How do computers learn to work with “big data”?
Meet the Data Decoders—a team of scientists at the Solís-Lemus Lab who use math and computers to interpret huge amounts of data from biological experiments. In the resources below, you’ll learn about these scientists and their lab, discover why their research matters in real life, and try out an activity. Take notes as you explore!
Meet The Scientists
There are 4 cards to read.
I mentor and train the students and researchers in my lab, and I guide the development of scientific products like papers and presentations. 📋
I am one of the graduate students that develop new methods to analyze data. 💻
I am a research assistant in the lab. Most of my job involves programming, but I also do things like reading, writing, and creating/interpreting graphs. 📊
I work on training computers to analyze data. This means that I modify data inputs, test the training outputs, and revise the ways to prepare the data, over and over again… 👩💻
Learn Why Research Matters
The Solís-Lemus Lab uses the power of math and computers to answer biological questions. In the following video, you’ll learn about why they research this through a real-world story about a biologist who has so much data that she needs a computer model to help her interpret it.
Questions to Consider:
Have you done any computer programming or coding before? How do you tell a computer what you’d like it to do?
Tatiana and Yuren had to figure out how to process ‘big data’. When else have you heard about computers analyzing large amounts of data?
“Yuren is a data scientist, and she is taking information I gathered and teaching computers to identify animal sounds. I’m very excited because it would probably take me my entire life to [analyze] all the recordings, but this program will do it in like a week!”
Being a scientist means asking new questions and learning new things. Click through the topics below to ask questions of the scientists at the Solís-Lemus Lab and learn about their research.
Click on a tab above to begin.
What is your lab and what do you do there?
How do computers learn?
What are you studying using data science?
How do you visualize the data that you work with?
What advice do you have to get into data science?
Science Practices Activity
Now put what you’ve learned into practice! Join Yunyi as he collaborates with plant biologist Matilda to make a model that can support her data analysis.
Graphic and Motion Design
Vicki Way Kipp
University of Wisconsin-Madison Cultural Linguistic Services
Science Education Consultant
Travis Tangen, WID
Kevin Anderson, PhD, DPI
Educator Guide and Activities
Claudia Solis-Lemus, PhD
Morgridge Institute for Research
Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation
Wisconsin Institute for Discovery
Director of Education
Director of Television
The Prairie School
Wind Point, WI
Notre Dame School of Milwaukee
Wedgewood Park Middle School
Merrill Middle School
Waunakee Intermediate School
West Allis Central High School
West Allis, WI
Funding Provided By
Timothy William Trout Education Fund
a gift of Monroe and Sandra Trout
Focus Fund for Education
Friends of PBS Wisconsin
Single Step Foundation