Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Speaker Series now on YouTube

For the past two years, The Center has hosted talks by a variety of speakers - all somehow related to social networks, social media, communities, and data analytics. We have been able to video many of these talks and recently launched our own Channel on YouTube.

Curious about what S. Craig Watkins, author of The Young and the Digital, has to say about young technology users and how that technology is shaping their lives?

Want to hear first-hand about entrepreneur Yuchun Lee's days counting cards on the MIT Blackjack team, his experience running a small company, and what it's like going from a startup to a very big company called IBM?

What social, biological, and mathematical principles help determine how and why human social networks form and how they operate? Nicholas Christakis talks about his lab's work - using observational and experimental datasets to understand the structure and function of human networks.

MIT's Sandy Pentland explores how increased productivity and creative output are key to understanding how social networks - face-to-face and digital - shape the behavior of both employees and customers.

Watch these videos and more on our Speaker Series Videos.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Race Against the Machine: A Conversation with Andrew McAfee

The IBM Center for Social Software (soon to become the Center for Social Business) is very pleased to welcome Andrew McAfee to our Fall 2011 Speaker Series.  Join us on November 7 at 3:30 PM for a memorable event. This talk is open to the public and free of charge. Refreshments will be served.

Register on Eventbrite  Andrew McAfee at IBM

About the Talk

Digital technologies are rapidly encroaching on skills that used to belong to humans alone. This phenomenon is broad and deep, and has profound economic implications. Many of these implications are positive; digital innovation increases productivity, reduces prices (sometimes to zero), and grows the overall economic pie. But digital innovation has also changed how the economic pie is distributed, and here the news is not good for the median worker. As technology races ahead, it can leave many people behind. Workers whose skills have been mastered by computers have less to offer the job market, and see their wages and prospects shrink. Entrepreneurial business models, new organizational structures and different institutions are needed to ensure that the average worker is not left behind by cutting-edge machines. McAfee brings together a range of statistics, examples, and arguments to show that technological progress is accelerating, and that this trend has deep consequences for skills, wages, and jobs. He makes the case that employment prospects are grim for many today not because technology has stagnated, but instead because we humans and our organizations aren't keeping up.

About Andrew McAfee
Andrew McAfee studies the ways that information technology (IT) affects businesses and business as a whole. His research investigates how IT changes the way companies perform, organize themselves, and compete. At a higher level, his work also investigates how computerization affects competition itself –  the struggle among rivals for dominance and survival within an industry. 

McAfee coined the phrase “Enterprise 2.0” in a spring 2006 Sloan Management Review article to describe the use of Web 2.0 tools and approaches by businesses. He also began blogging at that time, both about Enterprise 2.0 and about his other research. McAfee is currently a principal research scientist at the Center for Digital Business in the MIT Sloan School of Management, and a fellow at the Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. He received his Doctorate from Harvard Business School, and completed two Master of Science and two Bachelor of Science degrees at MIT.

Monday, October 3, 2011

MIT's Alex 'Sandy' Pentland: How Social Networks Shape Human Behavior...and Vice Versa

We start off our Fall 2011 Speaker Series on Monday, October 17 at 3:30 with MIT's Alex 'Sandy' Pentland. Sandy will explore how increased productivity and creative output are key to understanding how social networks, face-to-face and digital,  shape the behavior of both employees and customers. Through the `big data' collected by Sandy's research group via sensors, they are able to measure the behavior of hundreds of people over long periods of time, and build models that provide accurate predictions of human decision making across a wide range of, organization, and even city. These models can also be used to more effectively shape social behaviors. Sandy's team proved this when they won DARPA's 40th Anniversary Internet Grand Challenge.

As a consequence of these new capabilities, personal data is becoming ever more valuable... and also more dangerous.  To address this concern Sandy will describe his work with the World Economic Forum, which has led to the emergence of a new personal data framework.

Sandy directs MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory and the MIT Media Lab Entrepreneurship Program, and advises the World Economic Forum, Nissan Motor Corporation, and a variety of start-up firms. He has previously helped create and direct MIT’s Media Laboratory, the Media Lab Asia laboratories at the Indian Institutes of Technology, and Strong Hospital’s Center for Future Health.  Profiles of Sandy have appeared in many publications, including the New York Times, Forbes, and Harvard Business Review.

Sandy is among the most-cited computational scientists in the world, and a pioneer in computational social science, organizational engineering, mobile computing, image understanding, and modern biometrics. His research has been featured in Nature, Science, the World Economic Forum, and Harvard Business Review, as well as being the focus of TV features including Nova and Scientific American Frontiers.  His most recent book is `Honest Signals,' published by MIT Press.

To register for this talk, please go to Eventbrite.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Taking Risks - Yuchun Lee's Journey from Blackjack to Big Blue

Our final speaker for the Spring 2011 series Is Yuchun Lee, currently the VP of IBM's Enterprise Marketing Management Group. He will tell his personal story - about his days counting cards on the now-famous Blackjack team at MIT, his experience at Unica running a small company, and what it's like going from a startup to being bought out by a very big company.

About Yuchun Lee

Yuchun Lee is a born entrepreneur who came to the U.S. from Taiwan when he was 13. By then he was already “fascinated by the concept of commerce,” he says, in particular, “how to accumulate business and make more money.” He started a software company while in high school in Houston, TX, and says he got in his proverbial “10,000 hours” of experience with computers and programming during those formative years.

In the mid-1980s, Lee came to Boston to do his undergraduate and master’s degrees at MIT in electrical engineering and computer science. After graduating in 1989, he went to work for Digital Equipment Corporation, the venerable Route 128 computer company. Lee left DEC and started Unica in 1992, together with two other MIT grads. Unica was acquired by IBM in 2010.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Genevieve Bell - Fellow & Director of Interaction and UX Labs at Intel

The IBM Center for Social Software welcomes
Intel Fellow, Intel Labs
Director, Interaction & Experience Research

Divining a Digital Future

Genevieve Bell joined Intel in 1998 as a researcher in Corporate Technology Group's People and Practices Research team — Intel's first social science oriented research team. She helped drive the company's first non-U.S. field studies to inform business group strategy and products and conducted groundbreaking work in urban Asia in the early 2000s. Bell has been the driving force behind Intel's emerging user-experience focus: over the last decade, she has fundamentally changed how Intel envisions, plans, and develops its platforms.
Bell currently leads an R&D team of social scientists, interaction designers, human factors engineers, and a range of technology researchers to create the next generation of compelling user experiences across a range of internet-connected devices, platforms, and services. She will drive user-centered experience and design across the compute continuum.
Prior to joining Intel, Bell was a lecturer in the Department of Anthropology at Stanford University. She has written more than 25 journal articles and book chapters on a range of subjects focused on the intersection of technology and society. Her book, "Divining the Digital Future," co-authored with Prof. Paul Dourish, will be released by MIT Press in spring 2011.
Raised in Australia, Bell received her bachelor's degree in anthropology from Bryn Mawr College in 1990. She received her master's and doctorate degrees in anthropology from Stanford University in 1993 and 1998, respectively.

  • Monday, May 16, 2011, 3:30 - 5:00pm; refreshments served
  • IBM Research, 1 Rogers St, Cambridge MA
  • Free and open to the public: RSVP @ Eventbrite
  • Discounted parking at Galleria Mall. Bring ticket for validation

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Our Spring speaker series presents Tom Malone on Collective Intellgence

Join us for a talk with Tom Malone, the founder of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence, and a Professor at the MIT Sloan School.

Monday, May 02, 3:30-5:00pm
1 Rogers St, Cambridge
Open to the public

Collective Intelligence: What is it?
How can we measure it and how can we increase it?

Tom’s talk will describe how the techniques used to measure individual intelligence can be used to measure the "collective intelligence" of groups. Just as with individuals, a single statistical factor can predict the performance of a group on a wide range of different tasks. Although this factor is weakly correlated with the individual intelligence of group members, it is strongly correlated with the social perceptiveness, conversational behavior, and gender of group members.

Tom will also discuss other work being done to increase collective intelligence by: (a) combining predictions from humans and computers, (b) mapping the "genome" of collective intelligence, and (c) harnessing ideas from thousands of people around the world for dealing with global climate change.

About Tom
Thomas W. Malone is the Patrick J. McGovern Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management and the founding director of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence. He was also the founding director of the MIT Center for Coordination Science and one of the two founding co-directors of the MIT Initiative on "Inventing the Organizations of the 21st Century". Professor Malone teaches classes on leadership and information technology, and his research focuses on how new organizations can be designed to take advantage of the possibilities provided by information technology.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Chieko Asakawa, IBM Fellow at the Yamato Research Lab in Tokyo, Receives 2011 Anita Borg Award

The Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology (ABI) was founded in 1997 by renowned computer scientist Anita Borg, Ph.D. (1949-2003). Initially known as the Institute for Women in Technology, IWT was renamed in 2003 to the Anita Borg Institute in order to honor Dr. Borg.

The ABI Women of Vision Awards, hosted by the ABI Board of Trustees, honors women making significant contributions to technology. One winner is selected in each category: Innovation, Leadership, and Social Impact.

This year, Chieko Asakawa has been named the Women of Vision Award winner in the Leadership category. She is recognized for her work as a leader in the field of accessibility. Her work at IBM has led to breakthrough technologies including Japan’s first computer based Braille library system and Home Page Reader which has helped the visually impaired and others with disabilities, easily surf websites. Her most recent innovation, aDesigner, is used by Web designers today across the globe to help them build pages that are accessible to those with poor sight.

Based on decades of unrelenting efforts, Chieko has become an international leader in accessibility research. After helping to create Japan’s digital Braille network in the 1980s, Chieko developed a pioneering voice browser, and from her work, IBM released the Home Page Reader in 1997.

In 2008, Chieko launched the Social Accessibility project. The project introduced a brand new approach to creating bridges among the communities of visually impaired web users who face web accessibility issues. Using a mix of server based and client based software developed by her team, Chieko’s team developed a solution which offers an open and collaborative environment where everyone can work together to address accessibility issues.

Chieko joined IBM in 1985 and became an IBM Fellow in 2009. She received her Doctorate from the University of Tokyo in 2004, and she is a member of the IBM Academy of Technology. Inducted into the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame in 2003, Chieko is also a member of the Association for Computer Machinery(ACM), a member of the Institute of Electronics, Information and Communication Engineers(IEICE), and a Fellow of the Information Processing Society of Japan(IPSJ ).

Chieko has received a number of awards, including the 2010 SWE Achievement Award, the highest honor from the Society of Women Engineers in 2010 in recognition of her pioneering research and technical advances in web accessibility.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Lawrence Lessig on Institutional Corruption

Join us at the IBM Center for Social Software for a talk with Lawrence Lessig

Monday, Feb 07, 2011. 3:30-5:00pm; refreshments served
IBM Research, 1 Rogers St, Cambridge MA 02142
Free and open to the public with RSVP at eventbrite
Discounted parking at Galleria Mall. Bring ticket to validate.

About Lawrence Lessig

Lawrence Lessig is the Director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University, and a Professor of Law at Harvard Law School.

Prior to his current work at Harvard, Lessig was a Professor of Law at Stanford Law School (where he was founder of Stanford's Center for Internet and Society), Harvard Law School (1997-2000), and the University of Chicago Law School. Lessig clerked for Judge Richard Posner on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and Justice Antonin Scalia on the United States Supreme Court.

For much of his academic career, Lessig has focused on law and technology, especially as it affects copyright. His current academic work probes the question of "institutional corruption" — roughly, the dependencies within an economy of influence that weaken the effectiveness of an institution, or weaken public trust. His current work at the EJ Safra Lab oversees a 5 year research project addressing institutional corruption in a number of contexts.