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Professor Jeffrey Brock: Data Science as a Liberal Art

  • Salesforce Cafe in Rincon Center 101 Spear Street San Francisco (map)

Data Science as a Liberal Art

Our ability to generate, process, and interact with data has placed us in the midst of a great societal transformation. From self-driving cars, to 'smart' digital assistants and appliances, to automated medical diagnostic tools, abundant new machines blur the boundary between our own decisions and data-driven artificial intelligence. This 'data revolution' raises as many questions as it answers: How do we guarantee results? How do we distinguish correlation from causality? How do we re-envision academic inquiry with this data genie out of the bottle? In this talk, Professor Brock will introduce Brown's Data Science Initiative, presenting plans to engage such questions from a critical perspective and reaffirm the value of a liberal arts education to train a new generation of leaders.

Jeffrey Brock is Professor of Mathematics at Brown University, and the Director of Brown's recently launched Data Science Initiative, a collaborative effort at Brown to form a campus hub for trans-disciplinary research and education in foundations and applications of data science. Brock’s research focuses on low-dimensional geometry and topology, particularly on spaces with hyperbolic geometry. He received his undergraduate degree in mathematics at Yale University and his Ph.D. in mathematics from U.C. Berkeley. After holding postdoctoral positions at Stanford University and the University of Chicago, he joined the Math Department at Brown in 2004. He has had continuous National Science Foundation support since receiving his Ph.D and was awarded a John S. Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in 2008. Brock served as Chair of the Mathematics Department at Brown from 2014-2017 and was recently elected Fellow of the American Mathematical Society. He is also jazz bass player, an avid sculler, and father of three. He lives with his wife Sarah and their children in Barrington, RI.

This event is generously hosted at Salesforce by Anna Heery '12Pablo Quintanilla '02, and Shae Selix '12.

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