Professional Development For Students

As a student-led initiative, the Nutrition Data Summit hopes to establish an engaging, informative, and skills-building opportunity for nutrition students of all levels. Though only a three-day event, our workshops are designed to provide introductory and intermediate technical skills for more effective application of data sciences in nutrition research. This engagement comes through a combination of hard skills in statistical methodologies and programming as well as soft skills in nutrition communication and case study discussions. Through this event, we aim to showcase both the methodological complexities of rigorous data analysis using varied data sources, as well as the real-world challenges and controversies in interdisciplinary nutrition practice. By participating in our event, we seek to arm students with the statistical literacy to perform more comprehensive nutrition research as well as expose students to different skillsets and information to continue there nutrition data science endeavors in their own careers.

Professional Development for Faculty

As the curators of much nutritional research in recent decades, faculty provides unique experiences and insights that must be communicated to others. Faculty sit at the important pivot point between propelling the field of nutrition sciences forward and connecting students with experiences and knowledge for the next generation of nutrition researchers. These experiences should not be isolated into individual topic areas but rather communicated across multiple topic areas within the nutrition discipline. In doing so, faculty can identify gaps and overlaps in nutrition data sciences and use their perspectives to improve methodological approaches in conducting nutrition data sciences in the future. And if that’s not enough, our technical workshops can help refine statistical skills useful for individual research needs!

Improvement of Teaching Process

The tools and techniques of nutrition data sciences have often been separated from more contextual teachings of nutrition science and policy. The Nutrition Data Summit aims to provide an interactive nutrition teaching process that integrates data analytics into conversations of nutrition research. Through our A Track discussions and debates, participants learn the important role that data plays in nutrition decision making processes as well as how to utilize data to provide insight into how data methodologies influence nutrition science. At the same time, our Track B technical workshops provide skills in data presentations and visualizations that can help nutritionists convey and communicate information more clearly in their daily research. Together, these tracks help build an interactive teaching platform for integrating these two disciplines more cohesively.

Increase Data Science Literacy in Nutrition

The nutrition field currently faces the universal challenge of exponentially increasing computational capabilities and data volumes. Impact of big data in this field is broad, and reaches several billion people through nutrition programming, interventions, and food systems modeling. However, nutrition experts and statistical analysts often remain siphoned in their work, the former lacking expertise to complete intensive computations while the latter lacking the issue area expertise on nutrition. For this reason, we wish to bring both parties together to build a common dictionary of terminology that can be referenced, reviewed, and resurfaced for clearly communications in the future. This holds true for even professionals within different disciplines in nutrition and will allow for greater intra- as well as inter-disciplinary collaborations.

The goals align with the Friedman School’s Strategic Plan in the following ways: