Keynote Speakers & Judges
Shalini Kantayya - Filmmaker Shalini Kantayya’s, Coded Bias, premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival to critical acclaim. Coded Bias was broadcast nationally on Emmy-award winning series Independent Lensand will stream on Netflix globally in Spring 2021. The film won a SIMA Award for Best Director, and has beenn ominated for a Critics’ Choice Award, and a NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Documentary, among others. Shalini is a TED Fellow, a William J. Fulbright Scholar, and an Associate of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.
Chris Wiggins - Chris Wiggins is an associate professor of applied mathematics at Columbia University and the Chief Data Scientist at The New York Times. At Columbia he is a founding member of the executive committee of the Data Science Institute, and of the Department of Systems Biology, and is affiliated faculty in Statistics.He is a co-founder and co-organizer of hackNY (http://hackNY.org), a nonprofit which since 2010 has organized once a semester student hackathons and the hackNY Fellows Program, a structured summer internship at NYC startups. He earned his PhD at Princeton University (1993-1998) in theoretical physics. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and is a recipient of Columbia’s Avanessians Diversity Award.
Gaurav Anand - Experienced Head Of Strategy, Analytics & Operations with a demonstrated history of working in the internet and banking industry. Skilled in Big Data Analytics, Management, Strategy, Consumer and Enterprise operations, business planning, building new teams and Analytical Skills. Strong business development professional graduated from University of Michigan - Stephen M. Ross School of Business and IIT.
Carissa Caccia - Strategy and analytics consultant at Analytic Partners. Effective project manager serving as key client point of contact and responsible for analyst development. Analyzes and landscapes company data using Excel, SQL, R and least squares regression.
Dorit Nevo - Dorit Nevo is an Associate Professor of Information Systems and Director of the MS program in Business Analytics at the Lally School of Management, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). Before joining RPI, she was an Associate Professor at York University’s Schulich School of Business. She received her Ph.D. in Management Information Systems from the University of British Columbia and her M.Sc. in Economics from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology.Professor Nevo has been teaching Introductory Statistics since 2003 and is very passionate about the importance of making sense of data in businesses. In particular, she believes that the ability to tell a compelling story from a data set is a valuable capability for any professional. Besides Introductory Statistics, she also teaches courses on Applied Analytics and Predictive Modeling and on Management Information Systems. Professor Nevo’s research focuses on technology-mediated collaboration and knowledge management, such as collaborative visualization of big data for decision making, expertise location in organizations, learning analytics, and crowdsourcing. Her published work includes articles in Journal of Management Information Systems, Decision Support Systems, Communications of the ACM, Sloan Management Review, and The Wall Street Journal.
Benjamin Schanback - Chief of Staff, Finance Division, NYC Department of Education. Recieved his Masters of Public Administration from NYU, Bachelor's Degree from Brown University in Urban and Development Studies.
Leo Trudel - Leo Trudel is an innovation and technology advisor at Indigo Advisory Group, and cleantech consultancy for utilities. He is also the founder and CEO of CloudPort, a technology company that develops operational and energy efficiency platforms for large, multi-tenant commercial and residential properties. He has previously worked in solar project development and investment banking, where he specialized in transaction and advisory services for project developers and for small and mid-cap renewable energy and technology companies. Prior to that, he worked for an investment banking technology firm where he managed a fixed income research division, developed capital markets research methods, and integrated financial transaction platforms and analytics software for bulge bracket clients. He began his career as a political aide and has held senior roles in multiple gubernatorial campaigns, advising on policy, strategy, and fundraising. Trudel earned a BA from Colby College in 2007, where he studied government and economics.
Soraya Weaver - Soraya Weaver currently works as a Marketing Science Analyst at Analytic Partners (AP), a global leader in analytical consulting. At AP, she uses her experience in data analytics and processing to evaluate marketing campaigns for Fortune 500 Companies in the US and internationally. She earned a Master of Science in Operations Research from Georgia Institute of Technology, where she and her team used predictive methods to determine the success of an NBA basketball team based on a Point Guard’s performance in any given game. Soraya’s undergraduate degree is in Mathematics and Mechanical Engineering from Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada. Her undergraduate thesis developed applications for the dynamic Traveling Salesman Problem in ride-sharing.
Ayana Littlejohn - Ayana is an Analytical Consultant at SAS Institute, Inc. At SAS, she provides impactful, data-driven insights by building predictive models for several fortune 500 brands, focusing on Demand Planning and Customer Intelligence. In addition to her core responsibilities, Ayana serves as a Black Initiatives Group Leadership member and volunteers analytical expertise on Data for Good projects with the Social Innovation team. These projects investigate inequities in accessibility to nutrition, healthy housing, and other data driven policies affecting marginalized and vulnerable populations. Outside of SAS, Ayana coaches executives and other professionals on how to evaluate their company’s data-readiness to create equitably impactful solutions. She also provides technical grant writing services to non-profits as supplementary grant proposal material that highlight the impact of services offered with data visualizations specific to their efforts. Ayana is passionate about the intersectionality of analytics and policy and consults on a variety of initiatives supporting research on policy reform effects for vulnerable populations. Ayana graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Statistics from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, after graduating from North Carolina School of Science Math, where she was also a NSBE Jr. member. Shortly after, Ayana received her Master of Science in Business Analytics from Wake Forest University, where she was one of the four first Black students to graduate from the Business Analytics program. Ayana is currently the Graduate Social Outreach Chair for Association of Wake Forest University Black Alumni (AWFUBA), an RTP-NSBE Jr. Try-Math-A-Lon coach, and serves on the Board of Directors for INTech Camp for Girls, an organization committed to informing and inspiring young, Brown, and Black girls to pursue education and careers in Tech.