ML Seminar: Xiaoran Sun

The UMN Machine Learning Seminar Series brings together faculty, students, and local industrial partners who are interested in the theoretical, computational, and applied aspects of machine learning, to pose problems, exchange ideas, and foster collaborations. The talks are every Wednesday from 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. during the Fall 2022 semester.

This week's speaker, Xiaoran Sun (FSS, UMN), will be giving a talk titled "Machine Learning for Human Development and Family Research: An Overview and an Example".


This talk will first provide a brief overview about the utility of machine learning (ML) in research on developmental and family science by presenting what ML can offer in the face of theories and research questions in this field. Then the talk will introduce a study using a literature-driven supervised ML approach for empirical synthesis on how family experiences during adolescence predict future educational outcomes in adulthood. Based on the utility and the empirical synthesis example, there will be a discussion about future steps for how we can expand on the use of ML in social science research. Note that this talk will be focused on the applications of ML instead of technical details of advancing  ML itself. Questions, discussions, and comments will all be super appreciated given the project is still in its development stage.


Xiaoran Sun is an assistant professor in the Department of Family Social Science at the University of Minnesota. She is also a faculty affiliate of the Learning Informatics Lab in the College of Education and Human Development and of the Data Science Initiative. She obtained her PhD in Human Development and Family Studies from the Pennsylvania State University with an NSF traineeship on Big Data Social Science. Before joining UMN she was a postdoctoral scholar at Stanford University in the Departments of Pediatrics and Communication and a Stanford Data Science scholar. She uses ML in her research on family systems and adolescent development.

Start date
Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022, 11 a.m.
End date
Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022, Noon

3-180 Keller Hall and via Zoom