Data Science, Computer Science, and Real Science: Q&A with Steven Skiena

SigmaCamp is continuing the Q&A with Sigma lecturers series!
Our next lecture will be on Tu, May 19:

Data Science, Computer Science, and Real Science

by Steven Skiena

How is Computer Science more than just programming? How is machine learning changing the way computer science (and both the social and natural sciences) is/are done? What is data science, and how does it differ from classical fields like statistics? In this talk, I will try to clarify the relationship between these fields by presenting examples from my research in computer and data science. Finally, I will discuss the best way I know for bright high school students to get involved with real Computer Science: the US Computing Olympiad ( and associated algorithmic programming contests.

About the lecturer:
Steven Skiena is Distinguished Teaching Professor of Computer Science and Director of the Institute for AI-Driven Discovery and Innovation at Stony Brook University. His research interests include the design of graph, string, and geometric algorithms, and their applications (particularly to biology). He is the author of six books, including The Algorithm Design Manual, The Data Science Design Manual, and Who's Bigger: Where Historical Figures Really Rank.
Skiena received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Illinois in 1988, and is the author of over 150 technical papers. He is a former Fulbright scholar, and recipient of the ONR Young Investigator Award and the IEEE Computer Science and Engineer Teaching Award. More info at

How it Works

  • View lecture. The lecture is posted below; you can view it at any time before the Q&A session. Or, if you prefer, join us for the group viewing of the lecture by joining our Zoom meeting at 1pm EST on Tuesday, May 19
  • Submit questionsIf you have viewed the lecture in advance, think of the questions you would like to ask the lecturer. If you can, submit the questions in advance by using this spreadsheet; this will allow us to select the most interesting questions.
  • Join Q&A session. At 2pm EST on May 19, join our zoom meeting to ask questions or just chat with the lecturer. One of Sigma Camp faculty will act as the moderator.

Please note that this lecture is open for everyone; feel free to invite your friends!