Seth Spielman

Photo of Seth Spielman


Principal Scientist at Microsoft

Seth is a broadly trained computational social scientist whose career has moved fluidly between research and leadership, industry and academia. Seth received the Breheny Prize for work in Urban Analytics and City Science, a distinguished scholar award in Urban Planning from the American Association of Geographers, and an award from American Statistical Association for his work with US Census Bureau. The journal Science profiled Seth as an archetype of a new generation of data-centric geographers. He is currently a Principal Scientist at Microsoft where he works on problems in measurement and machine learning.

He was previously Assistant Vice Chancellor of the University of Colorado where he led a number of large programs in the areas of Data Strategy, Data Science, Measurement, and Analytics.  As a Vice Chancellor Seth launched data science and governance programs focused on transforming core campus operations through real time analytics, data infrastructure, and responsible use of machine learning and AI. From 2015-19 he worked as a data scientist and manager at Apple on the reinvention of its Maps and related services.

Seth is an Associate Professor of Geography and Information Science at the University of Colorado. His publications have appeared in a diverse set of journals including PNAS, PlosOne, Demography, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, and the International Journal of GIS.  Outside of academia his professional experience has ranged from the hyper digital world of Data Science and Software Engineering in Silicon Valley to the insanely analog practice of being the sole proprietor of an antiquarian bookshop in Manhattan.