Upcoming Events

Sep
24
2019

Fall classes begin 8 a.m.

12:00 AM

Fall classes begin 8 a.m.

Sep
25
2019

WED@NICO SEMINAR: Michael Macy, Cornell University "The Unpredictability of Partisan Alignments"

12:00 PM
Chambers Hall

Speaker:

Michael W. Macy -  Goldwin Smith Professor of Arts and Sciences, and Director, Social Dynamics Laboratory, Cornell University.

Title:

Which Side Are You On: The Unpredictability of Partisan Alignments

Abstract:

Culture wars” involve the puzzling alignment of partisan identity with disparate policy positions as well as lifestyle choices and personal morality. Explanations point to deep-rooted ideological divisions, core values, moral emotions, and cognitive hardwiring. We used the “multiple worlds” experimental paradigm to test an alternative explanation based on the sensitivity of opinion cascades to the initial conditions. Two online experiments (N=4581) generated cascades by exposing participants to social influence on 20 unfamiliar political and cultural issues. Consistent with recent studies, partisan divisions in the influence condition were much larger than in the control group (without influence). The surprise is that bigger divisions indicate less predictability. Issues backed by Republicans and opposed by Democrats in one experimental “world” had the opposite outcome in other parallel worlds. The unpredictability suggests that what appear to be deep-rooted partisan divisions in our own world may have arisen through a tipping process that might just as easily have tipped the other way. Public awareness of this counter-intuitive possibility has the potential to encourage greater tolerance for opposing opinions.

Speaker Bio:

Michael Macy (B.A., Ph.D Harvard; M.A. Stanford) is Goldwin Smith Professor of Arts and Sciences at Cornell and Director of the Social Dynamics Lab, with a dual appointment in the Departments of Sociology and Information Science. With support from the U.S. National Science Foundation, Minerva Initiative, DARPA, and the National Research Foundation of Korea, his research team has used computational models, online laboratory experiments, and digital traces of device-mediated interaction to explore familiar but enigmatic social patterns, such as circadian rhythms, network topology and economic opportunity, lifestyle politics, the willingness to “pay it forward,” the mesh of civilizations, the spread of complex contagions, the polarization of opinion, segregation of neighborhoods, the emergence and collapse of fads, the spread of self-destructive behaviors, and the critical mass in collective action. His research has been published in leading journals, including Science, PNAS, Science Advances, Nature Human Behaviour, American Journal of Sociology, American Sociological Review, and Annual Review of Sociology.

Live Stream:

bluejeans.com/8474912528

Sep
25
2019

Data Science Nights - FALL 2019 KICKOFF Meeting

6:30 PM
Chambers Hall

FALL KICKOFF MEETING: Wednesday, September 25, 2019 at 6:30pm in Chambers Hall, Evanston

DATA SCIENCE NIGHTS are monthly hack nights on popular data science topics, organized by Northwestern University graduate students and scholars. Aspiring, beginning, and advanced data scientists are welcome!

LECTURE: ​"Open standards for machine learning model deployment" with IBM Developer Advocate Svetlana Levitan.

This year, for the fall kickoff of Data Science Nights we are excited to host a representative of IBM Cognitive Applications for Chicago, Svetlana Levitan. Svetlana is a Developer Advocate of IBM with many years of experience with IBM statistical Software SPSS, and Predictive Model Markup Language (PMML). She is the Chicagoland Technical Experts Community Chairperson, a Meetup organizer for Big Data Developers, Open Source Analytics, and Chicago Cloud Developers, and is also part of the Center for Open-Source Data and AI Technologies (CODAIT). This is an excellent opportunity to connect with IBM representatives!

TALK ABSTRACT:

Machine learning and data science are in popular demand. Predictive model deployment is the part of the machine learning process where the practical results are achieved, when the model is used for generating predictions on new data (known as scoring). The deployment used to present big difficulties, as models were typically built in one environment and needed to be deployed in a different one. Often they would need to be re-implemented in a new programming language, that would be very slow and error-prone.

Join us to learn about open standards that have made the process of model deployment easier. Predictive Model Markup Language (PMML) and Portable Format for Analytics (PFA) were developed by the Data Mining Group (DMG). PMML has been around for more than 20 years and is used widely. PFA is an emerging standard that is getting a lot of interest. Open Neural Network eXchange (ONNX) format was recently developed by Microsoft and Facebook as a way to exchange deep learning (DL) models between different DL frameworks, then it was open sourced. It is now very actively worked on by many companies and contributors. Attendees will get a good understanding of predictive model deployment challenges and approaches.

AGENDA:

6:15pm - Refreshments
6:30pm - Presentation by Svetlana Levitan, IBM Developer Advocate, IBM Cognitive Applications.
7pm - Discussion about topics and working groups for future hacking night sessions

For more info: data-science-nights.org

Supporting Groups:

This event is supported by the Northwestern Institute for Complex Systems and the Northwestern Data Science Initiative, in collaboration with ACiDS.

Oct
02
2019

WED@NICO SEMINAR: Joshua Becker, Kellogg School "Network Structures of Collective Intelligence"

12:00 PM
Chambers Hall

Speaker:

Joshua Becker - Postdoctoral Fellow, Kellogg School of Management and NICO

Title:

Network Structures of Collective Intelligence:  The Contingent Benefits of Group Discussion

Abstract:

Research on the “wisdom of crowds” has found that the average belief in a group can be remarkably accurate even when individual group members are wildly inaccurate. This phenomenon has been observed for domains ranging from financial forecasting to medical diagnoses, and a common theoretical claim is that group beliefs are most accurate when they are collected from individuals who are socially and statistically independent. However, the requirement for independence poses a challenge in many social and organizational settings where interaction and communication are an intrinsic part of decision-making.  In contrast, I show that social information processing can produce beliefs that are even more accurate than the collected beliefs of independent individuals—under the right conditions.  This talk will present formal models and behavioral laboratory experiments to identify when, and why, group interaction can help (or hurt) numeric belief accuracy. The main focus of this talk compares mediated information exchange (i.e., the “Delphi method”) with unstructured discussion, showing how network theory can resolve longstanding contradictions in previous research.  All discussed data is available on GitHub and my website.

Working Paper: https://bit.ly/2lZ6zHF

Speaker Bio:

Joshua Becker is a postdoctoral fellow at Kellogg School of Management and a researcher-in-residence at NICO.  Joshua completed his PhD at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania, with a focus on the network dynamics of collective intelligence.  Their research has been published in venues including Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and Harvard Business Review.  Prior to grad school Joshua worked professionally in conflict mediation (now serving pro bono) an experience that inspires their research on communication and decision-making.

Live Stream:

bluejeans.com/8474912528

Oct
09
2019

WED@NICO SEMINAR: Karim Lakhani, Harvard Business School "Title TBA"

12:00 PM
Chambers Hall

Speaker:

Karim R. Lakhani, Charles E. Wilson Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School

Title:

TBA

Abstract:

TBA

Speaker Bio:

Karim R. Lakhani is the Charles E. Wilson Professor of Business Administration and the Dorothy and Michael Hintze Fellow at the Harvard Business School.  He is the founder and co-director of the Laboratory for Innovation Science at Harvard, the principal investigator of the NASA Tournament Laboratory at the Harvard Institute for Quantitative Social Science, and the faculty co-founder of the Harvard Business School Digital Initiative. He specializes in technology management and innovation. His research examines crowd-based innovation models and the digital transformation of companies and industries. Lakhani is known for his pioneering scholarship on how communities and contests can be designed and managed to achieve innovative outcomes. He has partnered with NASA, Topcoder, and the Harvard Medical School to conduct field experiments on the design of crowd innovation programs. His research on digital transformation has shown the importance of data and analytics as drivers of business and operating model transformation and source of competitive advantage. He serves on the Board of Directors of Mozilla Corporation and Local Motors.

Live Stream:

bluejeans.com/8474912528

Oct
16
2019

WED@NICO SEMINAR: Steve Cicala, University of Chicago "Title TBA"

12:00 PM
Chambers Hall

Speaker:

Steve Cicala, Assistant Professor, University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy

Title:

TBA

Abstract:

TBA

Speaker Bio:

Steve Cicala is an assistant professor at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. His work focuses on the economics of regulation, particularly with respect to environmental and energy policy. 

Live Stream:

bluejeans.com/8474912528