Code 2014 Inspiration Day with Hilary Mason


Did you know the University of Waterloo Stratford is on the cutting edge of Big Data? As Ginny Dybenko, Executive Director of the new Centre for Digital Media, puts it, “We are looking to put the human back in technology.”

University of Waterloo Stratford hosted the Canadian Open Data Experience (CODE) Inspiration Day. Hilary Mason, Data Scientist in Residence at Accel and Fast Company’s Top 100 Creative Minds of 2013, came to speak at their campus.

Proclaiming her love of pizza and New York City, Mason spoke about the importance of presenting information to the consumer in a digestible and intuitive way.


One of Mason’s favorite apps, Dark Sky, uses the US government’s public data and your GPS to tell you the weather of the exact location you are standing in. “When I tell people in California about this, they are like, ‘So what?’ But I’m from the East coast, and so are most of you, so you can appreciate it.” And she’s right: flash blizzards anyone? If you aren’t on the iPhone, the app also has a desktop application.

Nadia Amoroso and Haim Sechter of DataAppeal also touched on the notion of making data attractive. As Amoroso puts it, “I like to sex-up the data, make it pretty. So at first you are attracted to it.”

The biggest takeaway for me at this event is that Big Data is changing lives for the better. Along with Pilot PMR, Stand Out Media, and James Frodyma, I had the opportunity to direct the livestream of the event. For more about livestreaming services in Toronto, please visit our digital media agency today!


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