Gary King: Reverse Engineering Chinese Censorship

King is one of the most innovative and influential social science methodologists, much of his work probing the challenges and building solutions for both quantitative and qualitative analysis. He has pioneered research using automated textual analysis, health care evaluation, voting behaviours, international conflict, and the study of human mortality, to name just some fields in which he’s applied his methods.

King talks about “Reverse Engineering Chinese Censorship,” a recent collaborative investigation into the goals, scope, and effects of censorship by the Chinese government, an excellent exposition both of the impressive scope of big data analysis and its potential relevance to contemporary social and political understanding.

April Glaser: NSA Spying, Digital Privacy, and Your Rights Online

The U.S. government, with assistance from major telecommunications carriers, has engaged in a massive illegal dragnet surveillance of domestic communications and communications records of millions of ordinary Americans and people all over the world. Since this was first reported by the press and discovered by the public in late 2005, EFF has been at the forefront of the effort to stop illegal activities and bring government surveillance programs back within the law and the Constitution.

Glaser talks about two cases in which EFF is suing the NSA for violating the First and Fourth Amendment rights of their clients. She considers some of the spying programs that have been revealed since Edward Snowden began to disclose details about government spying last summer. Glaser discusses what is happening in Congress and the White House in response to the ongoing revelations of mass government surveillance. She provides an overview of digital rights activism mounting worldwide against mass surveillance and talk about how to engage in the growing movement to protect our rights in the digital age.

Ryan Cordell: Viral Textuality: Uncovering Reprinting Networks In 19th Century Newspapers




Ryan Cordell, Assistant Professor of English, at Northeastern University has routinely contributed to thinking on digital matters in research and in the undergraduate curriculum as you can see from his writing for the Chronicle of Higher Education among other venues.

The title of his talk is “Viral Textuality: Uncovering Reprinting Networks in Nineteenth-Century Newspapers.” The project has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities and is described here: http://viraltexts.org.

Cordell’s research reflects the best possibilities in the digital humanities. He writes literary history. He collaborates to do so, with computer scientists among others, and he’s revealing new phenomena with old methods and new.

Alongside traditional means of interpretation and contextualization, Cordell takes big data—newspapers for instance—and applies the latest text mining and network analysis to trace key parts of nineteenth century US culture, as they went viral via contemporary social media.

Kim Diver and Phil Stern: Geospatial Data Visualization and Analysis using GPS




Digital and Computational Knowledge Initiative – Philip Stern Workshop. The focus will be on how tools like GIS (Geographic Information Systems) among others can help us to analyze and visualize complex data, whether derived from texts or physical spaces. Presenters: Phil Stern (Assistant Professor of History at Duke University, and a graduate of the Wesleyan class of 1997) and Kim Diver (Visiting Assistant Professor of Earth & Environmental Sciences at Wesleyan University).

“NSA Spying, Digital Privacy, and Your Rights Online” with April Glaser

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DaCKI/ATTLaS Speaker Series 

NSA Spying, Digital Privacy, and Your Rights Online

APRIL GLASER

Staff Activist, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) 

TUESDAY, APRIL 8, 2014, 7 P.M. 

Downey House, Room 113 

The U.S. government, with assistance from major telecommunications carriers, has engaged in a massive illegal dragnet surveillance of domestic communications and communications records of millions of ordinary Americans and people all over the world. Since this was first reported by the press and discovered by the public in late 2005, EFF has been at the forefront of the effort to stop illegal activities and bring government surveillance programs back within the law and the Constitution.

Glaser will talk about two cases in which EFF is suing the NSA for violating the First and Fourth Amendment rights of their clients. She also will consider some of the spying programs that have been revealed since Edward Snowden began to disclose details about government spying last summer. Glaser will discuss what is happening in Congress and the White House in response to the ongoing revelations of mass government surveillance. She will provide an overview of digital rights activism mounting worldwide against mass surveillance and talk about how to engage in the growing movement to protect our rights in the digital age.

New Ways to Map and Be Mapped with Diana Sinton

UVL14157_SintonPosterMapping space and place has become a pervasive and popular activity in society today, driven by the ubiquity of location-based goods and services as well as our growing ability to be front and center in our own maps. Geospatial data enables participatory communicating for scholars and citizens alike, and is creating innovative ways to collaborate in the classroom. Find out why maps, mapping, and spatial perspectives are fundamental to how we teach, learn, and think in our daily lives and the world around us.

seminar: New Ways to Map and Be Mapped

presenter: Diana Sinton

location: Downey House Lounge

date: Thursday April 3

time: 4:15 pm

Diana S. Sinton is one of the most influential proponents of GIS and spatial literacy in the liberal arts. She is currently the Executive Director of the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS), and an adjunct associate professor at Cornell University. She recently wrote The People’s Guide to Spatial Thinking (NCGE, 2013). She worked previously for the University of Redlands and the National Institute for Technology & Liberal Education (NITLE). Her interests include spatial literacy and the use of geospatial technologies in higher education. You can find more of her ideas at dianamaps.com and teachGIS.org.

This event is sponsored and supported by DaCKI, ATTLaS, and an Allbrittion Center for the Study of Public Life Collaborative Grant.

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DaCKI presents Manhattans & Martinis, II

On March 27th starting at 4:15, DACKI—the Digital and Computational Knowledge Initiative–will hold its second Manhattans & Martinis event. I can report that the first was fun. This is a sort of technology happy hour:  classic drinks, sharp snacks, clever people.

As with the first on 3D printing, our focus will be on showing what we’re doing at Wesleyan.  This year, we’ve launched a few innovative courses in modelling, data analysis, GIS and digital history, and collaborative computer science courses linking CS and non-CS students. Other colleagues are developing additional courses across the three divisions for coming years. These courses are accessible to most all Wesleyan students. We’ll hear about these but we’ll want to think especially about technologies and pedagogical practices that might improve what we’ve done and make it easier for other faculty to develop such courses.

So, we’ll have colleagues from ITS and elsewhere show us new tricks; we’ll take a look at how people are innovating elsewhere, but we’ll also raise questions about how best to collaborate on campus to make digitally enhanced, visually powerful, and computationally precise courses attractive to teach and to take. What spaces, what sorts of collaboration, what sorts of software and in-class support needed are some of the issues we’ll approach. 

If you’re wondering what’s going on—what DACKI is, for instance—come and see. If you have been testing out techniques and technologies in your courses, come and help. In any event, come and have a snack.

We’ll meet in Exley 509A/B.

Gary King: Reverse Engineering Chinese Censorship

gary-king

On March 6th at 4:15 the Digital and Computational Knowledge Initiative is very happy to be hosting Professor Gary King, the Albert J. Weatherhead III University Professor at Harvard University. A member of the Department of Government there, King is one of the most impressive thinkers and researchers into the social scientific possibilities of Big Data.

He will speak on “Reverse Engineering Chinese Censorship”, a talk that will describe how he and his collaborators were able to harvest vast amounts of data and then analyze and test the effects and policy implications of the Chinese government’s censorship of social network information.

Please announce this talk to your students and try to come yourself.

King’s website

Event Poster

Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives

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On February 12th, Wesleyan will have the chance to hear one of the the nation’s most prominent advocates for shaking up the social sciences with the possibilities of quantitative methods and models. Nicholas Christakis will be here to discuss his passion for the power of social networks. His talk is called “Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives.”

Nicholas Christakis is the Sol Goldman Family Professor of Social and Natural Science at Yale University. Tellingly, he holds appointments both in the Sociology Department and the School of Medicine. His work has frequently been in the news. He and his collaborators often use large-scale quantitative analysis to understand the nature of social and pscho-social behaviours, for instance examining the nature of medical prognoses or the effects of bereavement. Most prominently, he has studied the role of social networks in explaining the demographic and epidemiological characteristics of such things as obesity, quitting smoking, and happiness itself. He has showed how much whom you know will determine many of your key medical characteristics and behaviours and how they might change.

Christakis Lab at Yale : http://www.nicholaschristakis.net/

TED talk: http://www.ted.com/talks/nicholas_christakis_the_hidden_influence_of_social_networks.html

NYT op-ed: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/21/opinion/sunday/lets-shake-up-the-social-sciences.html