Special Event: David Jensen, alum social featured speaker

David Jensen

David Jensen

Special Event

David Jensen
UMass Amherst
Department of Computer Science

Thursday, September 27, 2012
7:20 p.m. (during the UMass Amherst CS Alum Social)
Google in Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA

"From Big Data to Effective Action"

"Big Data" has been big news recently. IT professionals, government officials, researchers, and media commentators have all been touting the revolutionary benefits of big data. However, those benefits will only occur if big data leads to effective action, and many of the deep questions of how to use big data to guide action have received only cursory attention among practitioners. Fortunately, over the past several decades, a small group of philosophers, computer scientists, statisticians, and social scientists have developed powerful theories and methods that address these questions. That work is now ready to break into the mainstream. In this brief talk, I will outline some of the key questions, principles, and technologies for extracting knowledge about cause and effect from massive databases in domains such as social media systems, scientific publishing, medical practice, and financial transactions.

Bio: David Jensen is Associate Professor of Computer Science and Director of the Knowledge Discovery Laboratory at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His research focuses on machine learning and knowledge discovery for analyzing large and complex sets. Applications include social network analysis, fraud detection, epidemiology, and the design and management of complex technical systems. His most recent work focuses on the representation and discovery of causal knowledge from large observational and experimental data sets. He serves on the Executive Committee of the ACM Special Interest Group on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining and on the program committees of the International Conference on Machine Learning, the International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining, and the Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence. He was a member of the 2006-2007 Defense Science Study Group, and he served on DARPA's Information Science and Technology (ISAT) Group from 2008 to 2012. He received the 2011 Outstanding Teaching Award from the College of Natural Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. From 1991 to 1995, he served as an analyst with the Office of Technology Assessment, an agency of the United States Congress. He received his doctorate from Washington University in St. Louis in 1992.