SidPac Presidential Lecture: Prof. Alex Pentland | Science to help build a better world


Liza Donnelly

Liza Donnelly

June 16, 2020

What might the world look like in a post-pandemic future? What computational social science says about our current problems, and how to build a more equal, inclusive, sustainable, and human-centered world....and in particular, how can we best understand persistent inequalities and how can we use this understanding to better address them? Professor Alex Pentland, one of the most cited scholars in the world and current member of MIT Media Lab, will outline his ideas and thoughts on the topic for the first of our on-line series of Sydney Pacific Presidential Lectures. The discussion will touch upon economic and social aspects and will include a Q+A session at the end.

Note: This event, which was previously scheduled for 6/10, has been rescheduled in light of the #ShutDownAcademia initiative. In support of the current anti-racist movement the talk will also be dedicated to discussing ways of understanding persistent inequalities in our society.

Speaker Bio

Professor Alex 'Sandy' Pentland directs MIT Connection Science, he is one of the most-cited computational scientists in the world, was central in creation of EU privacy law and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, serves on advisory boards for UN Secretary General and formerly American Bar Association, Google, AT&T, has founded more than a dozen not-for-profit and for-profit enterprises (which currently assist 10% of human births, mental health needs of 500k workers in US, etc), and is member of the U.S. National Academies. He has advised more than 70 PhD students, of which half are tenured faculty at leading institutions. and together Sandy and his students have pioneered computational social science, autonomous vehicles, wearable computing, Augmented Reality, and modern biometrics. His most recent books are Building the New Economy (MIT Press), Trusted Data (MIT Press), Social Physics (Penguin) and Honest Signals (MIT Press). Interesting experiences include staging fashion shows in Paris, Tokyo, and New York, and developing a method for counting beavers from space.

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