Recapping the First of its Kind: The ODSC East 2020 Virtual Conference Recapping the First of its Kind: The ODSC East 2020 Virtual Conference
We’re a few days removed from the ODSC East 2020 Virtual Conference, and we’re thrilled with how it turned out. Over... Recapping the First of its Kind: The ODSC East 2020 Virtual Conference

We’re a few days removed from the ODSC East 2020 Virtual Conference, and we’re thrilled with how it turned out. Over the course of four days, more than 8,230 people registered for the first-of-its-kind conference – one of the largest online data science events ever. Attendees participated in live presentations, communicated in real-time, participated in prize contests, and were incredibly active overall. Here are a few highlights from the conference to show what an event on this scale is like.


ODSC East 2020 is the 3rd ODSC event that I have attended. The staff and speakers did a tremendous job approaching the challenge of moving the conference online. The speakers were engaging, the staff attentive, and my team had a wonderful experience this week. Well done! I look forward to attending my next event.
Leslie Walcott
Data Scientist, Chicago

Virtual Training and Workshops were extremely popular

Hands-on training doesn’t always have to mean in-person. A popular part of ODSC events is the training sessions, where attendees learn a new skill in a short period of time by walking through a new tool, language, framework, etc, in real-time with direct instruction from the presenter. The Virtual Conference had over 400 hours of unique content from over 200 speakers, and over 260 sessions. 

It was no different virtually. By using Jupyter Notebooks, Codelab, RStudio, and other cloud-based coding platforms – in addition to the software on the attendees’ machines – everyone was able to learn the same amount of information that they’d normally learn in-person. Everyone was able to chat, share content, and engage as they would in a workshop. The live and human feeling was evident and welcome.

Some of the most highly-rated talks include:

  • Deciphering the Black Box: Latest Tools and Techniques for Interpretability with Rajiv Shah, PhD, of DataRobot
  • Pocket AI and IoT: Turn Your Phone Into a Smart Fitness Tracker with Louvere Walker-Hannon, Maria Gavilan-Alfonso, and Vaidehi Venkatesan of MathWorks
  • Best Practices in Deep Learning and the Art of Research Management with Moses Guttmann of Allegro AI
  • Natural Language Processing using Python with Matt Brems of General Assembly
  • Missing Data in Supervised Machine Learning with Andras Zsom, PhD, of Brown University, Center for Computation and Visualization
  • Interpreting and Explaining XGBoost Models with Brian Lucena, PhD, of Agentero

Folks at ODSC making this year’s #ODSCVirtual event feel almost… not virtual. Really neat user experience recreating the Expo Hall and even the outside of the convention center.
Michael Thomas

Attendees learned about the latest developments in COVID-19 and AI

COVID-19 – aka Coronavirus – is the most important topic in the world today. Data science and AI are being used as tools to help with the detection of the virus & its spread, as well as ways to prevent future pandemics. As such, we created a track devoted to the use of AI in the topic. 

Some talks included:

  • Using AutoML to Identify Plant Disease and Leakage in COVID X-Rays: Rajiv Shah, PhD & Abdul Khader Jilani | DataRobot
  • COVID-19: Unprecedented Challenges and Opportunities for Data Science (and Scientists) — Voices, Visions, and Ventures form Harvard Data Science Review: Xiao-Li Meng, PhD, Professor & Founding Editor-in-Chief |  Harvard University & Harvard Data Science Review
  • Coronavirus After the Curve: Roger W. Thomas, Senior Director, Growth & Strategy for Manufacturing & Diversified Industries | Oracle

All of these talks and the rest of the entire track is available for free for on-demand viewing! Check them out here.

What an amazing way to bring everyone under one roof #ODSCVirtual. Amidst COVID-19 pandemic, this is the best thing that has happened so far this year.
Sagar Singh
Senior Data Analyst, Boston

Staying on top of current trends at the AI Expo

A big part of many companies’ plans moving forward involves learning about the latest solutions in applied AI and data science. The Virtual AI Expo Hall saw 22,000+ unique visits to the virtual booths & demo hall this year, proving that even in challenging times, companies and individuals are still optimistic and looking to the future of their organization.

The Demo Hall was an exciting way to see some of these solutions in-motion. By seeing walkthroughs and case studies of how a company can apply their tools to an organization, attendees witness the power that is applied AI. Some exhibitors included Microsoft, DataRobot, Dotscience, Red Hat, SAS, Looker, Appen, HPCC Systems, S&P Global, and more.

I just want to say a huge thanks to the organizers! I was skeptical about the remote format at first. However, it is an introvert’s dream! It is so much easier to ask questions in chat/slack than it is to raise my hand in a crowded lecture hall. 🙂 It might actually be really great to run slack on live conferences too for this reason.
Andras Zsom
Lead Data Scientist, Rhode Island.


What’s next?

If these talks, demo halls, keynotes, and workshops sound of interest to you, then you can still see all of them on-demand. Take a look at our ODSC East 2020 Virtual Conference on-demand pass and get access to 400+ hours of unique data science content from leading experts in the field.

Our next event will be the ODSC Europe Virtual Conference this September 17th-19th – 100% virtual as was ODSC East! Tickets are on sale now for 70% off, so don’t delay in attending the largest virtual data science conference there is.

Alex Landa, ODSC

Alex drinks a lot of coffee and sometimes writes stuff. Connect with him on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexander-landa-a0889857/