Karl Schmitt

Data Analytics Program Coordinator; Assistant Professor of Data Analytics

Education

Ph.D., University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, 2013
B.S., Wittenberg University, Springfield, Ohio, 2006
B.A., Wittenberg University, Springfield, Ohio, 2006

Associated Academic Programs

Computing and Data Analytics

“Data, and computation, are not the only answer to many problems, but they frequently help find better answers.”

Dr. Karl Schmitt, Data Analytics Program Coordinator and Assistant Professor of Data Analytics, hopes that students walk away from his classes with a questioning spirit, both intellectually and ethically, and with practical skills they can apply in other areas. “Data is everywhere!,” he said. ”Using that data effectively can improve power usage, reduce traffic, or give us a better variety of music on our internet radio. More significantly, effective use of data can improve disaster response time, help solve problems like drinking water for the world, and even save lives by optimizing where items are placed in an emergency room. A colleague in graduate school actually used data and network science to help cure cancer.”

 

What drew him to Trinity:

He was drawn to Trinity because of the unique opportunities and support to build a data science program focused on social good. “I was also attracted to the strong integration of faith into teaching and campus,” he said.

Research interests:

Some of his other research interests include network science and educational practices. “Network science is an awesome field to study because, like data, it can be applied to just about everything. To make a network or graph you need two “things” (nodes) and a relationship between them (an edge). The things don’t even have to be the same! Once you can articulate thing you want to study in that form, network science has lots of tools to discover new things about what is going on with those things or in those relationships.”

Schmitt is also interested in educational research, primarily in data science, but also in computer science and mathematics. “All three of those fields are fundamental to our current society and scientific practice. Therefore, I think it is absolutely vital that we do the best job possible teaching in those areas. Somewhere I encountered the idea that, when you sit talking to friends, it’s ok to say ‘I’m no good at math,’ or ‘I hate math.’ But it’s not ok to say ‘I can’t read’ or ‘I can’t write.’ In our current society, mathematics is just as fundamental a skill as reading or writing, yet we turn people off from it regularly, and fail to connect the value to everyday lives. Understanding data is quickly moving into the same realm.”

When he’s not teaching:

Schmitt loves playing soccer and other sports. “Currently, I play on a men’s 30+ soccer team, both outdoor and indoor. I also have an extensive collection of boardgames (and, in COVID, a subscription to Board Game Arena). I’ve also got a garden that takes up my time during the summer and lets me enjoy fresh vegetables!”

Publication highlights

Rawlings-Goss et al., \Keeping Data Science Broad: Negotiating the Digital & Data Divide”.  Access through: http://bit.ly/KeepingDataScienceBroad_Report

Karl R. B. Schmitt, Lissa Yogan, and Adali Johnsonz. \Transformative Learning in Client Based Research Projects.” Journal of Transformative Learning, vol. 5, number 2 (2019).

Canning, James P., Emma E. Ingram, Sammantha Nowak-Wol_, Adriana M. Ortriz, Ryan A. Rossi, Nesreen K. Ahmed, and Karl R. B. Schmitt. Originally Published Author List: Rossi, Ryan A., and Nesreen K. Ahmed.  \Complex networks are structurally distinguishable by domain.” Social Network Analysis and Mining 9.1 (2019): 51. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13278-019-0593-7

Important Note: Due to plagiarism/dishonest behavior related to this article, my students and I are not actually listed as authors. A correction that acknowledges us as co-authors, but doesn’t actually include us as authors has been published. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13278-020-0631-5

Awards

Early Career Mathematics and Computer Science Undergraduate Mentoring Award, Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR), 2018

Project NExT (New Experiences in Teaching) Fellow, 2014-15, Mathematics Association of America (MAA)

+ Expertise

Dr. Karl Schmitt, Data Analytics Program Coordinator and Assistant Professor of Data Analytics, hopes that students walk away from his classes with a questioning spirit, both intellectually and ethically, and with practical skills they can apply in other areas. “Data is everywhere!,” he said. ”Using that data effectively can improve power usage, reduce traffic, or give us a better variety of music on our internet radio. More significantly, effective use of data can improve disaster response time, help solve problems like drinking water for the world, and even save lives by optimizing where items are placed in an emergency room. A colleague in graduate school actually used data and network science to help cure cancer.”

 

What drew him to Trinity:

He was drawn to Trinity because of the unique opportunities and support to build a data science program focused on social good. “I was also attracted to the strong integration of faith into teaching and campus,” he said.

Research interests:

Some of his other research interests include network science and educational practices. “Network science is an awesome field to study because, like data, it can be applied to just about everything. To make a network or graph you need two “things” (nodes) and a relationship between them (an edge). The things don’t even have to be the same! Once you can articulate thing you want to study in that form, network science has lots of tools to discover new things about what is going on with those things or in those relationships.”

Schmitt is also interested in educational research, primarily in data science, but also in computer science and mathematics. “All three of those fields are fundamental to our current society and scientific practice. Therefore, I think it is absolutely vital that we do the best job possible teaching in those areas. Somewhere I encountered the idea that, when you sit talking to friends, it’s ok to say ‘I’m no good at math,’ or ‘I hate math.’ But it’s not ok to say ‘I can’t read’ or ‘I can’t write.’ In our current society, mathematics is just as fundamental a skill as reading or writing, yet we turn people off from it regularly, and fail to connect the value to everyday lives. Understanding data is quickly moving into the same realm.”

When he’s not teaching:

Schmitt loves playing soccer and other sports. “Currently, I play on a men’s 30+ soccer team, both outdoor and indoor. I also have an extensive collection of boardgames (and, in COVID, a subscription to Board Game Arena). I’ve also got a garden that takes up my time during the summer and lets me enjoy fresh vegetables!”

+ Courses, Publications & Research

Publication highlights

Rawlings-Goss et al., \Keeping Data Science Broad: Negotiating the Digital & Data Divide”.  Access through: http://bit.ly/KeepingDataScienceBroad_Report

Karl R. B. Schmitt, Lissa Yogan, and Adali Johnsonz. \Transformative Learning in Client Based Research Projects.” Journal of Transformative Learning, vol. 5, number 2 (2019).

Canning, James P., Emma E. Ingram, Sammantha Nowak-Wol_, Adriana M. Ortriz, Ryan A. Rossi, Nesreen K. Ahmed, and Karl R. B. Schmitt. Originally Published Author List: Rossi, Ryan A., and Nesreen K. Ahmed.  \Complex networks are structurally distinguishable by domain.” Social Network Analysis and Mining 9.1 (2019): 51. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13278-019-0593-7

Important Note: Due to plagiarism/dishonest behavior related to this article, my students and I are not actually listed as authors. A correction that acknowledges us as co-authors, but doesn’t actually include us as authors has been published. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13278-020-0631-5

Awards

Early Career Mathematics and Computer Science Undergraduate Mentoring Award, Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR), 2018

Project NExT (New Experiences in Teaching) Fellow, 2014-15, Mathematics Association of America (MAA)