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Engineer Specializing in Materials and Data Science
University of Michigan

The Medium Place: Big Data and Ethics

Presentation Abstract:

We deal with big data every day through social media, advertisements, digital assistants, and more. However, big data is also used in finance, health care, and criminal justice to make choices that impact many, but often behind the scenes. In this talk, I will go over how algorithms learn from data, how this process can unintentionally go wrong, and what ethical questions arise when they do. These questions will not be settled by the end of the talk, but in discussing them, I hope we can learn to think more critically about the data-fueled world around us.


Ben is a graduate from the University of Michigan who studied materials science and engineering through computer simulations of self-assembling nanoparticles. As part of his studies, he learned about the predictive power of data science as well as the ethical considerations presented at this talk. When not thinking about materials science or big data, you can find him watching Netflix with his girlfriend, playing board or video games with friends, or cooking.