Invited Technical Speakers
- Catherine Baudin
- Carla Gomes
- Susan Graham
- Claudia Bauzer Medeiros
- Lucila Ohno-Machado
- Jan Moolman
- Fernanda B. Viegas
Research Scientist, eBay Research Lab
Talk Title: E-commerce Intelligence: The Art of Mining Semi-Structured Marketplaces
Session Time: Thursday, September 30th at 11:15 AM in rooms Hanover AB
Abstract: E-commerce sites vary in the degree of structure of the data that are being generated and in the scope of the technologies that can be used to search and analyze these data. Merchants who operate e-commerce sites to sell from their own inventory control the way it is described and organized, and generally use a common identity structure, with model numbers in catalogs. In these database-like worlds, buyers can search for products using many criteria, and the merchants can analyze their inventory or even harness the power of the crowd to forecast user demand based on what similar users have bought.
By contrast, a global marketplace like eBay connects buyers with sellers of all sizes, locations and expertise, from professional power sellers to mom-and-pop shops and one-time individual vendors. Sellers from all venues create their own ads for products ranging from electronics, to clothing, collectibles, or art. Such global marketplaces share characteristics with both merchant sites and online communities, and generate a flurry of data: product descriptions, purchasing transactions, seller feedbacks, opinions in discussion forums, and user query logs. Improving search or extracting e-commerce intelligence in such a semi-structured environment is a special challenge, requiring the craft of selecting the right data, extracting the right features, efficient parallel processing and clever engineering as much as statistics or machine learning algorithms.
I will describe tools for mining product descriptions, user queries and session logs in order to understand and improve buyer and seller experience on the site.
Biography: Catherine is a research scientist at the eBay Research Lab. Her main research interests are: text mining – particularly knowledge extraction/discovery from text in sources such as blogs and discussion forums, queries and log analysis, vertical search, and user studies to assess the impact of these technologies on people’s lives. At eBay she is involved in: session log analysis to study queries and fuel the design of ecommerce components, the implementation of efficient search metrics for shopping sites, and pattern identification for fraud analysis.
Prior to joining eBay Catherine was the CTO of Kaidara inc where she designed technologies to analyze and retrieve customer data for the automotive, high tech and pharmaceutical industry. She was a senior computer scientist at PriceWaterhouseCoopers technology center for five years and a principal investigator at NASA Ames Research Center for six. At PWC she used text mining to classify, extract and monitor information from the web for the company knowledge management and data warehousing practice. At NASA, she worked in a multi-disciplinary team with scientists, engineers and the Stanford Center for Design Research to develop information access tools that could learn from their interaction with users. She is the author of a number of numerous peer reviewed papers along with some book chapters and patents. She holds a PhD in Artificial Intelligence from the University of Paris VI France.
Associate Professor and Director, Institute for Computational Sustainability, Cornell University
Talk Title: Computational Sustainability: Computational Methods for a Sustainable Environment, Economy, and Society
Session Time: Friday, October 1st at 11:15 AM in rooms Hanover AB
Abstract: Humanity’s use of Earth’s resources is threatening our planet and the livelihood of future generations. Computer science and related disciplines can — and should — play a key role in increasing the efficiency and effectiveness in the way we manage and allocate our natural resources.
Computational Sustainability is a new emerging interdisciplinary research field with the overall goal of developing computational models, methods, and tools to help manage the balance between environmental, economic, and societal needs for a sustainable future.
In this talk, I will provide examples of Computational Sustainability problems, ranging from wildlife preservation and biodiversity, to poverty mitigation, to large-scale deployment and management of renewable energy sources. I will highlight overarching computational themes in constraint reasoning and optimization and interactions with machine learning, and dynamical systems. I will also discuss the need for a new approach that views such challenging computational problems as “natural” phenomena, amenable to a scientific methodology, in which principled experimentation, to explore problem parameter spaces and hidden problem structure, plays as prominent a role as formal analysis.
Biography: Carla P. Gomes is an Associate Professor of computer science at Cornell University, with joint appointments in Computer Science, Information Science, and Applied Economics and Management. Her research has covered several areas in artificial intelligence and computer science, including planning and scheduling, integration of constraint reasoning and operation research techniques for solving combinatorial optimization problems, and randomized algorithms. Gomes is currently pursuing the new research area of Computational Sustainability. Gomes is the the Lead PI of an NSF Expeditions in Computing award on Computational Sustainability and the director of newly established Institute for Computational Sustainability at Cornell University. Gomes is a Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence.
Pehong Chen Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Emerita, University of California, Berkeley
Talk Title: Using Information Technology for Health and Healthcare – A Look at Research Challenges
Session Time: Thursday, September 30th at 3:00 PM in room Courtland
Abstract: Good health is a major contributor to our quality of life. Improvements in the cost-effective delivery of quality healthcare that is personalized to individual needs are an important priority to our society. Both acute health emergencies and chronic conditions require care. That care comes both from professionals and from family and friends; it occurs both in institutions and at home; it is both preventative and responsive.
Computing and information science and engineering play an increasingly essential role in providing that care. Every part of the computing and behavioral sciences can contribute to significant advances in health and healthcare. We have major opportunities now to combine our science and technical interests and expertise with our understanding of and empathy for care-giving roles and responsibilities – to do compelling research that has high societal payoff.
In this talk, I will survey some of the ongoing research and emerging opportunities in this field. My talk is drawn from a broad-based workshop on “Discovery and Innovation in Health IT” that I co-chaired in fall 2009. I look forward to sharing with you my enthusiasm for this important convergence of disciplines.
Biography: Susan L. Graham is the Pehong Chen Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Emerita and a Professor in the Graduate School at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research spans many aspects of programming language implementation, software tools, software development environments, and high-performance computing. As a participant in the Berkeley Unix project, she and her students built the Berkeley Pascal system and the widely used program profiling tool gprof. She has done seminal research in compiler code generation and optimization. Her most recent projects are the Titanium system for language and compiler support of explicitly parallel programs and the Harmonia framework for high-level interactive software development.
Professor Graham was the founding editor-in-chief of the ACM Transactions on Programming Languages and Systems. She has served on numerous advisory committees; among them, the U.S. President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC). She served as the Chief Computer Scientist for the NSF-sponsored National Partnership for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (NPACI) from 1997 to 2005. She currently serves as vice-chair of the Council of the NSF-sponsored Computing Community Consortium.
Professor Graham is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Among her awards are the ACM SIGPLAN Career Programming Language Achievement Award (2000), the ACM Distinguished Service Award (2006), the Harvard Medal (2008), the IEEE von Neumann Medal (2009), and the Berkeley Citation (2009).
Claudia Bauzer Medeiros
Professor, Institute of Computing, University of Campinas, Brazil
Talk Title: Managing scientific data: coping with a multidisciplinary world
Session Time: Thursday, September 30th at 10:00 AM in rooms Hanover AB
Abstract: Scientists from all domains have something in common – they must continuously analyze data to conduct their research, in what has become known as “data-centric science”. The volume of data involved is usually very large, e.g., when astronomers conduct sky surveys, or chemists run simulations on chemical compounds. In other situations, data can be also scarce, e.g., when archaeologists discover prehistoric human bones, or biologists study a rare species. Whether in large or small volumes, rare or common, scientific data usually comes in many formats and from very many sources. Its management involves experts from distinct domains, working in interdisciplinary and multi-institutional teams.
A challenge for computer scientists is to design new methods and algorithms, and construct software and hardware tools to help these scientists from other domains to manage, analyze and visualize their data. This, in turn, has brought about the need for a new kind of training for computer scientists, who must learn how to work in a multidisciplinary world, and deal with a variety of domain-specific requirements.
The talk will give an overview of some of the challenges of conducting computer science research in this new scenario. It will concentrate on the new skills required (technical and social), with examples from several scientific fields, followed by a case study in agricultural planning.
Biography: Claudia Bauzer Medeiros, PhD, is a full professor of Computer Science at the University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Brazil. She has received several awards for research, teaching, and work concerning women and IT – including the 2006 Anita Borg Change Agent Award, and in 2008 Google Brazil’s Women in Technology Award. She is the ACM-W ambassador in Brazil, and was the president of the Brazilian Computer Society for 4 years (2003-2007).
Her research is centered on the design and construction of scientific databases, to help scientists work with large volumes of heterogeneous data. She has led several multi-institutional and multidisciplinary projects in Brazil, with emphasis in the development of tools, techniques and methodologies to support agro-environmental planning and biodiversity studies. She has served in leadership positions for several Brazilian government initiatives on computer science research and education. She holds a Dr. Honoris Causa from University Antenor Orrego, Peru. In 2008, she was awarded the Brazilian Order of Scientific Merit (grade Commander). For details on papers, projects, and students supervised, see www.ic.unicamp.br/~cmbm
Professor of Medicine and Founding Chief, Division of Biomedical Informatics, University of California, San Diego
Talk Title: Healthcare Information Technology: Opportunities for Computer Scientists to Make a Real Difference
Session Time: Friday, October 1st at 10:00 AM in rooms Singapore/Manila
Abstract: Healthcare has lagged behind other industries in the utilization of information technology. Some reasons for this gap are related to the complex nature of physician-patient interactions, lack of systems that can seamlessly be embedded in clinical workflows, and limited collaboration and communication that cross the boundaries between medicine, computer science, and engineering. Changes in the healthcare landscape in the U.S. provide a unique opportunity to develop new ideas for integrating information technology into healthcare. Reducing costs and providing healthcare for all requires the development of more efficient systems of care, in which not only public health indicators and institutional expenditures are monitored, but also objective quality of care measures and individual patient outcomes. High resolution monitoring cannot be achieved without computer-based systems that are able to integrate data from clinical encounters, billing systems, and research studies for meaningful data analysis, pattern recognition, and high fidelity simulations.
There are a variety of areas in which computer scientists can partner with clinicians and other decision makers, but the development of such partnerships requires a systematic approach. In biomedical informatics training programs, the goal is to provide training in a complementary area for individuals with computer science or health sciences backgrounds, and to train the next generation of researchers. While this covers important ground, more needs to be done. There is currently limited work in the area of training the existing generation of computer scientists and clinician leaders on how to work together to approach current healthcare challenges in a novel way. I will present a model for crossing disciplinary and geographical barriers in order to promote health and alleviate the burden of disease, and present several examples in which this could be done today.
Biography: Lucila Ohno-Machado, MD, PhD, is Professor of Medicine and founding chief of the Division of Biomedical Informatics at the University of California San Diego. She received her medical degree from the University of Sao Paulo and her doctoral degree in Medical Information Sciences and Computer Science from Stanford University. Prior to her current role, she was director of the training program for the Harvard-MIT-Tufts-Boston University consortium in Boston, and director of the Decision Systems Group at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School. Her research focuses on the development of new evaluation methods for predictive models of disease, with special emphasis on the analysis of model calibration and implications in healthcare.
She is an elected member of the American College of Medical Informatics and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, and associate editor for the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association and the Journal for Biomedical Informatics. She has lectured in Asia, Europe, Africa, and South America and is currently director of the Biomedical Research Informatics Global Health program funded by the NIH. At UCSD, she leads a multidisciplinary group of faculty, trainees, and staff whose research ranges from foundations of biomedical informatics to applications in healthcare. The former includes the development of new algorithms to analyze genomic and clinical data and to prevent disclosures that can compromise patient privacy, and the latter includes applications of pattern recognition algorithms to prognosticate disease using large repositories of data.
Project Coordinator MDG 3 – Women’s Networking Support Programme, Association for Progressive Communications
Talk Title:TakeBacktheTech: Reclaiming Technology to End Violence Against Women
Session Time: Friday, October 1st at 3:00 PM in rooms Hanover AB
Abstract: Women all over the world are discovering the potency of technologies and using them in advancing their rights especially in the campaign to end violence against women. Advocacy to stop violence against women is a powerful force that has freed women from harm and abuse. To this day however, violence continues to be a reality for many women.
This presentation is about how technology is changing the ways women experience and confront violence. To some extent, technologies have aided perpetrators in harassing, exerting control and even inflicting harm through mobile devices, spy software, email tampering, tiny surveillance cameras, GPS technologies, cyber stalking and misogyny in virtual reality environments. On the other hand, the internet has been creatively used by women in poorly resourced countries with limited access to technology. Girls in South Africa are using their cell phones to stop teen pornography. Filipina migrant workers can rely on an SOS SMS Helpline to report abuse while they work overseas. Village women trained in digital storytelling share experiences of healing and survival from the armed conflict in Uganda.
As tech-savvy women, we have a role to play in shaping technologies to keep women safe. Technology practice is as much part of creating technology as is engineering and design. How can we demand more of technology and use it to protect, exercise and advance women’s rights?
Biography: Jan Moolman is a feminist editor, writer, trainer and activist with extensive experience in the South and Southern African women’s rights sector. Her entry point into women’s rights has been through media – she is a former editor of Agenda, South Africa’s longest surviving feminist journal; newspaper columnist, and has contributed to a number of publications dealing with women’s rights issues.
Previously, Jan guest edited an Agenda journal edition on technology with a team from Women’sNet, where she worked as the Media and Information Manager. Women’sNet is a Southern African organization that promotes the strategic use of ICTs amongst women, girls and marginalized groups for social action. Through her work at the Southern African NGO Network (SANGONeT), Jan conducted training and capacity building for South African NGOs in the use of social media to deepen and support their work and managed an information portal.
Jan currently works at the Association for Progressive Communications where she is the Project Coordinator for the MDG3 project, a multi-stakeholder project that aims to strengthen women’s strategic use of ICTs to combat violence against women and girls. Jan is responsible for implementing research and developing the national strategy for South Africa, as well as providing guidance and supervision to the country coordinators worldwide. Jan is also a digital story telling trainer and is currently working towards a Masters in Media Studies.
Fernanda B. Viegas
Research Scientist, Google
Talk Title: From Politics to Art: Visualization as a Medium
Session Time: Friday, October 1st at 3:00 PM in room Regency Ballroom V
Abstract: Data visualization has historically been accessible only to the elite in academia, business, and government. It was “serious” technology, created by experts for experts. In recent years, however, web-based visualizations–ranging from political art projects to news stories–have reached audiences of millions. Meanwhile, new initiatives in government, aimed at all citizens, point to an era of increased transparency.
What will this new era of data transparency and expressiveness look like–and what are the implications for technologists who work with data? To help answer this question, I report on work into public data analysis and visualization. Some of the results come from Many Eyes, a “living laboratory” web site where people may upload their own data, create interactive visualizations, and carry on conversations. Political discussions, citizen activism, religious conversations, game playing, and educational exchanges are all happening on Many Eyes. Finally, I discuss artistic projects that complicate and subvert the traditional notion of data visualization by highlighting its potential as an expressive medium that invites emotion.
Biography: Fernanda B. Viégas is a computational designer whose work focuses on the social, collaborative, and artistic aspects of information visualization. She is a research scientist at Google, where she co-leads the visualization group with Martin Wattenberg.
Her fascination with the power of visualization to spark conversation led to the creation of Many Eyes at IBM, where she was a researcher from 2005 to 2010. The site is an open experiment in collective sensemaking and the impact of data analysis on public debate.
Before joining IBM, Viégas’s research at the MIT Media Lab focused on the visualization of online communities. She is known for her pioneering work on depicting chat histories, email archives, and Wikipedia activity. Viégas’s interest in the stories that people tell about these archives led to a series of visualizations of personal, emotionally-charged data.
Her artistic visualizations have been exhibited in venues such as the New York Museum of Modern Art, the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Viégas holds a Ph.D. and M.S. from the Media Lab at MIT. She is Brazilian and misses the year-round warm weather in Rio de Janeiro where she grew up.