Monday, November 8, 2010

Big Data, Global Development, & Complex Social Systems - A Talk with Nathan Eagle

When: Mon, Nov 22, 2010; 3:30-5:00pm; refreshments served.
Where: IBM Research, 1 Rogers St, Cambridge MA 02142
Free and open to the public with RSVP at Eventbrite
Discounted parking at Galleria Mall. Bring parking ticket for validation.

About the talk
Vast amounts data about human movements, transactions, and communication patterns are continuously being generated by everyday technologies such as mobile phones and credit cards. This unprecedented volume of information provides a novel set of research questions that can be applied to a wide range of issues.

Nathan Eagle and his colleagues - in collaboration with the mobile phone, internet, and credit card industries - are collecting and analyzing behavioral data from over 250 million people across the world. In this talk, he will discuss some projects that focus on behavioral dynamics over a broad spectrum of scales - from risky behavior in a group of MIT freshman, to wealth in the UK, and cholera outbreaks in Rwanda.

This vast volume of data requires new analytical tools. Nathan's team is developing a range of large-scale network analysis and machine learning algorithms designed to provide deeper insight into human behavior. His goal, as he says, is "to determine how we can use these insights to actively improve the lives of the billions of people who generate this data and the societies in which they live."

About Nathan Eagle
Nathan Eagle is a Visiting Assistant Professor at the MIT, a Research Assistant Professor at Northeastern University, and an Omidyar Fellow at the Santa Fe Institute. His research involves engineering computational tools, designed to explore how data generated about human behavioral patterns can be used for social good.

Nathan is the CEO of txteagle Inc, a mobile crowdsourcing company that has recently become one of the largest employers in Kenya. txteagle helps companies increase productivity, reduce expenses, and gain new insights by harnessing the power of the massive, low cost workforce in the developing world. They have a patent-pending platform that is enabling 2 billion mobile phone users in 80 countries to earn money or airtime by doing work on a phone or computer.

He holds a BS and two MS degrees from Stanford University. His PhD from the MIT Media Lab on Reality Mining was declared one of the "ten technologies most likely to change the way we live" by the MIT Technology Review.

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