Podcast: Explaining the Art of Data

by Jay London on June 25, 2015 · 2 comments

in Alumni Life, Learning, Modern Geekhood, Podcast, Podcast, Research

In this Slice of MIT podcast, recorded at the 2015 South by Southwest Interactive festival, five MIT alumni discuss how their work and research are tackling these questions in innovative ways. Listen at https://soundcloud.com/mitalumni.

Data is everywhere—nearly anything can be represented by a number. In its simple form, data tells a story backed by numerical truth. But data is rarely simple or pure—and we have access to more data than any time in history.

So how can we make sense of this never-ending wave? And how can we better understand data and use it solve real-world problems? In this Slice of MIT podcast, recorded at the 2015 South by Southwest Interactive festival, five MIT alumni discuss how their work and research are tackling these questions in innovative ways. (Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.)

You’ll hear how five-star ratings online are driven by social identity; how designers are mapping data to improve major U.S. cities; how data can affect privacy and though stagnation; and how a Jeopardy!-winning computer is discover new recipes like Italian-Pumpkin Cheesecake. (Read the “Art of Data” transcript.)

Featured MIT Alumni

Sinan_AralProfessor Sinan Aral PhD ’07 (@sinanaral)
Professor of Management, MIT Sloan; Chief Scientist, Humin

Aral is an expert on social networks, social media, and digital strategy who has worked with Facebook, Yahoo, the New York Times, and Nike.

Denise_ChengDenise Cheng SM ’14 (@hiDenise)
Peer Economy Expert

Cheng is an expert in civic technology and the peer economy. She has been featured in Harvard Business Review and on NPR.

Tiffany_ChuTiffany Chu ’10 (@tchu88)
Cofounder, Remix

Chu is a cofounder of the transit planning tool Remix. She has worked at Code for America, Zipcar, and Pixar Animation Studios.

Jacquelyn_MartinoJacquelyn Martino PhD ’06 (@jamartino)
Designer, IBM

Martino works in the IBM Watson Group, where she helps Chef Watson brings cognitive computing to consumers.

Matt_StempeckMatt Stempeck SM ’13 (@mstem)
Director of Civic Technology, Microsoft

Stempeck leads Microsoft’s strategic outreach. He has designed technologies for civic impact at non-profits, startups, and consultancies.

Chef_WatsonChef Watson* (@IBMWatson)
Computer, IBM

Watson is a computer best known for winning $1 million on Jeopardy!  More recently, he helps consumers develop creative recipes.

*—Not an MIT alumnus/ae.

Listen to podcast above or on the Alumni Association’s SoundCloud page, or read the transcript. And don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes and rate the podcast and leave a review. Tweet your thoughts on this episode to @mit_alumni.

This podcast was produced in association with MIT’s Comparative Media Studies/Writing. For more data-related topics at MIT, visit cmsw.mit.edu/data.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Al Rosenberg July 1, 2015 at 8:36 pm

Loved the podcast! Keep it up!

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Name July 30, 2015 at 5:19 am

A few minutes towards the end of the podcast when I heard the idea that data science has limitless possibilities to improve the world, it turned into a belief system instead of a tool for people.

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