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Student Services

Supporting Academic and Professional Growth

SPS Symposium for Online Programs

Join us October 11, 12, and 13

The SPS Symposium is an important part of your program; a 3-day student event and academic conference to provide an opportunity for you to interact and learn from fellow students, faculty, and staff. The event corresponds with Northwestern Reunion Weekend (October 11 through 13) and has been developed to forge connections between students at all points in your program.

This is your opportunity to meet students outside of your courses; to talk, listen and engage with to exciting speakers and discussion panels, and to experience the city of Chicago and the Evanston campus.


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Networking Reception

Thursday, October 11, 2018
5 p.m. to 7 p.m. - Chicago Campus, Wieboldt Hall, 7th Floor (339 East Chicago Ave.)

Meet Northwestern faculty, staff, and students at this opening reception. Light refreshments and hors d'oeuvres will be served.

2018 Symposium Conference

Friday, October 12, 2018
8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. - Chicago Campus, Wieboldt Hall, 5th Floor (339 East Chicago Ave.)

Program sessions will include presentations on industry trends and topics by faculty, alumni, and staff from Data Science, Information Systems, Information Design & Strategy, Health Informatics, Sports Administration, Public Policy & Administration, and Regulatory Compliance. A continental breakfast begins at 8 a.m., with program sessions beginning at 9 a.m.

Homecoming Breakfast

Saturday, October 13, 2018
9 a.m. to 11 a.m. - Evanston Campus, SPS Office (405 Church St.)

Join SPS faculty, staff, and alumni for breakfast and entertainment at the Evanston SPS Office prior to the Homecoming Game against Nebraska. The event will feature a full breakfast, a mimosa and bloody Mary bar, live music, and everything that you need to get ready for the game or to enjoy the other Northwestern Reunion Weekend festivities.

If you would like to attend the football game after the event, tickets in the SPS block can be purchased by following this link.

Northwestern Homecoming Football Game
Northwestern vs. Nebraska
Saturday, 10/13/2018
11 a.m. start
Ryan Field, Evanston, IL

Purchase Tickets

Tickets in the SPS section on the west side of Ryan Field in section 123 rows 18–24 are $57 each. There is a maximum of 2 tickets per student. If you are interested in additional tickets beyond this amount, please contact SPS Student Services to discuss options.

(Transportation will be provided, before and after the breakfast and football game, between the Chicago and Evanston campuses.)


Additional Information




SPS Symposium Schedule

October 11–13, 2018

Thursday, October 11


Networking Reception and Welcome
Margaret McCarthy, Associate Dean of Student and Alumni Services

Wieboldt 704


Friday, October 12



Wieboldt 510


Anatomy of the Core Courses: Master of Science in Data Science 
Carrie Dugan

Wieboldt 408

Can Democracy Survive the Digital Age?
Kyle Pipkins

Wieboldt 506

Cloud Adoption, Trends and Solutions: Architecting Hybrid Solutions
Randy Vogel & Rick Osowski

Wieboldt 517




Digital Health in Clinical Trials and Measuring Clinical Outcomes
Imran Khan

Wieboldt 408

Emerging Trends of Programming Languages in the Data Science Landscape
Atef Bader, PhD and Abid Ali, PhD

Wieboldt 506

Blockchain Trends and Success Stories: How Blockchain is Transforming Business for the Future
Darrel Schrag

Wieboldt 517




Career Roundtable
Philip Goldfeder (moderator); panelists include representatives from FedEx Services, Caterpillar, USAA, Kaufman Hall, 94 Westbound Consulting, and Southwest Airlines

Wieboldt 704

IBM Watson Studio: A Framework for Data Scientists
Frank Greco

Wieboldt 517


Career Networking and Lunch Break

Wieboldt 704


How ATI Physical Therapy is Using Analytics to Deliver Insights
Matt Marzillo and Nicholas Yglesias

Wieboldt 408

Creating a Strategic Solutions Framework to Address the Quadruple Aim 
Eric Abbott

Wieboldt 506

Patterns for Building Cognitive Applications: Architecting Hybrid Solutions with Watson, IoT and Social Media
Arunava Majumdar

Wieboldt 517




Friday Keynote: Security in the Age of AI
Jeb Linton, CTO, Partner Ecosystem and Cognitive Security at IBM Watson Cloud 

Wieboldt 704


Closing Remarks
Soo La Kim, Assistant Dean of Academic Programs; Margaret McCarthy, Associate Dean of Student and Alumni Services

Wieboldt 704


Cocktail Hour and Networking

Wieboldt 704


Saturday, October 13

Homecoming Breakfast and Football Game



Speakers:  Margaret McCarthy and/or SPS Dean Thomas Gibbons


Homecoming Football Game: Northwestern v. Nebraska



Transportation & Locations

Map Links

Northwestern Interactive Maps
Chicago Campus Printable Map
Evanston Campus Printable Map
Ryan Field Game Day Information
Ryan Field Stadium Printable Map


Chicago Thursday evening parking:
$7.50 Validated Rate is available between 4 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. in either the Huron Superior Garage (222 E. Huron Street) or Erie Ontario Garage (321 E. Erie Street). Tickets must be validated in Wieboldt Hall (Fourth Floor Student Lounge, Room 411 or Fifth Floor Student Lounge, Room 510).

Chicago Friday day-time parking:
$42 for 4 to 24 hours, or $15 for the Early Bird Special (in between 5 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., out by 7:30 p.m.) in the Erie Ontario lot (321 E. Erie Street). Other Streeterville parking lots are available for public parking, many with early bird rates.

Evanston Saturday game day parking:
Free football game day parking is available in all main campus parking lots, excluding Ryan Field lots.

Public Transit

The city of Chicago offers a number of public transportation options to the Northwestern campuses.  Click here to review public transportation routes to the Chicago and Evanston campuses.


Northwestern University offers the following shuttles, free of charge for all students once they present their WildCARD:

Student Game Day Shuttle
Intercampus Shuttle (only available Monday - Friday)


Local Accommodations

Hotel Information

Below is a list of Northwestern University partner vendors. Request the Northwestern University rate when making reservations. Please note that Northwestern University's negotiated rates may not always be available during peak travel dates or special events.

Cambria Chicago Magnificent Mile
166 East Superior

DoubleTree Hotel - Magnificent Mile
166 East Superior

Fairfield Inn & Suites Chicago Downtown by Marriott
216 East Ontario Street

Hyatt Chicago Magnificent Mile (formerly Wyndham Chicago
633 North St. Clair Street

Omni Chicago Hotel 
676 North Michigan Avenue (at Huron)

Peninsula Hotel Chicago
108 East Superior St.

Warwick Allerton Hotel Chicago
701 North Michigan Avenue (at Huron)
(312) 440-1500


Tourism Information

Navy Pier – World famous attraction drawing crowds with carnival rides, restaurants, and shops.

John Hancock Building/Chicago 360 – The best views of Chicago and the lakefront, experience the TILT if you dare!

Millennium Park - Just a short scenic walk down Michigan Ave to the world famous park.

Museum Campus – Swim with the fish at John G. Shedd Aquarium or check out SUE the most complete T-REX at Field Museum of Natural History or gaze at the stars at the Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum.

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