Fall 2016 Schedule

09/16 – Libby Hemphill, PhD – Illinois Institute of Technology
Politicians and the Policy Agenda: Does U.S. Congress Twitter Use Direct New York Times Content

Abstract: Traditionally we’ve understood that mainstream media hold a near monopoly on information about the policy agenda and that politicians influence the policy agenda by propagating policy problems through the media. What happens when politicians take their appeals to social media? In this talk, I’ll discuss findings from a study in which we compared a year of content in the U.S Congress Twitter stream with the New York Times to understand whether and how Congress influence mainstream media through social media use. We found that for many policy areas, social media is an effective tool for gaining mainstream media attention. These findings confirm that Twitter is a legitimate political communication tool, at least for Congress, and provide updates to indexing theory to account for the diversified media landscape.

Biography: Libby Hemphill, PhD is an associate professor of communication and information studies at the Illinois Institute of Technology. She earned her M.S. in Human-Computer Interaction and Ph.D. in Information from the University of Michigan. Her recent work has focused on how users leverage Twitter to influence public and social policy. She is especially interested how people marshal information and communication technologies in service of social change and in the ethics and pragmatics of big social data.

09/23 – Robin Burke, PhD – DePaul University
Recommendation for Multiple Stakeholders

Abstract: Recommender systems are typically evaluated on their ability to provide items that satisfy the needs and interests of the end user. However, in many real world applications, users are not the only stakeholders involved. There may be a variety of individuals or organizations that benefit in different ways from the delivery of recommendations. Broadening our perspective to include these stakeholders raises a number of new research questions in personalization. This talk is intended as a preliminary foray into this problem, discussing the implications of re-defining the recommender system in a multi-stakeholder environment, including representation of stakeholder preferences, evaluation of outcomes, and algorithm design.

Biography: Robin Burke is a Professor at CDM. His research interests are in artificial intelligence as applied to social computing. His current work concentrates on the area of recommender systems, including representing the interests of multiple stakeholders in recommendation, performing recommendation using data from complex heterogeneous networks, and tracking the evolution of users’ tastes over time. Professor Burke earned his PhD in 1993 from Northwestern University, working with Professor Roger Schank, one of the founders of the field of cognitive science. He worked in post-doctoral positions at the University of Chicago, and then in 1998, left academic employment to help found a ‘dot-com’ startup. He returned to academic work in 2000 first at the University of California, Irvine and then at California State University, Fullerton. In the Fall of 2002, he began his current position at DePaul University.

09/30 – Lian Wang, PhD – BlueFocus Communication Group
The Marketing Power of First Party Data In the Big Data Era

Abstract: Although people are talking about digital data more than anything else in the Big Data Era, the first party data is the key of success for marketing strategies. The first party data is the major source of marketing power for the brands. The 2nd and 3rd party data enhances the marketing power of the 1st party data. Only if the data is integrated around the first part data, the marketing power of the data would be greatly released. Platform marketing is a very critical infrastructure and applications in the Big Data Era. DMP that is used to manage non-PII data and CRM that is used to manage PII-based customer data are two major platforms. However, DMP must be integrated with CRM to optimize the marketing power of a data platform. Several of BlueFocus practices will be presented to demonstrate the marketing power of the first party data, and a brief introduction to BlueFocus and its Big Data function will be introduced.

Biography: Dr. Lian Wang is the head of Big Data department in charge of data-based platform, products, analysis, and data-driven marketing consulting. He is the member of TLT (Top Leader Team), the executive committee of the BlueFocus group. Prior to BlueFocus, Dr. Wang has more than ten years of data mining experience in the US consumer finance industry, including statistical analysis, modeling, risk management, and database marketing. He has served Capital One, HSBC North America and Bank of America for their risk and marketing analytics. Dr. Wang received his Ph. D. in Economics from the State University of New York at Binghamton.

10/07 – Craig Miller, PhD – DePaul University
Figurative Speech and the Errors that Novice Programmers Make

Abstract: A reference-point error occurs when a programmer writes code that mistakenly refers to one element when the intention is to refer to an element structurally related to it. I review these errors and their relation to the use of metonymy in human communication. As an example of metonymy, consider this human-to-human instruction: “Open the ice cream and serve two scoops.” Human listeners effortlessly infer that it’s the container, not the ice cream, that should be opened. Drawing upon the use of metonymy and cognitive theories of human communication and problem-solving, I explore three accounts of why reference-point errors occur in novice programming. The first account involves a deficient mental model, the second assumes a misconception of the notional machine, and the third considers implicit, proceduralized habits of communication. I conclude with learning objectives for students that address these sources of difficulty.

Biography: Craig Miller received his Ph.D. (1993) in Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan. He has a B.S. and B.A. (1987) from Bowling Green State University in computer science and French. Prior to DePaul, he held positions as a post-doctoral research fellow at Carnegie Mellon University and as an assistant professor at Dickinson College. His research and teaching interests include cognitive science, Human-Computer Interaction and intelligent systems.

10/14 – Cyril Nigg – Catalina Marketing
What They Don’t Tell You About Being a Data Scientist – 10 Day-to-Day Challenges

Abstract: There is no shortage of articles, courses and white papers describing the process of building predictive models and developing innovative algorithms. However, many of the day-to-day challenges facing Data Scientists working in the business world are not widely discussed. This talk will shed some light on these challenges, which include working with dirty data, acquiring domain knowledge and aligning on business objectives, and provide insight on how professional Data Scientists overcome these obstacles.

Biography: Cyril Nigg is a Senior Director of Data Science at Catalina Marketing, where he leads personalization and consumer targeting analytical capabilities, working with top drug and grocery retailers. Cyril was previously part of Local Offer Network, a Chicago start-up specializing in machine learning and personalization technology, which was acquired by Catalina in 2013. He began his career in market research, working at Synovate and Ipsos.

10/21 – James Wagner – DePaul University
Database Forensic Analysis with DBCarver

Abstract: The increasing use of databases in the storage of critical and sensitive information in many organizations has lead to an increase in the rate at which databases are exploited in computer crimes. While there are several techniques and tools available for database forensics, they mostly assume apriori database preparation, such as relying on tamper-detection software to be in place or use of detailed logging. Investigators, alternatively, need forensic tools and techniques that work on poorly-con figured databases and make no assumptions about the extent of damage in a database.

In this talk, we present DBCarver, a tool for reconstructing database content from a database image without using any log or system metadata. The tool uses page carving to reconstruct both query-able data and non-queryable data (deleted data). We describe how the two kinds of data can be combined to enable a variety of forensic analysis questions hitherto unavailable to forensic investigators. We show the generality and efficiency of our tool across several databases through a set of robust experiments.

Biography: James is a third year Ph.D. student at DePaul University. He received his Master’s in Computer Science from DePaul University and his Bachelor’s in Chemistry from Marquette University. His research focuses on database forensics, security, and optimization.

10/28 – Amanda Lazar, PhD – Northwestern University
The Role of Technology in Understanding Perspectives on Aging and Health

Abstract: As the population ages, research has increasingly focused on conditions associated with growing older, such as dementia. Technology is often presented as a solution for managing or treating these various health conditions. This framing can position health conditions as problems to address through design and can neglect the complexity and positive aspects of older adulthood. In this talk, I draw on critical perspectives from Human Computer Interaction and Gerontology. I describe three ways in which technology can help us understand and challenge stereotypes around aging and dementia. I will argue for a view of aging that takes into account the ways that technologies position older individuals and, in turn, the way that this view can inform the design of new technologies to enrich the experience of growing older..

Biography: Amanda Lazar is a postdoctoral fellow affiliated with the Technology and Social Behavior program at Northwestern University. Her research focuses on the ways that technologies designed for health and wellbeing position and support individuals as they age. She completed her PhD in Biomedical and Health Informatics at the University of Washington in 2015 and her undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of California, San Diego. Her research has received Best Paper and Honorable Mention awards at the ACM DIS and UbiComp conferences and was supported by the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and the NLM Training Grant. She has published her work in CHI, CSCW, DIS, AMIA, and Health Education & Behavior.

11/04 – Sorin Matei, PhD – Purdue University
The 1% Effect: Social Differentiation in Social Media Groups

Abstract: If Wikipedia were a country and its content was its income, the wildly uneven distribution of wealth among its contributor-citizens would be unheard of. The wealth distribution of the U.S., for instance, which some see as quite unfair, pales by comparison, as the top 1% American earners account for “only” 15% of the national income compared to the 77% of content “owned” by the top 1% of Wikipedians. Our book explains how this uneven distribution matters. We believe that far from being an abnormality, it is a sign that Wikipedia has developed organically and naturally. The unbalance in fact shows that the site is structurally differentiated and that functional leaders have emerged, which are essential for the good functioning of this project in particular and of other voluntary project in general.

Biography: Sorin Adam Matei – Professor of Communication, Brian Lamb School of Communication, Purdue University – studies the relationship between information technology, social media, and social behavior. He published papers and articles in Journal of Communication, Communication Research, Information Society, and Foreign Policy. He is the editor of Ethical Reasoning in Big Data,Transparency in social media, Roles, Trust, and Reputation in Social Media Knowledge Markets: Theory and Methods (Computational Social Sciences) . His work was funded by the National Science Foundation, Mellon Foundation, Kettering Foundation, Motorola and other organizations. Dr. Matei is also known for his media work. He is a former BBC World Service, has published in Esquire and Foreign Policy. His publishes frequent research updates on his blog, http://matei.org/ithink. In Romania he is known for his books Boierii Mintii (The Mind Boyars), Idolii forului (Idols of the forum), and Idei de schimb (Spare ideas).

11/11 – Tom Schenk – City of Chicago
Chicago Analytics Symposium Keynote

Tom Schenk is the Chief Data Officer at the City of Chicago, which includes overseeing Chicago’s open data portal, advanced analytics team, and the City’s data and business intelligence team. He leads the strategic use of data to improve the efficiency of city operations and improve the quality of life for residents. Tom has lead the expansion of Chicago’s leading open data portal, deployed predictive analytics in the City to improve data services, and has streamlined the City’s data operations. Tom is a researcher, author, and an expert in several fields, including open government, data visualization, business and research and policy in education.