Establishing Data Science Thought Leaders

The Northwestern Mutual Data Science Institute is committed to solving important business and community challenges by harnessing the power of data for research and scientific discovery.

Our research efforts are prioritized by using data to address three major themes:

  • Tackling some of the world’s largest health crises
  • Addressing challenging social issues that affect a large population
  • Finding innovative solutions for business and industry problems

Underlying these areas is an unwavering focus on the ethical use of data to ensure we’re on the cutting edge of data science trends and effecting positive change in a responsible manner.


NMDSI Active Research

NMDSI-supported research advances innovative ideas, while fostering collaborations that will lead to long-term, deep relationships among faculty — across disciplines — at both UW-Milwaukee and Marquette. Through these collaborations, we will maximize contributions to data science while producing internationally-recognized data science research and thought leadership. Check out these current active projects:

The Elecurator Project

The project tracks the major issues engaging both candidates and voters in the 2020 presidential election cycle. Using a technique known as social curation, the team is analyzing multiple sources of data to see what topics are important to voters and how the candidates are speaking about those same issues.

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Meet our Researchers

  • Dr. Rina Ghose
  • Professor of Geography and Urban Studies
  • UW - Milwaukee

Dr. Rina Ghose specializes in geospatial technologies and data science, demography, urban studies. She specializes in statistical methods and spatial analysis, qualitative methods and community-engaged research.

Dr. Ghose’s current research examines the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States. This project examines the influence of COVID-19 related Tweets upon public response to the pandemic. Through data mining of geotagged Tweets, Dr. Ghose and her team are collecting and analyzing Tweets that have spread categories of disinformation through social media. Using spatial modeling, they have examined the relationship between this disinformation and the spread of COVID-19 cases. Some of their findings suggest that their spatial model could explain 96.7% of the variations and content analysis indicates a strong spatial relationship between social media activity and known cases of COVID-19. The second goal of this project examines the impacts of COVID-19 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This includes detection of COVID-19 hotspots, identification of vulnerable populations and neighborhoods, geospatial analytics for understanding the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19 upon racial/ethnic minority populations, and spatial accessibility to healthcare resources among vulnerable populations.

Another one of Dr. Ghose’s current research projects includes addressing the opioid crisis in Milwaukee using a data-driven approach. In conjunction with colleagues at UW-Milwaukee and Marquette University, this study analyzes datasets in Geographic Information Systems to examine patterns and variabilities of opioid overdose across Milwaukee County in 2017. Specifically, it will examine the patterns of opioid overdose-related emergencies and deaths. She is also examining the effect of several areas in shaping opioid usage including prescription opioid distribution patterns through pharmacies, assessing patterns at multiple scales (neighborhood, zip code, census tract, etc.), and examining demographic, social, crime, and health data in the affected neighborhoods. This process will help to identify key indicators of vulnerability that determines the risk of opioid overdose and death.

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Affiliated Faculty

The NMDSI Affiliated Faculty program provides resources and support to data science faculty, tracks data science research and education, and facilitates building expert multidisciplinary teams from faculty with overlapping or complementary skills and interests.

By building a data science community based on collaboration and increasing the collective impact of data science research, the NMDSI Affiliated Faculty program brings us one step closer to achieving our goal of transforming our world through the power of data science.

Interested in joining the NMDSI Affiliated Faculty program? Submit your application below.

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