2022 Data Science Newsletter

Message from the Program Director
Program Spotlights
Alumni Class Notes 


Message from the Program Director



Professor Ryan Engstrom

Greetings to all of our alumni from the George Washington University Data Science Program!

I am pleased to report that after an unusual year of remote teaching and learning, we are back on campus and once again enjoying the benefits of in-person engagement and collaboration. Through this newsletter, you’ll read about a few of the exciting things happening in the program, including the achievements of our Data Science community and news from across Columbian College and the university. The Data Science program is excited to welcome two new full time faculty members, Edwin Lo and Amir Jafari. There are also some fabulous alumni events on the docket and I hope you have the opportunity to attend some of them and engage with fellow graduates.

Thank you so much for your support and involvement. Please stay in touch.


Ryan Engstrom
Director of Data Science Program
Associate Professor of Geography

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Program Spotlights


Image of a woman in a blazer entering data at a computer




Watch Our New Video!

We're proud to share with our alumni this new video showcasing the work of our Data Science Graduate Program and two of our current graduate students. The program continues to grow in stature and size and you are part of helping to make that happen.



A group of student sitting in a row in front of laptops in class




New Degrees Match Marketplace Demand

The Bachelor of Science in Data Science is one of several new undergraduate degrees in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences that seek to prepare students for in-demand expertise in burgeoning professions, from deciphering troves of big data to exploring the complexities of the brain. The degrees were featured in CCAS Spotlight.



Yuxiao Huang




Addressing Racial Disparities Using Machine Learning

Race in healthcare data abounds with missing values, making it difficult, if not impossible, to discover health disparities and develop solutions. Assistant Professor of Data Science Yuxiao Huang is the co-investigator and machine learning expert in an NIH R01 project collaboration with Milken Institute School of Public Health. Dr. Huang and his team are developing state-of-the-art machine learning approaches to impute missing races in the National Inpatient Sample data.

In their most recent paper accepted by Statistical Analysis and Data Mining, the American Statistical Association's data science journal, Dr. Huang proposes using Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) to address the class imbalance problem when imputing missing race and shows the advantages of GANs over traditional methods in a breast cancer study. To promote the adoption of GANs, Huang presents a pipeline that encompasses the complete life cycle of a machine learning project along with alternatives and good practices. “This ready-to-use, end-to-end pipeline will make it much easier for medical researchers to use GANs in their research,” he said.

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Alumni Class Notes

  • Jaquan Outlaw, MS ’18, works for both the U.S. Department of Justice and Department of Defense United States in the data science and data analytics field.
  • Drew Tschetter, MS ’17, is the lead consultant for Two Circles, a sports marketing agency in the New York City metropolitan area. He performs data analytics and project management duties for client projects in the North America region.
  • Madison Turano, BS ’17, MS ’20, is a senior consultant and data scientist at Guidehouse, helping government entities develop their data analytical capabilities.
  • Jianing Wang, MS ’20, joined the Amazon logistics team as a business analyst in early 2021 and also recently joined Capital One as senior business analyst.
  • Matthew Wilchek, MS ’21, is pursuing his PhD in computer science, with a focus in computer vision research, part-time at Virginia Tech. He works full-time for the U.S. Army developing automatic target recognition AI technologies for soldiers.

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