bio

Here’s a speaker bio:

Heather Piwowar is a postdoctoral research associate with DataONE and the Dryad data repository at NESCent.  Heather studies the patterns with which scientists share and reuse research datasets to inform efficient and effective use of data resources.  She has measured the citation benefit of publicly sharing research data, studied patterns in public deposition of datasets, and is currently investigating patterns of data reuse and the impact of journal data sharing policies. Heather has a bachelor’s and master’s degree from MIT in electrical engineering, 10 years of experience as a software engineer, and a PhD in Biomedical Informatics from the University of Pittsburgh.  She lives in Vancouver, Canada.

Or, if you actually want to know a few more details…

I grew up in beautiful Maple Ridge, near Vancouver Canada.

I went to MIT, planning to study artificial intelligence and cognitive science. Instead, I really enjoyed in the math of digital signal processing and joined the sailing team. I wrote my master’s thesis during a one year internship in Austin, TX and graduated with a BScience and MEngineering in 1996.

After a brief stint as a management consultant (wow, not a great fit), I contributed to several startups in Berkeley, CA and Pittsburgh, PA as a software engineer and jack-of-all trades.

The last startup was a biotech; the work inspired me to take a few classes in bioinformatics at the nearby University of Pittsburgh. I was hooked. I upped the ante from a part-time certificate program to a full-time PhD, and have loved pretty much every minute of it. Ok, except the minutes leading up to submitting papers, those are stressful.

The Department of Biomedical Informatics has been extremely supportive. I was lucky enough to receive funding from the National Library of Medicine for my studies. My dissertation advisor, Dr Wendy Chapman, is wonderful: inspiring and practical.  I finished my dissertation in 2010.

My husband and daughter and I moved to Vancouver as I was finishing up…we’d been talking about it for years.  I was lucky enough to get a DataONE postdoc, with the Dryad data repository and Dr Todd Vision.  I work remotely from Vancouver.