Data Scientist at Mashable where his main responsibility is the development and refinement of the company's proprietary Velocity technology, which predicts and tracks the viral life-cycle of digital media content. Prior to joining Mashable Haile led all research efforts for SocialFlow, one of the leading social media optimization platforms for leading brands and publishers. Haile specializes in statistical learning as applied to predictive analytics and has a background in theoretical physics, including a Ph.D from Rutgers University, a Masters of Science from King's College, University of London and a B.A. from Yale University.

Claudia Perlich

Chief Data Scientist | Dstillery

Prior to joining Dstillery, Claudia Perlich spent five years working at the Data Analytics Research group at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, concentrating on research in data analytics and machine learning for complex real-world domains and applications. She has been published in over 30 scientific publications and holds multiple patents in the area of machine learning. Claudia has won many data mining competitions, including the prestigious 2007 KDD CUP on movie ratings, the 2008 KDD CUP on breast-cancer detection, and the 2009 KDD CUP on churn and propensity predictions for telecommunication customers. Claudia received her Ph.D. in Information Systems from Stern School of Business, New York University in 2005, and holds a Master of Computer Science from Colorado University.


Shawndra Hill

Senior Researcher | Microsoft

Shawndra Hill is a Senior Researcher in the Computational Social Science Group at Microsoft Research NYC. Prior to joining Microsoft, she was on the faculty of the Operations and Information Management Department at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where she was an Annenberg Public Policy Center Distinguished Research Fellow, a Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative Senior Fellow, and a core member of the Penn Social Media and Health Innovation Lab and the Warren Center for Network and Data Sciences. Generally, she studies data mining, machine learning and statistical relational learning and their alignment with business problems. Specifically, she researches the value to companies of mining data on how consumers interact with each other on online platforms — for targeted marketing, advertising, health and fraud detection purposes. Her current research focuses on the interactions between TV content and online behaviors. Her past and present industry partners include AT&T Labs Research, ClearForest, and Siemens Energy & Automation. Her research has been funded by the Office of Naval Research, Google, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Hill holds a B.S. in Mathematics from Spelman College, a B.E.E. from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in Information Systems from NYU's Stern School of Business.

Panel Moderator


Adam Kelleher

Principal Data ScientistBuzzfeed

Adam is a Principal Data Scientist at BuzzFeed, and has been a data scientist there for four years. He teaches in Columbia's Data Science Institute. He has been listed as one of FastCompany's "most creative people" for helping develop new tracking technology for articles, and has spent some time studying and writing about causal inference for ad effectiveness.