Category Archives: Events

“Artificial UnIntelligence,” A Keynote Lecture from Meredith Broussard

Meredith Broussard

The Institute for Policy, Ethics, and Culture’s Algorithmic Culture series continues with “Artificial UnIntelligence,” a keynote lecture from Meredith Broussard, on Thursday, Dec. 5 at 7 p.m. in Memorial Union Building Ballroom B, followed by a Q&A.

Collective enthusiasm for applying computer technology to every aspect of life has resulted in a vast number of poorly designed systems. We are so eager to do everything digitally—hiring, driving, paying bills, even choosing romantic partners—that we have stopped demanding our technology actually work.

In this talk, author and professor Meredith Broussard looks at the inner workings and outer limits of technology, and explains why we should never assume that computers always get things right. Making a case against technochauvinism—the belief that technology is always the solution—Broussard looks at whether self-driving cars really work and why social problems persist in every digital Utopia. If we understand the limits of what we can do with technology, Broussard tells us, we can make better choices about what we should do with it to make the world better for everyone.

Meredith Broussard is an associate professor at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute of New York University and the author of Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World. Her research focuses on artificial intelligence in investigative reporting, with a particular interest in using data analysis for social good. You can follow her on Twitter @merbroussard or contact her via meredithbroussard.com.


Meet and Greet with Author Meredith Broussard Is Thurs., Dec. 5, 2-3 pm

Meredith Broussard Meet and Greet Flyer

A Meet and Greet with author and professor Meredith Broussard will take place Thursday, December 5, from 2:00 to 3:00 pm, in Fisher Hall Room 127.

Dr. Broussard will present a public lecture Thursday, December 5, 7:00 pm to 8:30 p.m., in the Memorial Union Building (MUB), Ballroom B.

Our collective enthusiasm for applying computer technology to every aspect of life has resulted in a vast number of poorly designed systems. We are so eager to do everything digitally—hiring, driving, paying bills, even choosing romantic partners—that we have stopped demanding that our technology actually work.

In this talk, author and professor Meredith Broussard looks at the inner workings and outer limits of technology, and explains why we should never assume that computers always get things right. Making a case against technochauvinism—the belief that technology is always the solution—Broussard looks at whether self-driving cars really work and why social problems persist in every digital Utopia. If we understand the limits of what we can do with technology, Broussard tells us, we can make better choices about what we should do with it to make the world better for everyone.

Meredith Broussard is an associate professor at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute of New York University and the author of Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World. Her research focuses on artificial intelligence in investigative reporting, with a particular interest in using data analysis for social good. You can follow her on Twitter @merbroussard or contact her via meredithbroussard.com.

Download the event flyer.


Nathir Rawashdeh To Present Talk Fri., Dec. 6

Nathir Rawashdeh

Nathir Rawashdeh, College of Computing Assistant Professor of Mechatronics, Electrical, and Robotics Engineering Technology, will present a talk this Friday, December 6, from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m., in Rekhi 214. Rawashdeh will present a review of recent advancements in Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) applications, hardware, and software with a focus on vehicle localization and autonomous navigation. Refreshments will be served.

Abstract: Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGV) are being applied in many scenarios including, indoors, outdoors, and even extraterrestrial. Advancements in hardware and software algorithms reduce their cost and enable the creation of complete UGV platforms designed for custom application development, as well as research into new sensors and algorithms.


Algorithmic Culture Series Lecture: Artificial UnIntelligence Is Dec. 5

Meredith Broussard

The Institute for Policy, Ethics, and Culture’s Algorithmic Culture series continues with “Artificial UnIntelligence,” a keynote lecture from Meredith Broussard, at 7 p.m. Thursday (Dec. 5) in Memorial Union Building Ballroom B, followed by a Q&A.

Collective enthusiasm for applying computer technology to every aspect of life has resulted in a vast number of poorly designed systems. We are so eager to do everything digitally—hiring, driving, paying bills, even choosing romantic partners—that we have stopped demanding our technology actually work.

In this talk, author and professor Meredith Broussard looks at the inner workings and outer limits of technology, and explains why we should never assume that computers always get things right. Making a case against technochauvinism—the belief that technology is always the solution—Broussard looks at whether self-driving cars really work and why social problems persist in every digital Utopia. If we understand the limits of what we can do with technology, Broussard tells us, we can make better choices about what we should do with it to make the world better for everyone.

Meredith Broussard is an associate professor at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute of New York University and the author of Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World. Her research focuses on artificial intelligence in investigative reporting, with a particular interest in using data analysis for social good. You can follow her on Twitter @merbroussard or contact her via meredithbroussard.com.

Learn more about the Institute for Policy, Ethics, and Culture here: https://www.mtu.edu/ipec/


Tomorrow Needs Faculty and Scientist Seminar Series

Tomorrow Needs Seminar Flyer

A seminar series to bring advanced PhD students and postdoctoral scholars to Michigan Tech has been launched by the Institute of Computing and Cybersystems, in partnership with the College of Computing, the College of Engineering, and the Great Lakes Research Center. The Tomorrow Needs Faculty and Scientist Seminar Series is intended to build connections with up-and-coming researchers, recruit and retain top talent at Michigan Tech, and provide opportunities for these promising scholars to learn more about Michigan Tech and the University’s excellent resources for research and education.

Those selected will be invited to present a research seminar, tour the Michigan Tech  campus and research facilities, and meet with faculty and students.

Applications to nominate scholars from around the globe are sought from all areas of the university. Nominations of advanced PhD candidates and postdoctoral scholars currently at Michigan Tech are also encouraged.  Find the online nomination form at  mtu.edu/icc/seminars. In the near term, applications will be reviewed as they are received, with a more formal review process to be instituted in the near future.

“Recruiting and retaining talented faculty and researchers is essential for Michigan Tech as we pursue the growth strategies identified by Tech Forward and the University’s leadership team,” says Adrienne Minerick, dean of the College of Computing. “We have an abundance of excellent teaching and creative research at Michigan Tech that complements a terrific quality of life here in the Upper Peninsula. This seminar series will showcase our top-notch people, facilities, teaching and research support infrastructure, and the Houghton/Hancock area to talented new PhDs and post doctoral researchers.”

Tim Havens, the William and Gloria Jackson Associate Professor of Computer Systems and director of the ICC, stresses that the seminar series is open to all University areas. “The need to attract and retain top-tier faculty and researchers is a challenge shared across campus. We welcome nominations from all units. We are also very open to adding new partners to this initiative.”

Download the Seminar Series flyer.


Yakov Nekrich to Present Computing Seminar Talk this Friday at 3 pm

Yakov Nekrich

The College of Computing (CC) will present a Friday Seminar Talk on November 22, at 3:00 p.m. in Rekhi 214. Featured this week is Yakov Nekrich, associate professor of Computer Science. He will present his research titled: “Space-Efficient and Compact Data Structures.” Refreshments will be provided.

Massive data sets are becoming increasingly common in many areas. Therefore, it’s desirable to keep the data in compact form so that it fits into the main memory. What operations can be performed on data that is stored in compressed form without decompressing the data? This question is addressed in the emerging research field called compressed (or compact) data structures. In this talk, Nekrich will describe a compressed index for a collection of strings and efficient solutions for several related problems.


 Meet and Greet with John Cheney-Lippold Is Mon., Nov. 18, 3-4 pm

John Cheney-Lippold

Meet & Greet with John Cheney-Lippold, University of Michigan associate professor of American culture and digital studies and author of We Are Data: Algorithms and the Making of Our Digital Selves, will take place Monday, November 18, from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m., in Rekhi G09.

Dr. Cheney-Lippold will present “Algorithms, Accidents, and the Imposition of a World of Calculation” on Monday, November 18, at 7:00 p.m. in EERC 103. The lecture is part of the Institute for Policy, Ethics, and Culture’s Algorithmic Culture Series. 

Algorithms are everywhere, organizing the near limitless data that exists in our world. Derived from our every search, like, click, and purchase, algorithms determine the news we get, the ads we see, the information accessible to us and even who our friends are. These complex configurations not only form knowledge and social relationships in the digital and physical world, but also determine who we are and who we can be, both on and offline.

The explosive, sometimes accidental transformations performed by statistics and algorithms alter our world to produce “someone else,” no longer the beings we thought we were. 

To demonstrate how statistics and algorithms are fundamentally transformative, Cheney-Lippold explores the use of statistics to invalidate the signature of a multimillion-dollar will and to objectify racial categories in the case of People vs. Collins. He also examines the accidental algorithmics that led to the lethal collision of a Tesla autonomous vehicle. 

His lecture reorients many of the pressing questions of contemporary culture of algorithmic bias, ethics, and ideas of justice.

Download the event flyer.


John Cheney-Lippold to Present Algorithmic Culture Series Lecture November 18

John Cheney-Lippold

The Institute for Policy, Ethics, and Culture’s Algorithmic Culture series continues with “Algorithms, Accidents, and the Imposition of a World of Calculation,” a keynote lecture from John Cheney-Lippold, on Monday, Nov. 18, at 7 p.m. in EERC 0103. A Q&A will follow.

Cheney-Lippold is an associate professor of american culture and digital studies at the University of Michigan. He is the author of We Are Data: Algorithms and the Making of our Digital Selves (NYU Press, 2017).

Algorithms are everywhere, organizing the near limitless data that exists in our world. Derived from our every search, like, click, and purchase, algorithms determine the news we get, the ads we see, the information accessible to us and even who our friends are. These complex configurations not only form knowledge and social relationships in the digital and physical world, but also determine who we are and who we can be, both on and offline.

The book, We Are Data by John Cheney-Lippold

The explosive, sometimes accidental transformations performed by statistics and algorithms alter our world to produce “someone else,” no longer the beings we thought we were. To demonstrate how statistics and algorithms are fundamentally transformative, Cheney-Lippold explores the use of statistics to invalidate the signature of a multimillion-dollar will and to objectify racial categories in the case of People vs. Collins. He also examines the accidental algorithmics that led to the lethal collision of a Tesla autonomous vehicle. This lecture reorients many of the pressing questions of contemporary culture of algorithmic bias, ethics, and ideas of justice.

The Algorithmic Culture series will conclude in December with a presentation from Meredith Broussard entitled “Artificial UnIntelligence.” Broussard’s lecture will be held Thursday, Dec. 5 at 7 p.m. in the Memorial Union Building, Ballroom B.

The mission of the Institute for Policy, Ethics, and Culture is to promote research, policy engagement, and teaching that address the ethical and cultural challenges, implications, and strategies unique to the emerging technocultural environment. Its goals are to promote innovative research and collaboration on policy, ethics, and culture; contribute to policy making in Michigan and beyond; and provide students with tools to work proactively in the emerging environment.


Weihua Zhou to Present Friday Seminar Talk

Weihua Zhou

The College of Computing (CC) will present a Friday Seminar Talk on November 15, at 3:00 p.m. in Rekhi 214. Featured this week is Weihua Zhou, assistant professor of Health Informatics. He will present his research titled: “Information retrieval and knowledge discovery from cardiovascular images to improve the treatment of heart failure.” Refreshments will be provided.

Abstract: More than 5 million Americans live with heart failure, and the annual new incidence is about 670,000. Once diagnosed, around 50% of patients with heart failure will die within 5 years. Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) is a standard treatment for heart failure. However, based on the current guidelines, 30-40% of patients who have CRT do not benefit from CRT. One of Zhou’s research projects is to improve CRT favorable response by information retrieval and knowledge discovery from clinical records and cardiovascular images. By applying statistical analysis, machine learning, and computer vision to his unique CRT patient database, Zhou has made a number of innovations to select appropriate patients and navigate the real-time surgery. His CRT software toolkit is being validated by 17 hospitals in a large prospective clinical trial.


Linda Ott, Laura Brown to Join “1984” Panel

The Rozsa Center For the Performing Arts presents a powerful theatrical production of George Orwell’s “1984” — an evocative and timely cautionary tale of personal freedom against political repression.

Today, Orwell’s story resonates around the globe as individuals, systems and governments clash. Join us for “1984,” by New York City’s Aquila Theatre, followed by a post-show discussion of how Orwell’s narrative eerily predicted today’s unprecedented challenges to privacy, truth, and personal expression.

See “1984” at 7 p.m. Friday (Nov. 8) at the Rozsa Center. Panelists include guest lecturer Marika Pfefferkorn, and Michigan Tech’s Alexandra Morrison (HU), Linda Ott (CS), and Laura Brown (CS) and will be moderated by Stefka Hristova (HU). Light refreshments will be served. The discussion is expected to run approximately 45 minutes after the show.

Written in 1944 near the end of World War II, “1984” depicts a society controlled by a perfectly totalitarian government bent on repressing all subversive tendencies. “Big Brother” is always watching and technology is wielded as a weapon to inundate citizens with propaganda and to monitor thoughts and actions. Imagined before the existence of computers, this dystopian future explores the power of technology as a mental manipulator and source of curated information.

This event is made possible with funding from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the Crane Group. Tickets to “1984” are Adult: $22.00, Youth: $10.00, and Michigan Tech Students at no charge with Experience Tech Fee, and are available by phone, (906) 487-2073, online, in person at the Central Ticketing Office in the Student Development Complex, or at the Rozsa Box office the night of the show.