October 11, 2017
RACKHAM BUILDING, 915 E. WASHINGTON ST., ANN ARBOR
(click on title to expand)
In the lobby outside Rackham Auditorium.
Eric Michielssen, Associate Vice President, Advanced Research Computing
|Eric Michielssen is the Associate Vice President, Advanced Research Computing, the Louise Ganiard Johnson Professor of Engineering, and Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, U-M College of Engineering|
Al Hero and Brian Athey, MIDAS Co-Directors
9:20 a.m. - Daniela Witten, Associate Professor of Statistics and Biostatistics, University of Washington
Daniela Witten‘s research involves the development of statistical machine learning methods for high-dimensional data, with applications to genomics, neuroscience, and other fields. She is particularly interested in unsupervised learning, with a focus on graphical modeling.
Daniela is the recipient of a number of honors, including a NDSEG Research Fellowship, an NIH Director’s Early Independence Award, a Sloan Research Fellowship, and an NSF CAREER Award. Her work has been featured in the popular media: among other forums, in Forbes Magazine (three times), Elle Magazine, on KUOW radio, and as a PopTech Science Fellow. Daniela is a co-author (with Gareth James, Trevor Hastie, and Rob Tibshirani) of the very popular textbook “Introduction to Statistical Learning”. She was a member of the Institute of Medicine committee that released the report “Evolution of Translational Omics”. Daniela completed a BS in Math and Biology with Honors and Distinction at Stanford University in 2005, and a PhD in Statistics at Stanford University in 2010. Since 2014, Daniela is an associate professor in Statistics and Biostatistics at University of Washington.
Abstract: Function words include pronouns, prepositions, articles, and other common but almost-invisible words in most languages. Their use often signals speakers’ relationships with their audience, their subject matter, and how the speakers think and feel about themselves. Multiple studies find function words can reveal personality, emotional state, deception, status, and thinking styles. Implications for research in medicine, marketing, law, education, literature, and other disciplines are discussed. Oh yes, language use is also relevant to recent and historical political trends.
Panelists will be announced closer to the event.
For those who registered and requested a lunch, box lunches will be provided at the Michigan League in the Vandenberg room on the second floor. Please follow the signs from the Rackham Graduate Building to the Michigan League.
Abstract: We live in the age of the algorithm. Increasingly, the decisions that affect our lives—where we go to school, whether we get a car loan, how much we pay for health insurance—are being made not by humans, but by mathematical models. In theory, this should lead to greater fairness: Everyone is judged according to the same rules, and bias is eliminated.
But as Cathy O’Neil reveals, the opposite is true. The models being used today are opaque, unregulated, and uncontestable, even when they’re wrong. Most troubling, they reinforce discrimination: If a poor student can’t get a loan because a lending model deems him too risky (by virtue of his zip code), he’s then cut off from the kind of education that could pull him out of poverty, and a vicious spiral ensues. Models are propping up the lucky and punishing the downtrodden, creating a “toxic cocktail for democracy.” Welcome to the dark side of Big Data.
Tracing the arc of a person’s life, O’Neil exposes the black box models that shape our future, both as individuals and as a society. These “weapons of math destruction” score teachers and students, sort résumés, grant (or deny) loans, evaluate workers, target voters, set parole, and monitor our health.
O’Neil calls on modelers to take more responsibility for their algorithms and on policy makers to regulate their use. But in the end, it’s up to us to become more savvy about the models that govern our lives. This important book empowers us to ask the tough questions, uncover the truth, and demand change.
2:25 p.m. - Francesca Dominici, Professor of Biostatistics, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Francesca Dominici is Professor of Biostatistics at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Co-Director of the Data Science Initiative at Harvard University. She is a data scientist whose pioneering scientific contributions have advanced public health research around the globe. Her life’s work has focused broadly on developing and advancing methods for the analysis of large, heterogeneous data sets to identify and understand the health impacts of environmental threats and inform policy.
Dr. Dominici received her B.S. in Statistics from University La Sapienza in Rome, Italy and her Ph.D. in Statistics from the University of Padua in Italy. She did her postdoctoral training with Scott L. Zeger and Jonathan M. Samet at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. In 1999, she was appointed Assistant Professor at the Bloomberg School of Public Health and in 2007 she was promoted to Full Professor with tenure. Dr. Dominici was recruited to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health as a tenured Professor of Biostatistics in 2009. She was appointed Associate Dean of Information Technology in 2011 and Senior Associate Dean for Research in 2013. She is currently the Co-Director of the Harvard Data Science Initiative.
Nadya T. Bliss is the Director of the Global Security Initiative (GSI) at Arizona State University. GSI serves as the university-wide hub addressing emerging security challenges, including borderless threats (cyber security, health security, and resource security). These challenges are often characterized by complex interdependencies and present conflicting objectives requiring multi-disciplinary research and cross-mission collaboration. GSI currently has approximately 150 faculty affiliates across 9 college-level units and is home to the Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics Center, the Human Security Collaboratory, Resilient Collective Systems Lab, and the DARPA Working Group. GSI also serves as the University’s interface to the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community as well as ASURE (ASU Research Enterprise – off campus, classified-capable research facility). Prior to taking on the GSI role, Dr. Bliss served as the Assistant Vice President, Research Strategy in the Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development. Dr. Bliss holds a Professor of Practice appointment (and is a member of Graduate Faculty) in the School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering; Senior Sustainability Scientist appointment in the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability; and affiliate appointments in the School for Future of Innovation in Society, the Center on the Future of War (collaboration between ASU and New America), and the Simon A. Levin Mathematical, Computational and Modeling Sciences Center. Dr. Bliss is also a Senior Fellow at New America. Before joining ASU in 2012, Dr. Bliss spent 10 years at MIT Lincoln Laboratory, most recently as the founding Group Leader of the Computing and Analytics Group. Under her leadership, the Group’s research portfolio included a wide-range of programs funded by DARPA, IARPA, ONR, NGA, USAF, ASD(R&E), and other U.S. Government sponsors.
This is a Q&A and discussion time period for attendees and speakers.