Title: Leveraging Computational (e)Social Science to address Grand Societal Challenges
Abstract: The increased access to big data about social phenomena in general, and network data in particular, has been a windfall for social scientists. But these exciting opportunities must be accompanied with careful reflection on how big data can motivate new theories and methods. Using examples of his research in the area of networks, Contractor will argue that Computational (e)Social Science serves as the foundation to unleash the intellectual insights locked in big data. More importantly, he will illustrate how these insights offer social scientists in general, and social network scholars in particular, an unprecedented opportunity to engage more actively in monitoring, anticipating and designing interventions to address grand societal challenges.
Noshir Contractor is the Jane S. & William J. White Professor of Behavioral Sciences in the McCormick School of Engineering & Applied Science, the School of Communication and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, USA. He is the Director of the Science of Networks in Communities (SONIC) Research Group at Northwestern University.
He is investigating factors that lead to the formation, maintenance, and dissolution of dynamically linked social and knowledge networks in communities. Specifically, his research team is developing and testing theories and methods of network science to map, understand and enable more effective networks in a wide variety of contexts including communities of practice in business, science and engineering communities, disaster response teams, public health networks, digital media and learning networks, and in virtual worlds, such as Second Life. His research program has been funded continuously for over a decade by major grants from the U.S. National Science Foundation with additional funding from the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Rockefeller Foundation, and the MacArthur Foundation.
Title: At the Intersection of Language, Science and Data Science
Abstract: How can language analysis benefit science? By bringing together natural language processing researchers with researchers from scientific communities, we can exploit information extracted from text sources to address scientific problems. In this talk, I first present a system that predicts the future impact of a scientific concept—represented as a technical term—based on the information available from recently published research articles. Second, I present research on learning from knowledge of past disasters, as seen through the lens of the media, in order to predict the impact of future tumultuous events on our infrastructure, environment, economy and society. Finally, I will touch on the use of data science in a far different discipline, the field of literature.
Kathleen R. McKeown is the Henry and Gertrude Rothschild Professor of Computer Science at Columbia University and she also serves as the Director of the Institute for Data Sciences and Engineering. She served as Department Chair from 1998-2003 and as Vice Dean for Research for the School of Engineering and Applied Science for two years. McKeown received the Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Pennsylvania in 1982 and has been at Columbia since then. Her research interests include text summarization, natural language generation, multi-media explanation, question-answering and multi-lingual applications. In 1985 she received a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award, in 1991 she received a National Science Foundation Faculty Award for Women, in 1994 she was selected as a AAAI Fellow, in 2003 she was elected as an ACM Fellow, and in 2012 she was selected as one of the founding Fellows of the Association for Computational Linguistics. In 2010, she received the Anita Borg Institute Women of Vision Award in Innovation for her work on text summarization. McKeown is also quite active nationally. She has served as President, Vice President and Secretary-Treasurer of the Association of Computational. She also served as a board member of the Computing Research Association and as secretary of the board.
Title: Information Technology in Brazil: strategic opportunities
Abstract: Internet governance is a key policy issue in the world today. The growing global dependence on the Internet increases the importance of its governance processes. In this talk, I will discuss several characteristics of the Brazilian regulatory environment for the Internet.
First, I will present the history of the Brazilian Internet Steering Committee (cgi.br), a multistakeholder committee responsible for coordinating and integrating all Internet service initiatives in Brazil. Then I will discuss the process of developing and approving the Marco Civil, which is the Brazilian law for civil rights for Internet users and service providers. I will also talk about a few lessons learned from the process of preparing and running the NETmundial meeting, which discussed Internet governance principles and a roadmap for the future Internet ecosystem. Finally, I will conclude discussing plans for the evolution of the Internet in Brazil.
Virgilio A. F. Almeida is the Secretary for Information Technology Policy of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation of Brazil. He is also the chairman of the Brazilian Internet Governance Committee (CGI).
He is a full professor (on leave for government services) of the Computer Science Department at the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), Brazil. His areas of research interest include large scale distributed system, Internet, social computing, autonomic computing and performance modeling and analysis. He received a Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from Vanderbilt University, an MS in Computer Science, from the Pontifical Catholic University in Rio de Janeiro and a BS Electrical Engineering from UFMG, Brazil. He was a visiting professor at Boston University, Technical University of Catalonia (UPC) in Barcelona, Polytechnic Institute of NYU and held visiting appointments at Santa Fe Institute, Hewlett-Packard Research Laboratory and Xerox PARC Research Center.