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Nate Silver: Does Racism Affect How You Vote?

Nate Silver’s 2009 TED Talk explores how racism is a statistically predictable factor in an election, suggesting that predictable problems are designable and therefore may have solutions.

Can Big Data Distract?

Guest author Dan Gillick, a Research Scientist at Google, explores the pros and cons of relying on “Big” Data, asking if the availability of massive datasets is a help or hindrance to a data scientist’s ultimate research goal.

Aaron Koblin: Artfully Visualizing Our Humanity

In this 2011 TED Talk, Aaron Koblin uses Amazon’s Mechanical Turk crowdsourcing marketplace and custom drawing applications to create collaborative video, with each frame created by a different volunteer. He believes that culture in the 21st century will be defined by the interfaces that we use to tell stories. He also believes that “data can make us more human.”

Ask a Data Scientist at Rent the Runway

I recently sat down with Anna Smith to discuss her educational background, her work at Bitly and her current role as a data scientist for Rent the Runway. With such a strong data background to her credit, you’d think that she’s had years of training and planning to get to where she is today, but that’s only part of the truth. Anna actually got her start at Bitly when she accepted a summer internship at the company as a graduate student in physics. She loved the work so much that she signed on as a full-time employee and never looked back.

Shyam Sankar: The Rise of Human-Computer Cooperation

In his 2012 TED Talk, Shyam Sankar provides real-world examples of how cooperation between humans and computing machines is more powerful than either working alone. This is an extension of early computer science pioneer J.C.R. Licklider’s “intelligence augmentation” approach rather than the dominant artificial intelligence (AI) paradigm.