The Communication and Media Studies program congratulates MA student Eren Egitman, who was awarded 1st place in the “Critical Data Studies” category at the Data Day 9.0 conference, hosted by the Faculty of Science and the Carleton Institute for Data Science in Richcraft Hall on April 25th. Egitman, who is in the first year of the MA Communication degree with a specialization in Data Science, won for his poster “Actionable Intelligence: Fostering an Evidence Informed Learning Organization.”

“I am incredibly happy and honored to be recognized for my work,” Egitman says. “I believe organizations that foster data-informed learning environments will excel in the future. Cultivating this vision is the first step to creating meaningful change within society and is an area of research I am passionate about.”

MA Communication student Eren Egitman presents his poster at Data Day 9.0

Egitman was part of an interdisciplinary ‘critical data studies’ course bringing together graduate students from the social sciences, humanities, and computer science. The course examines a range of issues and themes, including data governance, ‘big data’ and ‘small data’, data infrastructures, data and risk profiling, and data justice, among other topics. The course is taught by Dr. Tracey Lauriault, a critical data studies expert in the School of Journalism and Communication with a cross-appointment to the Carleton University Institute of Data Science. As part of their course requirements, students prepare a competitive abstract for the annual Data Day conference. If accepted, they develop a poster presentation to showcase their research. Posters are adjudicated by a panel of expert judges.

Eren Egitman’s poster “Actionable Intelligence: Fostering an Evidence Informed Learning Organization” was awarded 1st place in the ‘Critical Data Studies’ category at Data Day 9.0.

Lauriault’s course embraces the values and practices of interdisciplinary scholarship and experiential learning, encouraging students to work with and learn from others in different academic and professional fields and to mobilize their knowledge (theoretical, critical, and applied) to a real-world setting. This year, the course partnered with the Data Analytics unit of Ottawa Police Service (OPS). As part of their learning, students were provided with a tour of the 911 Communication Centre and a 3-hour session focused on the analytics work of the police services.

“It was a pleasure to partner with Carleton’s data studies students,” said Cameron Hopgood, Director of Strategy at the Ottawa Police Services. “We were impressed by the quality and professionalism of their work.”

According to Lauriault, students had opportunities to “learn directly from OPS about its data gathering practices, the challenges it encounters using these data, and considerations around equity, diversity and inclusion.” She explained further that, “it’s important that students not only explore scholarship in the classroom but also learn how the theories we study are taken up in real-world contexts such as policing.” In addition to their tour of the OPS communications centre, students were also provided with access to relevant documentation for their research.

A bird’s eye view of Data Day 9.0

“This was a great cohort of students,” Lauriault says. “It’s so rewarding for students and for me as well. They get to address practical issues, apply theory, and learn how to provide evidence-informed research and advice, while a partner organization gains access to high quality research that helps shape what they do.”

Lauriault notes that students are often invited back to partner organizations to present their research to a wider group of stakeholders. “It’s gratifying to see them put their knowledge into practice like this,” she says. Anita Grace, Manager of the OPS Business Performance Unit confirmed that some of the students’ research “will directly inform our efforts to improve data culture at the Ottawa Police Service.”

The Communication and Media Studies program also congratulates Brooke Sullivan (Law & Legal Studies) who was awarded the inaugural John ApSimon Data Day Award for overall best poster, “Policing Racism: An Intersectional Strategy to Race-Based Data Collection”. Other award winners were Andrea Payne (Data Science and Analytics) and Deepkumar Kiritkumar Patel (Electrical and Computer Engineering).

Carleton University has become a national hub for data science research and training, educating a highly skilled workforce for local, national, and international communities and creating the next generation of information technology leaders and thinkers. Its location in the national capital and long-established relationships with the city’s technology sector positions the university to train the next generation of data science specialists. The Communication and Media Studies program has been a partner in the collaborative master’s in data science degree since 2016-17.

Thursday, April 27, 2023 in , ,
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