Mary Jean Harrold Memorial Distinguished Lecture: Jeannette Wing

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TITLE: Data for Good: Data Science at Columbia


Every field has data.  We use data to discover new knowledge, interpret the world, make decisions, and even predict the future. The recent convergence of big data, cloud computing, and novel machine learning algorithms and statistical methods is causing an explosive interest in data science and its applicability to all fields.  This convergence has already enabled the automation of some tasks that better human performance. The novel capabilities we derive from data science will drive our cars, treat disease, and keep us safe. At the same time, such capabilities risk leading to biased, inappropriate, or unintended action. The design of data science solutions requires both excellence in the fundamentals of the field and expertise to develop applications that meet human challenges without creating even greater risk.

The Data Science Institute at Columbia University promotes “Data for Good”: using data to address societal challenges and bringing humanistic perspectives as — not after — new science and technology are invented. Started in 2012, the institute is now a university-level institute representing over 300 affiliated faculty from 12 different schools across campus.  Data science literally touches every corner of the university.

In this talk, I will present the mission of the Institute and highlights of our educational and research activities.



Jeannette M. Wing is Avanessians Director of the Data Science Institute and professor of computer science at Columbia University. From 2013 to 2017, she was a corporate vice president of Microsoft Research. She is consulting professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon, where she has twice served as the head of the computer science department and been on the faculty since 1985.  From 2007 to 2010, she was the assistant director of the Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate at the National Science Foundation.  She received her S.B., S.M., and Ph.D. degrees in computer science
from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Wing’s general research interests are in the areas of trustworthy computing, specification and verification, concurrent and distributed systems, programming languages, and software engineering. Her current interests are in the foundations of security and privacy,
with a new focus on trustworthy AI.  She was or is on the editorial board of twelve journals, including the Journal of the ACM and Communications of the ACM.



  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created By: Tess Malone
  • Created: 11/28/2018
  • Modified By: Tess Malone
  • Modified: 11/28/2018


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