March 2019

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Narrative in the Natural Sciences and Humanities

Narrative in the Natural Sciences and Humanities

February 28, 2019 to March 01, 2019
8:30 am - 4:00 pm

Location: 

Faculty House, Columbia University, New York

Event Type: 

RSVP Here

While all disciplines employ narrative in their work to summarize and communicate their theories, methods, and results, the realm of narrating (more colloquially known as storytelling) has traditionally been considered a literary or historical endeavor under the purview of the humanities and social sciences. This is no longer the case. As evidenced by the burgeoning fields of narrative medicine and science communication, narratives and narrating are also important tools for the natural sciences. Neuroscientists have even recently proposed that “narrative” may be a better way of theorizing about the processes by which the brain represents the context used to sort and order memories in order to create a timeline of events. In light of this development, the conference seeks to explore the following topics:

  • What “narrative” means, and the role it plays, in the humanities, social sciences, journalism, law, the natural sciences, and medicine.
  • Why humans create narratives--perspectives from anthropology to neuroscience.
  • Narrating with “qualitative” and with “quantitative” data.
  • Communicating to the public through narratives and storytelling.

​This symposium follows on the conference, Evidence: An Interdisciplinary Conversation about Knowing and Certainty, held at Columbia University on April 21-22, 2017 and The Success of Failure: Perspectives from the Arts, Sciences, Humanities, Education, and Law, held at Columbia University on December 7-8, 2017. Similar in format, speakers from different disciplines are invited to share their perspective and then engage in a moderated discussion. The conference also includes a public keynote lecture and a workshop for students on science communication that will allow participants to put what they have learned from the conference into practice.


  • Thursday, February 28 8:30am-7:00pm at Faculty House, Columbia University
  • Friday, March 1 8:30am-4:30pm at Faculty House, Columbia University

An opening event, "Narrating Community Power (Narrative in the Arts)" is scheduled at Caveat on February 27, 2019. Registration for this event is separate; please see the Narrating Community Power (Narrative in the Arts) event webpage for details. 

This conference is free and open to the public, but registration is required via Eventbrite. Please email Project Manager Roshana Nabi (rn2019@columbia.edu) with any questions. 

Please visit the Faculty House website for directions.

Find out more on the conference event page here.


 

This conference is co-sponsored by ISERP, The Center for Science and Society, The Heyman Center for the Humanities, The Department of History, the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society, The Narrative Medicine program, the School of Professional Studies, Caveat, and the John Templeton Foundation

8:30 am - 4:00 pm
 
 
 
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Cognition and Decision Seminar Series - Molly Crockett

Cognition and Decision Seminar Series - Molly Crockett

March 07, 2019
4:15 pm - 5:30 pm

Location: 

Greene Science Center, 9th floor Lecture Hall

Event Type: 

The Cognition and Decision Seminar Series brings together scholars from economics, psychology, neuroscience and other fields who are united by an interest in the cognitive mechanisms involved in decision making and related behavior, and the ways in which a better understanding of these mechanisms can lead to more accurate models of human behavior and more effective public policies. Research presented in the seminars employs a variety of methods, including but not limited to physiological measurement of nervous systems, observation of decision making in laboratory settings, computational modeling of decision processes, and normative analyses of optimal decisions subject to information constraints or limits on the complexity of processing.

The seminar meets from 4:15-5:30 PM, generally on Thursdays in the Greene Science Center, 9th floor Lecture Hall (press for directions). Registration is required, in order to allow entry to the building.

The seminar organizers are Mark Dean, Eric Johnson, Michael Shadlen, Daphna Shohamy, and Michael Woodford. The Cognition and Decision Seminar Series is jointly sponsored by the Cognitive and Behavioral Economics Initiative of the Department of Economics, and the Center for Decision Sciences of Columbia Business School.

To stay up to date on the seminar series, please join the mailing list.


Molly Crockett

Thursday, March 7, 2019, 4:15 pm - 5:30 pm

Greene Science Center, 9th floor Lecture Hall
4:15 pm - 5:30 pm
 
Workshop on 20th Century Politics and Society - Theda Skocpol

Workshop on 20th Century Politics and Society - Theda Skocpol

March 07, 2019
4:20-6pm

Location: 

Lehman Center, Room 406, IAB, 420 West 118th Street, New York, NY 10027

Event Type: 

Theda Skocpol (Harvard) will join the Workshop on 20th Century Politics and Society to present "Resist, Persist, and Transform: The Emergence and Impact of Grassroots Resistance Groups in the Early Trump Presidency" (coauthored with Leah Gose).

4:20-6pm
 
Great Women at Columbia: Panel Discussion

Great Women at Columbia: Panel Discussion

March 08, 2019
Friday, March 8, 2019 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Location: 

The Forum at Columbia University ,605 W. 125th St., New York, NY 10027 Room/Area: Auditorium

Event Type: 

A discussion about factors that may have kept women back historically- periods, HIV, maternal health, gender specific policy-, current forces that include #metoo, #timesup, lean in, the increase in women's political representation, and what the future of equity/equality looks like- if that's not setting the bar too low.

The panel discussion includes: 

Avril Haines, Deputy Director, Columbia World Projects, Lecturer in Law, Adjunct Senior Research Scholar in the Faculty of International and Public Affairs, and the ex-deputy director of the CIA. 

Nancy Reame, Mary Dickey Lindsay Professor Emerita of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion in the Faculty of Nursing, Director of Pilot Studies Core, Irving Institute for Clinical & Translational Research, is a long standing advisor to the iconic Our Bodies, Ourselves, and helped conduct tampon absorbency tests with the FDA after the slew of Toxic Shock Syndrome related deaths in the 70s here in the US. 

Lynn Freedman, Professor Population and Family Health at the Columbia University Medical Center, working with the UN, NGOs and Governments on maternal health in over 50 countries. 

Yasmine Ergas, Director of Specialization of Gender and Public Policy and Lecturer in Discipline in International and Public Affairs, whose previous work has dealt with feminist movements and the social implications of HIV.

Friday, March 8, 2019 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
 
Computational Social Science Data for Good Seminar: The Analysis of News Consumption through Co-Exposure Networks

Computational Social Science Data for Good Seminar: The Analysis of News Consumption through Co-Exposure Networks

March 08, 2019
1:00 - 2:30 PM

Location: 

ISERP Conference Room (IAB 270B) International Affairs Building 270B 420 West 118th St New York, NY, 10027

Event Type: 

 


RSVP Here


The Analysis of News Consumption through Co-Exposure Networks

Sandra González-Bailón

Friday, March 8, 1-2:30pm

ISERP Conference Room (IAB 270B)

Lunch provided | RSVP required

Online platforms are becoming the main source of news for the majority of the population, and yet there is still a lack of comparative evidence analyzing patterns of news consumption across political contexts. In this talk, I will discuss an ongoing project that employs network science tools to uncover aggregate patterns of news consumption and determine whether there is evidence of fragmentation and self-selection across demographic groups and national contexts. The core of the approach consists on analyzing exposure networks where the nodes are news sources and the edges map the number of users co-exposed to those sources. The analysis of these networks allows us to build standardized indicators of exposure to news that we can then compare across countries, demographic groups, and digital platforms – thus offering evidence to test ongoing claims of the effects of digital technologies on access to political information.


Speaker Bio:

Sandra González-Bailón's research areas include network science, data mining, computational tools, and political communication. Her applied research focuses on the analysis of social media, political protests, mobilization dynamics, information diffusion, and news consumption.

Sandra González-Bailón is an Associate Professor at the Annenberg School for Communication, and affiliated faculty at the Warren Center for Network and Data Sciences(link is external). Prior to joining Penn, she was a Research Fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute(link is external) (2008-2013), where she is now a Research Associate(link is external). She completed her doctoral degree in Nuffield College(link is external) (University of Oxford) and her undergraduate studies at the University of Barcelona(link is external). Her research lies at the intersection of network science, data mining, computational tools, and political communication. She leads the research group DiMeNet –acronym for Digital Media, Networks, and Political Communication.

Her book Decoding the Social World(link is external) (MIT Press, December 2017) explains how data science and the analysis of networks help us solve the puzzle of unintended consequences – or why our intentional actions often trigger outcomes that we did not intend or even envision. The key to the puzzle, the book argues, is to integrate different levels of analysis in our theories of social change, something we can do now because of new data and computational tools.

Her most recent project, “Digital News and the Consumption of Information Online” (2017-2020) is funded by the National Science Foundation.

RSVP Here

1:00 - 2:30 PM
 
 
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Computational Social Science Seminar: Algorithmic Fairness in Large Networks

Computational Social Science Seminar: Algorithmic Fairness in Large Networks

March 25, 2019
1:00 - 2:30 PM

Location: 

IAB 270 - ISERP Conference Room International Affairs Building 420 West 118th St New York, NY, 10027

Event Type: 

 

RSVP Here


Algorithmic Fairness in Large Networks

Augustin Chaintreau, Associate Professor of Computer Science, Columbia University

Monday, March 25, 1-2:30PM

ISERP Conference Room (IAB 270)

Lunch provided | RSVP required

Seminar Abstract:

If you read technology news, or unfortunately perhaps in your own experience, you may have come across several examples of algorithmic unfairness. Disparate treatment or unequal outcomes where algorithmically induced decisions are perpetuating prior stereotypes or reinforcing inequalities. Where are those? Do we know where they may coming from? And what can computer scientists do about it?

The first half of this talk aims at surveying this nascent area. Its aim is to introduce three foundations of a fair deployment of Big Data (Privacy, Fair Algorithm, Transparency) to highlight their complementary merits. Vignettes of recent results will be introduced, as provocation for future discussions. It is also a good time to step back and distinguish what our field does to follow current successes and, in contrast, what may be more successful or needed in the future. The second half of the talk presents a case where seemingly benign random algorithm, of the kind used everyday for unsupervised learning, exacerbates the ``glass ceiling’’ present in social network that makes members of minority unlikely to reach a prominent status. We conclude that to expand and scale fairness methods to our intense and uncoordinated networked lives we need better models and algorithms that learn to correct themselves.


Speaker Bio: 

Augustin Chaintreau is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Columbia University since 2010, where he directs the Mobile Social Lab. The goal of his research is to reconcile the benefits of personal data and social networks with a commitment to fairness and privacy. His latest results address transparency in personalization, the role of human mobility in privacy across several domains, the efficiency of crowdsourced content curation, the fairness of incentives and algorithms used in social networking. His research lead to 35 papers in tier-1 conferences (five receiving best or best student paper awards at ACM CoNEXT, SIGMETRICS, USENIX IMC, IEEE MASS, Algotel), covered by several media including the NYT blog, The Washington Post, the Economist, or The Guardian. An ex student of the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, he earned a Ph.D in mathematics and computer science in 2006, a NSF CAREER Award in 2013 and the ACM SIGMETRICS Rising star award in 2013. He has been an active member of the network and web research community, serving in the program committees of ACM SIGMETRICS (as chair), FAT*, SIGCOMM, WWW, CoNEXT (as chair), EC, MobiCom, MobiHoc, IMC, WSDM, COSN, AAAI ICWSM, and IEEE Infocom, as area editor for IEEE TMC, ACM SIGCOMM CCR, ACM SIGMOBILE MC2R, and editor in chief for PACM POMACS.

RSVP Here

1:00 - 2:30 PM
 
 
 
CANCELED - Cognition and Decision Seminar Series - Dr. Adam Sanborn

CANCELED - Cognition and Decision Seminar Series - Dr. Adam Sanborn

March 28, 2019
4:15-5:30 PM

Location: 

Jerome L. Greene Science Center, 9th floor Lecture Hall

Event Type: 

 
 
Dr. Adam Sanborn
 Associate Professor of Psychology
University of Warwick
 

Bayesian Brains Without Probabilities
 

Over the past two decades, a wave of Bayesian explanations has swept through cognitive science, explaining behavior in domains from intuitive physics and causal learning, to perception, motor control and language. Yet people produce stunningly incorrect answers in response to even the simplest questions about probabilities. How can a supposedly Bayesian brain paradoxically reason so poorly with probabilities? Perhaps Bayesian brains do not represent or calculate probabilities at all and are, indeed, poorly adapted to do so. Instead the brain could be approximating Bayesian inference through sampling: drawing samples from its distribution of likely hypotheses over time. Only with infinite samples does a Bayesian sampler conform to the laws of probability, and in this talk I show how reasoning with a finite number of samples systematically generates classic probabilistic reasoning errors in individuals, upending the longstanding consensus on these effects. I then present work testing whether people sample when producing numeric estimates, and discuss what kind of sampling algorithm the brain might be using.

Thursday March 28th 4:15-5:30 PM
Jerome L. Greene Science Center,
9th floor Lecture Hall
Directions: https://manhattanville.columbia.edu/map

All attendees must register using the

sign up link below in order to gain access to the Jerome L. Greene Science Center.
 
 
4:15-5:30 PM
 
Just Societies Speaker Series: Thomas Piketty

Just Societies Speaker Series: Thomas Piketty

March 28, 2019
Thu, March 28, 2019 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM EDT

Location: 

Low Memorial Library 535 W 116th St New York, New York 10027

Event Type: 

The Division of Social Science is proud to present the Just Societies Speaker Series, one of the signature initiatives of Dean Fredrick Harris. These lectures spotlight the research of outstanding scholars working in a range of timely issues, including economic inequality, the experience of marginalized communities, and the impacts of policy and history on society's present and future. 

The second event of the Spring 2019 semester will feature Thomas Piketty, Professor of Economics at Ecole d'economie de Paris. Professor Piketty's lecture is entitled "Rising Inequality and Globalisation" and will take place in the Rotunda of Low Memorial Library on the afternoon of Thursday, March 28, 2019, beginning at 4:00pm.

This event is co-sponsored by Columbia's Maison Française and is free and open to all. Limited seating is available and registration is required for entry, so be sure to reserve your tickets today! RSVP here.

 

Thu, March 28, 2019 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM EDT
 
 
 
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