Virginia Tech Academy of Data Science and the Northern Virginia Technology Council Announce Data Science Lecture Series

New series showcases how data science impacts business operations, government policy and consumers.

McLean and Blacksburg, Virginia (April 16, 2021)
– The Academy of Data Science, in the Virginia Tech College of Science, and the Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC) today announced the duo are launching a series of events to showcase the impact of data science in the modern era and explore the reality and future of data science.

Oliver Schabenberger, chief innovation officer at SingleStore, will be the keynote speaker for the inaugural event, “From Data Literacy to People-Literate Technology: The Reality and Future of Data Science,” on April 20. Schabenberger will discuss the reality, as well as the hype, of how companies and institutions are rapidly attempting to transform into data-driven organizations. Schabenberger earned his doctorate in Statistics from Virginia Tech and then served as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Technology Officer of SAS, a pioneering analytics company in Raleigh, North Carolina.

“The NVTC and the Academy of Data Science share a common interest in applying insights derived from data science explorations to solve today’s challenges and benefit industries, communities, and the world at large,” said Ronald D. Fricker, interim dean of the College of Science. “It’s important that we work together to demonstrate the positive impact of data science, and how it leads to better decisions that can improve peoples’ lives.”

Jennifer Taylor, president and CEO of NVTC said, “Due to the pandemic, there has been an exponential shift for businesses to modernize and work smarter by leveraging data analytics and digital technology to drive efficiencies and stay competitive. We’re thrilled to partner with Virginia Tech’s Academy of Data Science to bring data science pioneers from our region to engage in a critically important dialogue for our greater technology community.”

Tom Woteki, founding director of the Academy of Data Science, explained that the series aligns with the academy’s mission to be a catalyst to bring together data science work across multiple research themes.

“We have mounds of data, that is not the issue,” Woteki said. “What we need to do is develop a pipeline of talented data scientists who can leverage methods to better understand what drives government, commercial, academic, and societal issues. If we can analyze the information we already have, we could dramatically improve peoples’ lives.”

Through this new lecture series, Virginia Tech’s Academy of Data Science and NVTC will showcase the real-world examples of how data science applications and analytics is changing the way business and science are conducted, serves as a basis of government policy, and shapes our world.

Virginia Tech’s College of Science established the Academy of Data Science in 2020 to serve as collaborative hub to connect data science work throughout the college, across all university colleges, and with government agencies and private enterprise.

Following Schabenberger's presentation, a panel of experts will engage the speaker with comments and questions from the audience. Afterward, NVTC will hold a networking session so attendees can participate in the discussion.

Attendees may register for the April 20 event on the NVTC site.


About the Northern Virginia Technology Council
The Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC) is the trade association representing the Northern Virginia technology community. As one of the nation's largest technology councils, NVTC serves companies from all sectors of the industry, from small businesses and startups to Fortune 100 technology companies, as well as service providers, academic institutions, foreign embassies, and nonprofit organizations. Nearly 500 entities make up the NVTC membership and look to the organization as a resource for networking and educational opportunities, peer-to-peer communities, policy advocacy, industry promotion, fostering of strategic relationships, and branding of the region as a major global technology center. Visit NVTC at

Virginia Tech
Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech pushes the boundaries of knowledge by taking a hands-on, transdisciplinary approach to preparing scholars to be leaders and problem-solvers. A comprehensive land-grant institution that enhances the quality of life in Virginia and throughout the world, Virginia Tech is an inclusive community dedicated to knowledge, discovery, and creativity. Last year, the Virginia Tech College of Science founded an Academy of Data Science, which aims to become a hub for data science work across the university as well as with government agencies and the private sector. The university has a significant presence internationally and across Virginia, including the Innovation Campus in Northern Virginia where we are creating a new model for graduate education at a strategic location near the nation’s capital, diverse industries, and leading tech companies. A leading global research institution, Virginia Tech conducts more than $500 million in research annually.

Kara Mauceri, Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC)

Lon Wagner, Virginia Tech