UC Berkeley School of Information
Summary: Lectures, seminars, talks, and events held at UC Berkeley's School of Information.
Fast growing startups can launch your career. But breaking into one can sometimes feel like learning a new language. Join Dhawal Mujumdar, MIMS alum 2011 and founder of AdsNative, as he shares insider tips and first-hand experience on making your career in the startup world. Learn how to find interesting startups and evaluate their worth, what roles are most sought after from founders at various stages of the company, how to determine what you bring to the table, and finally - how to connect with startups in a meaningful way, framing your experience to present maximum value and produce positive results. . . . . . . . . Dhawal Mujumdar is a founder of AdsNative, a fast growing startup based out of San Francisco that builds leading monetization software for apps and websites. AdsNative has raised $11 Million in venture financing from leading institutional investors and have offices in San Francisco, New York City, and Bangalore, India. Dhawal has bachelors degree in Computer Science and attended UC Berkeley for his master's degree from School of Information. Dhawal also worked as a visiting lecturer at UC Berkeley.
Tech entrepreneurs and policy wonks share a common desire to understand and shape the world, but often have different views, tools, and models for impact. Hear an inside perspective from two former members of President Obama’s White House team about how tech policy and presidential priorities intersect, and how technology will increasingly drive the decision-making process and implementation in the years to come. . . . . . . . . . . . Nicole Wong Former U.S. Deputy Chief Technology Officer Nicole Wong is the former U.S. Deputy Chief Technology Officer focusing on internet, privacy, and innovation policy. Prior to joining the Obama administration, Nicole served as the legal director for products at Twitter. From 2004 to 2011, she was Google’s vice president and deputy general counsel, primarily responsible for the company’s product and regulatory matters. Before joining Google, Nicole was a partner at the law firm of Perkins Coie and advised some of Silicon Valley’s early and notable tech companies, including Yahoo!, Hotmail, and Netscape. She also has taught media and internet law and policy courses as an adjunct professor and lecturer at UC Berkeley, Stanford University, and University of San Francisco. Nicole is a frequent speaker and author on issues related to law and technology, including five appearances before the US Congress regarding internet policy. She is a founding columnist for the Christian Science Monitor’s Passcode, a section covering online security and privacy in the digital age. She serves as an advisor to the UC Berkeley School of Information, the Harvard Business School Digital Initiative, and several technology companies on privacy, regulatory strategy and international development. Nicole chairs the board of Friends of Global Voices, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting citizen and online media projects globally, and sits on the board of WITNESS, an organization promoting the use of video to advance human rights. Nicole received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Georgetown University, and a law degree and a master’s degree in journalism from UC Berkeley. . . . . . . . . . . . Greg Nelson Former Chief of Staff, Special Assistant to the President, and Senior Advisor, National Economic Council, The White House Greg Nelson left the White House this summer after six and a half years as a senior leader in the economic policy, technology, and strategic partnerships teams. During his tenure, his policy portfolio included international trade, economic policy, and US participation in the G7 and G20, infrastructure, technology policy, energy, entrepreneurship, and startups. For two years, Greg was the chief of staff at the National Economic Council for director Gene Sperling, where he coordinated economic policy development, managed strategy and communications, and worked across the White House and cabinet to develop and implement the president’s economic policy priorities. Previously, Greg was deputy director of the White House Office of Public Engagement focused on public-private partnerships and setting up the White House’s private sector engagement infrastructure, including as deputy director of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. Prior to the White House, Greg built and sold a technology company, developed startups in energy and biomaterials, and consulted for businesses, nonprofits, and foundations. He holds a BA in political science and history from Yale University.
Twenty years after the World Wide Web was created, can we now make it better? How can we ensure that our most important values — privacy, free speech, and open access to knowledge — are enshrined in the code itself? In a provocative call to action, entrepreneur and Open Internet advocate Brewster Kahle challenges us to build a better, decentralized Web based on new distributed technologies. He lays out a path to creating a new Web that is reliable, private, but still fun — in order to lock the Web open for good. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A passionate advocate for public Internet access and a successful entrepreneur, Brewster Kahle has spent his career intent on a singular focus: providing universal access to all knowledge. He is the founder and digital librarian of the Internet Archive, one of the largest libraries in the world. Soon after graduating from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he studied artificial intelligence, Kahle helped found the company Thinking Machines, a supercomputer maker. In 1989, Kahle created the Internet’s first publishing system called Wide Area Information Server (WAIS), later selling the company to AOL. In 1996, Kahle co-founded Alexa Internet, which helps catalog the Web, selling it to Amazon.com in 1999. The Internet Archive, which he founded in 1996, now preserves 25 petabytes of data — the books, Web pages, music, television, and software of our cultural heritage, working with more than 450 library and university partners to create a digital library, accessible to all. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . About the Internet Archive The Internet Archive is a non-profit digital library founded by Brewster Kahle in 1996 with the mission to provide “Universal Access to All Knowledge.” The organization seeks to preserve the world’s cultural heritage and to provide open access to our shared knowledge in the digital era, supporting the work of historians, scholars, journalists, students, the blind and reading disabled, as well as the general public. The Internet Archive’s digital collections include more than 25 petabytes of data: 460 billion Web captures, moving images (2.2 million films and videos), audio (2.5 million recordings, 140,000 live concerts), texts (8 million texts including 3 million digital books), software (100,000 items) and television (3 million hours). Each day, 2-3 million visitors use or contribute to the archive, making it one of the world’s top 250 sites. It has created new models for digital conservation by forging alliances with more than 450 libraries, universities and national archives around the world. The Internet Archive champions the public benefit of online access to our cultural heritage and the import of adopting open standards for its preservation, discovery and presentation.
Will Facebook play a decisive role in the 2016 presidential primaries? Should Twitter be blamed for the rise of the Islamic State? Has the Chinese government successfully marginalized political dissent by controlling the companies that run China’s Internet? The fast-evolving power relationships — and clashes — among governments, corporations, and other non-state actors across digital networks pose fundamental challenges to how we think about governance, accountability, security, and human rights. Without new approaches to governance and accountability by public as well as private actors, the Internet of the future will no longer be compatible with the defense and protection of human rights. Nor will its users — or governments — be any more secure. Fortunately a nascent ecosystem of efforts are now experimenting with new ways to hold governments, companies, and other actors accountable when they exercise power across global networks. One such effort is the Ranking Digital Rights project, which sets forth a framework for measuring information and communication technology (ICT) companies’ commitments, policies, and practices affecting users’ freedom of expression and privacy. In this lecture, Ranking Digital Rights director Rebecca MacKinnon discusses the project’s Corporate Accountability Index as a concrete example how stakeholders around the globe are working to create new frameworks, mechanisms, and processes for holding power accountable and promoting the protection of human rights in a digitally networked world. . . . . . . . Rebecca MacKinnon is a leading advocate for Internet users’ rights to online freedom of expression and privacy around the world. She is author of the award-winning book Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle For Internet Freedom (Basic Books, 2012). Presently based at New America in Washington, D.C., she directs the Ranking Digital Rights project whose Corporate Accountability Index ranks the world’s most powerful Internet and telecommunications companies on policies and practices affecting users’ freedom of expression and privacy. MacKinnon is co-founder of the citizen media network Global Voices, a borderless community of more than 800 writers, digital media experts, activists, and translators living around the world who give voice to the stories of marginalized and misrepresented communities and who advocate for the free expression rights of Internet users everywhere. She also serves on the board of the Committee to Protect Journalists and is a founding member of the Global Network Initiative, a multi-stakeholder organization focused on upholding principles of freedom of expression and privacy in the ICT sector. Fluent in Mandarin Chinese, MacKinnon was CNN’s Beijing bureau chief from 1998 to 2001 and Tokyo bureau chief from 2001 to 2003. Since leaving CNN in 2004 she has held fellowships at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on the Press and Public Policy, the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, the Open Society Foundations, and Princeton’s Center for Information Technology Policy. For two years in 2007–08 she served on the faculty of the University of Hong Kong’s Journalism and Media Studies Centre, and taught as an adjunct lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania Law School in Fall 2013. She is also a visiting affiliate at the Annenberg School for Communication’s Center for Global Communications Studies. MacKinnon received her AB magna cum laude from Harvard University and was a Fulbright scholar in Taiwan. She presently lives in Washington, D.C.
Use of new data technologies now pervades our institutions, both private and government. But this data-driven revolution is far from complete. We can still influence where it takes us. I will discuss some of the current challenges we face, both technical and social, and how we might address them. Doug Cutting (@cutting) is the founder of numerous successful open-source projects, including Lucene, Nutch, Avro, and Hadoop. Doug joined Cloudera in 2009 from Yahoo!, where he was a key member of the team that built and deployed a production Hadoop storage and analysis cluster for mission-critical business analytics. Doug holds a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and sits on the board of the Apache Software Foundation.
Privacy is a critical challenge for mobile application development. Mobile applications are easy to build and distribute, and can collect diverse personal data. US policy approaches to data protection in the mobile ecosystem rely on privacy by design: approaches that encourage developers to proactively implement best-practice privacy features to protect sensitive data. But we don’t know what factors motivate developers to implement privacy features when faced with disincentives such as longer development timelines, markets for personal data, and tensions between data protection and data-enabled services. This project begins to identify these factors by investigating how mobile developers talk about and deal with privacy challenges. Interviews with developers and analysis of posts on developer forums reveal that developers are actively grappling with privacy issues. This talk will describe how developers define and legitimate privacy, and describe how knowledge of how to approach privacy problems is disseminated. Understanding the development of privacy as a professional practice can help us shape better guidelines for privacy by design, and broach challenges to the widespread adoption of privacy by design principles. Katie Shilton is an assistant professor in the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. Her research explores ethics and policy for the design of information collections, systems and technologies. Current research projects include an investigation of ethics in mobile application development; a project focused on the values and policy implications of Named Data Networking, a new approach to Internet architecture; surveys of consumer privacy expectations in the mobile data ecosystem; and investigating researchers’ ethical beliefs and practices when using online open data sets. Her work has been supported by a Google Faculty Award and several awards from the U.S. National Science Foundation, including an NSF CAREER award. Katie received a B.A. from Oberlin College, a Master of Library and Information Science from UCLA, and a Ph.D. in information studies from UCLA.
Dale Dougherty is the founder and executive chairman of Maker Media, Inc. which launched Make: magazine in 2005, and Maker Faire, which held its first event in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2006. Dale’s vision and mission continue to be the guiding force for the family of brands. “The maker movement is contributing to a thriving market ecosystem, serving the needs of makers as they seek out product support, startup advice, and funding avenues. Make: plays an important role as a collaborator and resource for makers as they transition from hobbyists to professionals.” As executive chairman, Dale is involved in editorial and content strategy and both business and product development. As part of this process, he forges strategic partnerships in support of maker education and global, cultural, and economic initiatives. Make: began at O’Reilly Media, where Dale was a co-founder and the first editor of their computing trade books. When not in the office, Dale can be found making award-winning wines with his family in Sebastopol, CA.
Once upon a time, interacting anonymously online meant talking to strangers who could be anywhere in the world and knew very little about you, and about whom you knew very little. Thanks to GPS, ubiquitous mobile devices and an array of recent apps, however, we can now very easily connect anonymously with friends and strangers who are physically nearby. And as anybody who has read reports of (or experienced) cyberbullying or used apps like Grindr/Tinder/Scruff to meet, um, friends can tell you, local anonymity is very different. In this talk I will be reporting on several recent studies of activity on Facebook and Grindr that explore how location-awareness and interacting with local strangers affects the nature of our interactions and self-presentation. Results suggest that people may feel more free to discuss sensitive topics or explore stigmatized identities when anonymous, but that also being local increases their concerns about being recognized by others. Bio: Jeremy Birnholtz is an associate professor in the departments of communication studies and electrical engineering and computer science at Northwestern University. He recently served as a visiting professor on the core data science team at Facebook. His research aims to improve the usefulness and usability of communication and collaboration tools, via a focus on understanding and exploiting mechanisms of human attention and identity management. Jeremy's work has been published in the ACM CHI, CSCW and Group Proceedings, as well as in Organization Science, HCI, JASIST, JCMC, and Computers in Human Behavior. His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, Google, Facebook and the US Department of Agriculture.
The extent to which we are subject to surveillance — the collection of information about us, by government, commercial, or individual agents — is in large part an economic question. Surveillance takes effort and resources — spend more and we can do better surveillance. Protecting against surveillance also takes effort and resources. Given the state of technology, the amount of effort and money each side expends determines what is surveilled and what is kept private. As technology changes, both the cost and the desirability of surveillance, and protection against surveillance, change. We can confidently predict that information technology and communication costs will continue to decrease, and capabilities to surveil and protect against it will improve. What are the consequences for our privacy? Will we have a future with more or less privacy? Which do we want? Bio: Jeffrey MacKie-Mason will be joining UC Berkeley on October 1 as University Librarian and Chief Digital Scholarship Officer. For the past 29 years, Jeff has been a faculty member at the University of Michigan, where he was the Arthur W. Burks Collegiate Professor of Information and Computer Science, and also a professor of economics and a professor of public policy. For the last five years he has been the dean of Michigan’s School of Information. Jeff has been a pioneering scholar of the economics of the Internet and online behavior and a frequent co-author with the Berkeley I School’s first dean, Hal Varian. He has also led the development of the incentive-centered design approach to online information services.
Bob Bell & Stuart Geiger (Ph.D. 2015) look back on their years of doctoral study and what they've learned.
Sharon X. Lin (MIDS 2015) reflects on being the very first class of the School's data science master's program.
Robyn Perry (MIMS 2015) gives her classmates “one last good ideological brainwashing” and challenges them to “combine idealism with entrepreneurialism and find practical ways to make the world a better place — instead of just devising new ways to make people click on ads.”
Carl Bass, CEO of Autodesk, reflects on the power of information and challenges the I School's 2015 graduates to use that power for good.
In this talk, Hugh Williams shares over ten years of experience in using customer data to improve product experiences and drive business results. He shares stories of both quantitatively and qualitatively understanding customers, and how the large Internet giants experiment, measure, and improve their experiences. He talks about flaws and stories of failed experimentation, and the pitfalls of large scale measurement. He also discusses his career as an executive at Microsoft, eBay, and Pivotal, and talks about what he plans to do next. A significant part of the talk will be interactive, with plenty of time for questions and discussion. This talk was a guest lecture for the course Info 296A. Data Science and Analytics: Thought Leaders. Hugh E. Williams has spent twenty years researching and developing search engines, web services, and big data technologies. From 2009 to 2013, Hugh was with eBay. He led a large cross-disciplinary team that turned-around the Marketplaces business. His teams conceived, designed, and built eBay’s user experiences, search engine, big data technologies, and platforms. Prior to eBay, he spent 4+ years managing a search engine R&D team at Microsoft’s Bing, 10+ years researching and developing search technologies, and 5 years running his own startup and consultancy. He has published over 100 works, mostly in the field of information retrieval, including two books, Web Database Applications with PHP and MySQL and Learning Mysql, for O’Reilly Media, Inc. He holds nineteen US patents and has many more pending. He has a Ph.D. from RMIT University in Australia.
“Your data will only be used in aggregated form.” What does this statement mean, and why is it so often included in privacy policies? Drawing from examples in the popular press and the technical literature, the talk will scrutinize the common intuition that privacy is ensured by aggregation and show that information — and hence privacy loss — flows in mysterious ways. Arguing that the situation demands a mathematically rigorous treatment of privacy, the talk will introduce “differential privacy,” a field of research supporting a strong definition of privacy tailored to analysis of large data sets. This still-growing approach is thriving and is beginning to enter practice. Bio: Cynthia Dwork, a distinguished scientist at Microsoft Research, is renowned for placing privacy-preserving data analysis on a mathematically rigorous foundation. A cornerstone of this work is differential privacy, a strong privacy guarantee frequently permitting highly accurate data analysis. Dr. Dwork has also made seminal contributions in cryptography and distributed computing, and is a recipient of the Edsger W. Dijkstra Prize, recognizing some of her earliest work establishing the pillars on which every fault-tolerant system has been built for decades. She is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering, and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.