September 22-23, 2016

Location: MIT Media Lab, 75 Amherst St. Building E14-648, 6th Floor, Cambridge, MA 02139

Event Start Time:
8:30am Registration Check-in on September 22nd
Event End Time:
3:00pm on September 23rd

Thursday, September 22

Opening Remarks, 9:00-9:30am

MIT President L. Rafael Reif

Professor Munther Dahleh, Director of the Institute for Data, Systems, and Society

Morning Sessions:

Session 1: The Future of Voting, 9:30am-10:30am

The role of technology in voting has gained increasing prominence over the past decade, creating interdisciplinary collaborations between political, computer, and data scientists. Voting data contains an abundance of information that goes beyond the actual vote. This session will look at the complexity of voting, the usability of computing technologies (such as cryptography) in designing future voting systems, and how data is playing a role in understanding and predicting voting patterns and the outcome of elections.

  • Moderator: Professor Charles Stewart, MIT
  • Keynote: Mr. Nate Silver,
  • Professor Michael Alvarez, Caltech
  • Ms. Kassia DeVorsey, Chief Analytics Officer, Messina Group Analytics

Session 2: Data-Driven Policy, 10:30am-11:15am

While communities are collecting more data than ever before to measure effects of public policy, such data sets tend to be quite small. With the absence of a control group, the assessment of existing policies and the design of new ones utilizing such data bring new challenges to statistics and data science. This panel will explore such challenges and will highlight how data analysis has been quite effective in some applications.

  • Moderator: Professor Alberto Abadie, MIT
  • Keynote: Professor Enrico Giovannini, University of Rome Tor Vergata

Break 11:15am-11:45am

Session 3: Risk in Financial Systems, 11:45am-12:30pm

Recent research has been successful in deriving abstracted models of the interconnected financial systems that quantify systemic risk and address cascaded failures of such systems. However, combining such models with recorded data for the purpose of monitoring and mitigation continues to be a major research and practical challenge. This session will discuss such challenges, as well as the progress that has been made.

  • Moderator: Professor Asu Ozdaglar, MIT
  • Keynote: Professor Bengt Holmstrom, MIT

Lunch 12:30pm-1:30pm

Afternoon Sessions:

Remarks by Professor Ian A. Waitz, Dean of the School of Engineering, MIT, 1:30pm

Session 4: Social Networks, 1:45pm-2:50pm

Social networks through social media have brought to bear very large data representing people’s preferences and opinions, and have highlighted effective incentive mechanisms. Such networks also impact and inform a variety of complex systems in our society. Such data has brought in new security and privacy challenges that have occupied much of the research in data science. This panel will look at new opportunities for understanding social networks and human behavior, as well as technological methods for ensuring security and privacy.

  • Moderator: Professor Ali Jadbabaie, MIT
  • Professor Jon Kleinberg, Cornell University
  • Professor Matthew Jackson, Stanford University
  • Dr. Jeannette M. Wing, Microsoft Research
  • Dr. Cynthia Dwork, Microsoft Research

Session 5: Future Electric Grid, 3:00pm-4:00pm

The electric grid presents some of the most challenging engineering, social, and economic challenges of the future. With increased demands on electricity and increased penetration of renewable sources, the need for new innovations in dynamic demand response, spot markets, and distributed control is rapidly increasing. This session will discuss some of these challenges and current work.

  • Moderator: Professor Bob Armstrong, MIT
  • Professor William Hogan, Harvard University
  • Professor Michael Greenstone, University of Chicago
  • Professor Sally Benson, Stanford University
  • Professor Steven Low, Caltech

Break 4:00pm-4:30pm

Session 6: Student Session, 4:30pm-5:15pm
Student Session Chair: Professor Sandy Pentland, MIT

Posters and Networking at the Media Lab

6:00pm-8:30pm  Special Invite only Dinner
Introductory Remarks: Professor Martin Schmidt, MIT
Speaker: Professor Daron Acemoglu, MIT


Friday, September 23

Start Time: 9:00am
End Time: 2:45pm

Morning Sessions:

Remarks by Professor Melissa Nobles, Dean of the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, MIT, 9:00am

Session 7: Analyzing our Health, 9:15am-10:30am

The collection, aggregation, and analysis of medical data presents possibilities for future healthcare developments, including opportunities for personalized medicine and patient care. The use of big data in medicine also raises serious questions about patient privacy. This session will discuss ways in which the practice of medicine is being transformed by data.

  • Moderator: Professor Peter Szolovits, MIT
  • Keynote: Dr. DJ Patil, U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy
  • Dr. John Halamka, MD,Chief Information Officer, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
  • Professor Deborah Estrin, Cornell Tech
  • Dr. Elazer Edelman, MD, Brigham & Women’s Hospital & Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School of Medicine (HMS) and MIT Health Sciences and Technology Program (HST).

Break 10:30am-11:00am

Session 8: Driving Smart Cities forward, 11:00am-12:25pm

Cities will become increasingly interconnected through an ever-expanding “internet of things,” allowing governments, urban planners and engineers access to massive amounts of data about urban life. This data is being used to design, plan, and structure cities in the United States and around the world. This session seeks to explore the many facets of smart-cities research, design, planning, and transportation.

  • Moderator: Professor Sarah Williams, MIT
  • Keynote: Dr. Steven Koonin, NYU
  • Professor Rob Kitchin, Maynooth University
  • Professor Balaji Prabhakar, Stanford University
  • Professor Susan Crawford, Harvard Law School
  • Professor Alexandre Bayen, UC Berkeley

Lunch 12:30pm-1:30pm
Special Student Q&A Session for students and speakers.

Afternoon Sessions:

Session 9: From Applications To Theory, 1:30pm-2:30pm

While applications have their own nuances, there are overarching challenges that need to be identified and addressed. These include, among others, fundamental questions in prediction, robustness/risk, computation, system architecture, and privacy. This session will address some of the emerging challenges in these foundational fields in this new era of large data and complex systems.

  • Moderator: Caroline Uhler, MIT
  • Professor Allen Tannenbaum, Stony Brook University
  • Professor Elchanan Mossel, MIT
  • Professor David Tse, Stanford University
  • Professor Vincent Blondel, Rector, Université catholique de Louvain

Closing Remarks

2:45pm End