Here's a blog which highlights some of the more memorable events during my daily routine.... Events include accepted or rejected papers (ACCEPT/REJECT), master thesis defenses by students I supervised (MBI), research presentations of papers I (co-)authored (TALK), grant awards and rejections (ACCEPT/REJECT), and important research interest statements, among others.

EDU: Data Science & Society 2018

posted Nov 13, 2018, 6:50 AM by Marco Spruit   [ updated Nov 13, 2018, 7:21 AM ]

The Applied Data Science Lab just finished teaching the Data Science & Society course for 120 students. We revised the course significantly, such that it captures the research fields as shown with their interdependent relationships in the conceptual Venn diagramme.

In a nutshell, illustrative of applied data science research, we regularly focused on relevant questions in a number of data science application domains including neonatology, epidemiology, geoscience, marketing, psychiatry, cell biology, ethics & privacy, through a series of guest lectures. Thus, students can better understand the role of data science and its societal impact (ILO1). Next, students apply the CRISP-DM Knowledge Discovery Process in both lectures and many workshop sessions, also with special attention to methodological issues in Big Data analyses like p-value interpretation, multiple testing, replicability, overfitting, and construct validity. This learns students to recognise the knowledge discovery processes in applied data science (ILO2). Throughout the course we maintained a Big Data focus, operationalised in a popular data science book review assignment, clarifying the particularities of big data in relation to datawarehousing, SQL vs NoSQL, and ethical and privacy implications. Hereby we help students identify trends and developments in big data technologies (ILO3). The Cloud Computing focus amply provides a thorough engineering component by utilising MS Azure as the Infrastructure-as-a-Service environment. Every student worked individually on their own personal Virtual Machine on weekly Hadoop and Spark assignments with real data and real research questions within an MS DevTest Labs context, mostly on Data Science Virtual Machine (DSVM) images. Thereby, students actually apply selected big data technologies to solve real-world problems (ILO4). All these tasks are performed to prepare students to help empower domain experts run their own analyses, possibly by using pretrained models and APIs to help realise our services computing-compatible vision of self-service data science.

We concluded the course with an online Remindo final exam which consisted of 85 multiple choice questions with the following resulting statistics as reported in Remindo:
We are quite content with the results, as the exam was intended to be more thorough than the Remindo midterm exam with 95 questions (which scored significantly higher grades). It is clear that the results are highly normally distributed, with a good Cronbach's alfa score of >0.80. Must be a decent assessment, then!


posted Nov 10, 2018, 4:57 AM by Marco Spruit

Yesterday I presented Ingy Sarhan's poster Uncovering Algorithmic Approaches in Open Information Extraction: A Literature Review at the 30th Benelux Conference on Artificial Intelligence (BNAIC) in 's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands. 

I also attended the highly interesting talk by prof. Eyke Hüllermeier on On-the-Fly Machine Learning (OTF-ML), an extension of the idea of automated machine learning (AutoML). That is, the on-the-fly selection, configuration, provision, and execution of machine learning and data analytics functionality as requested by an end-user. This is highly similar to my definition of Automated (Adaptive) Analytic Systems, except that in my own Model-Driven Analytic Systems approach I strive for semi-automation at the most, and certainly not automated knowledge discovery processes. I will defnitely take a look at the ML-Plan software to assess to what extent I can integrate it into my own research plans.

OUT: Applied Data Science in Patient-Centric Healthcare

posted May 23, 2018, 5:38 AM by Marco Spruit   [ updated Oct 30, 2018, 5:13 AM ]
Even though my research is frequently being published, I now have one paper out that I am particularly happy with and proud of, in a collaboration with my Greek friend Miltiadis: 
  • Spruit,M., & Lytras,M. (2018). Applied Data Science in Patient-centric Healthcare: Adaptive Analytic Systems for Empowering Physicians and Patients. Telematics and Informatics, 35(4), 643–653.[ISI impact factor: 3.398] [pdf] [online]
This strategic paper defines and positions my research theme as a research framework for Applied Data Science research on the knowledge discovery process in which analytic systems are designed and evaluated to improve the daily practices of domain experts. It introduces Adaptive Analytic Systems as a novel research perspective of the three intertwining aspects within the knowledge discovery process in healthcare: 
  1. domain and data understanding for physician- and patient-centric healthcare, 
  2. data preprocessing and modelling using natural language processing and big data analytic techniques, and 
  3. model evaluation and knowledge deployment through information infrastructures. 
We align these knowledge discovery aspects with the design science research steps of problem investigation, treatment design, and treatment validation, respectively, noting that the adaptive component in healthcare system prototypes may translate to data-driven personalisation aspects including personalised medicine. 

We then explore how applied data science for patient-centric healthcare can thus empower physicians and patients to more effectively and efficiently improve healthcare, through the included manuscripts in this special issue of the high-impact journal Telematics and Informatics.

Last but certainly not least, we propose Meta-Algorithmic Modelling as a solution-oriented design science research framework in alignment with the knowledge discovery process to address the three key dilemmas in the emerging “post-algorithmic era” of data science: depth versus breadth, selection versus configuration, and accuracy versus transparency.

NB: Elsevier provides free access to the paper until July 4, 2018!

PRESS: Sleepwet outreach

posted Mar 22, 2018, 4:14 AM by Marco Spruit   [ updated Mar 22, 2018, 4:19 AM ]

My professional opinion on the Sleepwet/WiV was published on the Utrecht University homepage as well as the regional news headlines, after being prepared by our UU science editor/public information officer... Furthermore, together with other computer science colleagues in the Netherlands an extensive statement was issued on our concerns with the current Law for the intelligence and security services (Wet inlichten- en veiligheidsdiensten, Wiv). 

The UU piece was subsequently picked up by the popular regional online news paper DUIC one day before the national referendum on this topic. The official result will be made public in a week from now, but it will be a close call either way.

Finally, next week a group of secondary school students will interview me about the implications of the Sleepwet for their school project... 
Outreach is important stuff!

PS: The nice Wifi wordcloud was made using on the table of contents of the US Research Council's 2008 report Protecting Individual Privacy in the Struggle Against Terrorists.

TALKS: HealthINF 2018

posted Jan 23, 2018, 12:44 AM by Marco Spruit

Last week I presented the following two papers on the HEALTHINF 2018 conference:
  1. Speech Technology in Dutch Health Care: A Qualitative Study (19/01/2018). Poster at the 11th International Joint Conference on Biomedical Engineering Systems and Technologies. HEALTHINF 2018, Funchal, Portugal. 
  2. Devices Used for Non-invasive Tele homecare for Cardiovascular Patients: A Systematic Literature Review (19/01/2018). 11th International Joint Conference on Biomedical Engineering Systems and Technologies. HEALTHINF 2018, Funchal, Portugal. [15 min.]

TALK: Consumer Engagement on Madeira

posted Nov 3, 2017, 5:49 AM by Marco Spruit   [ updated Nov 3, 2017, 5:49 AM ]

Today I gave the following talk on sunny Madeira:
Which presents the following paper:
  • Brakenhoff,L., & Spruit,M. (2017). Consumer Engagement Characteristics in Mobile Advertising. Proceedings of the 9th International Joint Conference on Knowledge Discovery, Knowledge Engineering and Knowledge Management (pp. 206–2014). KDIR 2017, November 1-3, 2017, Funchal, Portugal: ScitePress. [pdf]

VACANCY: Scientific programmer

posted Oct 9, 2017, 5:05 AM by Marco Spruit

Looking for a scientific programmer to help us introduce the STRIP Assistant platform for better medication prescribing into the daily practices in primary care, with an entrepreneurial mindset!

Utrecht University’s Applied Data Science Lab is looking for a scientific programmer to help extend and/or redesign/reimplement the STRIP Assistant platform for implementation into the daily practices of general physicians in the Utrecht region. The STRIPA Implementation (STRIMP) project is being funded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO). STRIMP can be understood as a spin-off of the Horizon2020 project OPERAM which is currently deploying STRIPA as the intervention instrument in a multi-centre multi-lingual RCT in secondary care. OPTICA is a Swiss-funded project where STRIPA is evaluated in another RCT in primary care. STRIMP is similar to OPTICA but more focused on preparing its scalable deployment throughout primary care. Thus, through this position you may become a part of its spin-off and be joining a highly anticipated Dutch startup.

For more information, please refer to the vacancy text.

EDUCATION: Applied Data Science Postgraduate

posted Oct 8, 2017, 4:19 AM by Marco Spruit   [ updated Oct 8, 2017, 4:34 AM ]

Last week I presented the Applied Data Science Postgraduate MSc programme during the Utrecht University's Open Day, for which I prepared a 45-minute talk. This programme supports both fulltime and parttime participation and will teach you how to apply state-of-the-art concepts, methods and techniques in data science, how to apply this knowledge and analyse large datasets for innovation in the domain of health, and how to understand the potential and risks of applying data science for research and society. 

It turns out that the specific eligibility criteria need to be communicated even more clearly, so here they are again, once more... You need to already have obtained a Master of Science (MSc) degree, or relevant Master of Applied Sciences (MAS) degree. No statistics, no health, no work experience yet? We can fix that. However, taking the programme will cost you a total tuition fee of € 27,273 EUR. It would be great if your employer can support you here in the context of your personal career development plans.

The ADSP curriculum overview.

TALK: AIME in Vienna

posted Jun 26, 2017, 7:55 AM by Marco Spruit

Last week I presented our poster at AIME 2017 in Vienna of the paper: 
  • Meulendijk,M., Spruit,M., & Brinkkemper,S. (2017). Risk mediation in association rules: the case of decision support in medication review. In Teije,A. ten, Popow,C., Holmes,J., & Sacchi,L. (Eds.), LNAI 10259, 16th Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Medicine (pp. 327 ff). AIME 2017, June 21-24, Vienna, Austria: Springer. [pdf] [online]
... Which I also presented as a short talk:

EDUCATION: my very first Pluim!

posted Mar 21, 2017, 6:31 AM by Marco Spruit   [ updated Mar 21, 2017, 6:32 AM ]

From the latest departmental news letter... "The Education Advisory Committee (OAC-INKU) awarded a special distinction (pluim) to Matthieu Brinkhuis and Marco Spruit for the course Data Analytics". Now that I have received -- much to my surprise -- this one-of-a-kind certificate from the committee's not-so-infamous chairman, this Pluim-on-paper is proudly decorating our (i.e. Matthieu and myself) office walls...

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