Data Science, Humanely

Lecture / Panel
For NYU Community

Speaker: Carlos Scheidegger, University of Arizona


 It is undeniable that machine learning has fundamentally changed what computers can do, especially as access to data sources and processing power continues to become easier. At the same time, the ability for us humans to actually make sense of these techniques has not progressed at nearly the same pace. In this talk, I will present two recent projects from our group which bring methods from data mining and machine learning into the human realm. The first project, DimReader, shows how automatic differentiation -- the same technique that drives modern machine learning infrastructure such as Torch and TensorFlow -- can be used to provide a deeper understanding of popular dimensionality reduction methods like t-SNE. I will then present work in the recent field of fairness in machine learning and automated decision making, specifically on runaway feedback loops and the assessment of black-box models.


Since 2014, Carlos Scheidegger is an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Arizona. He holds a PhD in Computing from the University of Utah, where he worked on software infrastructure for scientific collaboration. His current research interests are in large-scale data analysis, information visualization and, more broadly, what happens "when people meet data", for both good and bad. His research has been supported by both industry and the government through awards from the NSF and AT&T Labs, and his honors include multiple best paper awards including at the IEEE Visualization conference, and an IBM student fellowship.