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Big Data — Power, Potential, and Perils

Friday, June 3, 2016
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

We live in the era Big Data. Its algorithms pervade our lives—shaping our purchases, our finances, our health care, our education, our communities, our public policy. Armed with phones, computers, and countless other devices, society has produced more data in the past two years—a zettabyte—than the prior span of human civilization. Yet the promise of Big Data lies not only in quantity, but in the quality of our analyses and the foresight of our applications. Is Big Data the future of scientific inquiry? Are we giving too much power to algorithms, seeking large-scale patterns, with the risk of losing the core of our humanity? Join us to explore the potential and perils of Big Data.

This program is part of the Big Ideas Series, made possible with support from the John Templeton Foundation.


Claudia PerlichData Scientist

Claudia Perlich leads the machine learning efforts that power Dstillery’s digital intelligence for marketers and media companies. With more than 50 published scientific articles, she is a widely acclaimed expert on big data and machine learning applications, and an active speaker at data science and marketing conferences around the world.

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Gary MarcusCognitive Psychologist

Gary Marcus, scientist, bestselling author, and entrepreneur, is Professor of Psychology and Neural Science at NYU and CEO and Co-Founder of the recently-formed Geometric Intelligence, Inc.

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Cathy O’NeilMathematician, Author, Blogger, Activist

Cathy O’Neil earned a Ph.D. in math from Harvard, was a postdoc at the MIT math department, and a professor at Barnard College where she published a number of research papers in arithmetic algebraic geometry.

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Duncan WattsComputational Social Scientist

Duncan Watts is a principal researcher at Microsoft Research and a founding member of the MSR-NYC lab. He is also an AD White Professor at Large at Cornell University. Prior to joining MSR, he was from 2000-2007 a professor of Sociology at Columbia University, and then a principal research scientist at Yahoo! Research.

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Chris WigginsData Scientist

Chris Wiggins is an associate professor of applied mathematics at Columbia University and the Chief Data Scientist at The New York Times. At Columbia he is a founding member of the Department of Systems Biology, the executive committee of the Data Science Institute, and the Institute’s education and entrepreneurship committees.

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