Bob Gradeck - Project Director, WPRDC
Bob Gradeck manages the Western Pennsylvania Regional Data Center at the University of Pittsburgh’s University Center for Social and Urban Research. Bob has worked at the University Center since 2009, where he managed other community information, research, and outreach projects.
Prior to joining the University of Pittsburgh, Bob worked at the Carnegie Mellon University Center for Economic Development for ten years, where he helped to found the Pittsburgh Neighborhood and Community Information System, and worked on a number of projects and initiatives related to technology-based economic development in the Pittsburgh region. Bob also worked at City Source Associates in Pittsburgh, where he compiled information for people moving to the City of Pittsburgh. Bob started his career at the Atlanta Project, where he helped lay the foundation of one of the nation’s first neighborhood information systems. Bob received a Bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies from the University of Pittsburgh in 1993, and a Masters of City Planning from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1995.
Bob recently served on the Executive Committee for the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership, and also was the first organizer of Code for Pittsburgh, the region’s Code for America Brigade. Bob is married, has two children and a dog, grew up in Pittsburgh’s Overbrook neighborhood, and now lives in Regent Square. In his spare time, he can often be found walking the dog, running errands, fixing the house, and occasionally at the hockey rink or kayaking.
David Walker - WPRDC
David spent many years at prestigious schools of data wizardry, where he studied data ninjutsu and the mathematics of information, handcrafted memexes, and developed a particular fondness for sporks. He can also hurl tennis rackets at small moving objects with deadly accuracy. He has published 16 journal articles (his Erdős number is 4), and he has 2 offspring.
David enjoys whiteboards, pizza, writing text adventures, developing crazy ideas, puzzle hunts, Python, command lines, solving data mysteries, coming up with names for new GitHub repositories, and sheltering in place.
Eleanor Mattern - Director, Sara Fine Institute, and Teaching Assistant Professor
Eleanor “Nora” Mattern is a teaching assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Computing and Information. Her teaching and research interests include archives and digital curation, community-centered information work, civic engagement, and information policy and ethics. Nora previously worked as librarian and researcher at the University of Chicago Library, where she focused on designing and delivering scholarly communications services and supporting digital preservation activities. Before that, she held a joint appointment at the University of Pittsburgh as a visiting faculty member in the University Library System and the School of Computing and Information and a Postdoctoral Researcher in Digital Scholarship Services at the University Library System. She earned her PhD in Library and Information Science from the University of Pittsburgh in 2014.
Joel Natividad and Sami Baig - Co-Founders, datHere
Working on data portals & data infrastructure since 2010, Joel and co-founder Sami Baig started their journey even before that – collaborating on deploying best-of-breed, open source solutions since 2000 at Fortune 100 companies around the world.
Shortly after winning NYCBigApps for the second time in 2012, they decided to apply themselves fulltime and started Ontodia, becoming the first CKAN professional services partner in the Americas in 2013 – deploying data portals in Jersey City, Newark, Allegheny County, PA; Boston, San Antonio, NYC Department of Education, and UNDP among others; launching CivicDashboards at Code for America 2015, before being acquired by OpenGov in 2016.
Since then, they’ve helped deploy data portals at ~50 agencies, at different levels of government around the US, while actively contributing/sponsoring core CKAN development and staying active in the community. They have also deployed data management systems in the private sector – from hedge funds, non-profits to biotech, helping enterprises tackle and catalog their data assets.
With datHere – they apply themselves anew to the data management challenge – building open source, data management infrastructure to ensure that your Data is Useful, Usable and Used.
Elizabeth Monk - Community Engagement and Special Projects, WPRDC
Liz Monk currently manages community indicators and data literacy initiatives, conducts trainings on accessing and using community data, and works on smaller grant funded projects with community organizations.
Prior to working at the University of Pittsburgh, Liz worked at a wilderness therapy camp for at risk youth, apprenticed on an organic farm on the central coast of California, ran the education progam at a Boys and Girls Club, and served as an Environmental Peace Corps Volunteer in Romania. Her experience in the Peace Corps compelled her to return to school for a more technical skill and she received her MS in Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing from the University of Pittsburgh in 2015. While completing her degree she interned with Fracktracker Alliance and worked as a GIS Analyst for Purple Land Management Company.
Liz is married, has two children and grew up in Ithaca, NY. She moved to Pittsburgh in 2010 and currently lives in the Marshall-Shadeland neighborhood of Pittsburgh’s Northside (which is her favorite part of the city). In her spare time, she can be found backpacking (especially in the Dolly Sods), gardening, or exploring Pittsburgh with her family. Also, watching tv.
Ross Reilly - WPRDC
Ross Reilly is a developer with the WPRDC and is the newest member of the team.
He joins the WPRDC from Carnegie Mellon’s Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy, where he served as the senior coordinator of their arts management master’s program. Prior to that, he worked with Pitt’s honors college, advising students on their applications for competitive national scholarships. Prior to THAT, he was the morning show host and music director of KNOM, a non-profit radio station that served the rural population of western Alaska.
Outside of work, Ross is a musician who has provided music for video games, film, and art installations. He is currently writing music for a project with the Rauh Jewish Archives of the Heinz History Center.
Steve Saylor - WPRDC
Steve Saylor is a software developer at the Western Pennsylvania Regional Data Center at the University of Pittsburgh’s University Center for Urban Research (UCSUR). His work at the WPRDC focuses primarily on community-facing, open source tools to help his neighbors in the region use open data. Steve also provides programming support on various other projects at UCSUR.
His interests outside of work include home automation, hydroponic gardening, software defined radio, OSINT, and trying to start a PSL Calvin Ball league to name a few.