Author Archives: Carolyn Classen

2018 UA Science lectures: “Humans, Data & Machines”

UA Science _ 2018 Lecture Series

Humans, Data and Machines

 Lectures will be held at Centennial Hall on the campus of the University of Arizona.  Mondays, 7 pm  (Jan. 22 to Feb. 26, 2018), 1020 E. University Blvd. Tucson

“In our automated lives, we generate and interact with unprecedented amounts of data. This sea of information is constantly searched, catalogued, analyzed and referenced by machines with the ability to uncover patterns unseen by their human creators. These new insights have far reaching implications for our society. From our everyday presence online, to scientists sequencing billions of genes or cataloging billions of stars, to cars that drive themselves – this series of six lectures will explore how the confluence of humans, data and machines extends beyond science – raising new philosophical and ethical questions.

For a mobile friendly version of this site visit uascience.org

Live Streaming, TV Broadcast and Digital Viewing Options
Each lecture is streamed live by Arizona Public Media On Demand. Each lecture will also air on television after a one-week delay on Mondays more information to follow when available.

Each lecture is also uploaded to YouTube 1-2 weeks after the lecture date. Links will be posted when available.

Jan 22 2018
Problem Solving with Algorithms

Stephen Kobourov, Professor of Computer Science, University of Arizona
The idea of computation and algorithms is old, but modern day computers are a relatively new phenomenon. Even more recent are the notions of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and big data.  While it is difficult to clearly define AI and ML it is evident that progress in these fields, combined with access to large datasets, has a significant impact on all aspects of our lives. This raises new mathematical and engineering challenges (can we solve previously unsolvable problems?), but also philosophical questions (can machines think?), and considerations in ethics and law (can machines be more objective than humans?).

Jan 29 2018

The Minds of Machines

Mihai Surdeanu, Associate Professor of Computer Science, University of Arizona
We are inundated daily with news about artificial intelligence (AI) achieving tremendous results, e.g., defeating human champions at Go, driving better than us, etc. But does this mean that we are approaching the technical singularity where artificial intelligence far surpasses the human one? Does this mean that machines truly think? In this talk we will analyze these questions and illustrate that AI does not think that way we think: machines do not have a good way to represent and reason with world knowledge, and, of course, they are not self aware. Instead, AI is designed to automate and scale up pattern recognition for specific tasks.  Because of this different goal, AI does perform better than humans at certain tasks. I will review a series of problems where AI outperforms humans, including specific applications of natural language understanding, precision medicine, identifying planetary objects, and other problems, many of which implemented here at University of Arizona.

Feb 5 2018

Working Alongside Thinking Machines

Nirav Merchant, Director Data Science Institute, Data7, University of Arizona
Machine learning (ML) based systems are rapidly becoming pervasive, powering many applications from recommending music, movies and merchandise to driving our cars to assisting in medical diagnoses.  Our daily interactions, behavior, and choices, whether we are aware of them or not, are the sources of data for training these systems.  But how are these ML based platforms built and utilized ?.  While ML based platforms create amazing opportunities, especially when coupled with advances in cloud computing, reliance on these platforms comes with ethical, security, and technical concerns.  How do we strike a balance for enabling pragmatic and productive use of these capabilities? ML powered platforms are gaining proficiency and becoming deeply integrated into existing and emerging automation across many domains of science and society, causing a shift in opportunities impacting many professions. What are the new learning and training opportunities that allow us to stay relevant and lead the way for future innovations

Feb 12 2018

What Humans do that Machines Cannot

Luis von Ahn, CEO and Co-Founder, Duolingo, Professor of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University
This talk is about harnessing human time and energy to address problems that computers cannot yet solve. Although computers have advanced dramatically in many respects over the last 50 years, they still do not possess the basic conceptual intelligence or perceptual capabilities   that most humans take for granted. By leveraging human skills and abilities in a novel way, I want to solve large-scale computational problems and collect training data to teach computers many of the basic human talents. To this end, I treat human brains as processors in a distributed system, each performing a small part of a massive computation

Feb 19 2018

Machine Influencers and Decision Makers

Jane Bambauer, Professor of Law, University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law
Machine learning is shaping human lives in both obvious and subtle ways. Important economic and legal decisions about credit, employment, and criminal justice are already made with the aid of complex algorithms, raising difficult questions about whether machines can make decisions that are accurate and fair. Machine learners can become biased when the programmed objectives or the training data used to teach the algorithm are flawed. On the other hand, machines have some advantages over humans since they do not apply pre-existing assumptions and can more quickly recognize unexpected patterns. Machine learning also affects the human experience by creating advertising, suggestions, chat-bots, and even auto-generated news articles tailored to the individual. The government has some power to constrain artificial intelligence, but there are practical and constitutional limits to legal interventions.

Feb 26 2018

There is No Such Thing as Big Data

Vincent J. Del Casino Jr., Vice President, Academic Initiatives and Student Success, Professor, School of Geography and Development, University of Arizona
This talk challenges the notion that “big data” are what people believe they are – large, singular inanimate manifestations of our proxy selves – and argues that there is no “big data” really, just millions of small bits and pieces brought together through a series of algorithmic possibilities. But, big data analytics and the robotic futures that they engender are clearly producing anxieties for everyday social life and institutions, such as the university, have to manage these anxieties as they rethink themselves in relation to big data analytics and their concomitant robotic futures. As a result, universities have to double-down on investments in a broad education by asking how big data are represented in society, how human life is being organized in relation to big data, and how an interdisciplinary future can help manage the rapid changes produced by advances in robots and robotic technologies.”

 

Free UA Law Lecture series on Presidential power

“When: Weekly lectures Jan. 22-March 26, 2018, 3:15-4:10 p.m. No lecture March 5 due to Spring Break.

Where: University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law (1201 E. Speedway Blvd), Room 160

Who may attend: The lectures are free and open to the public. Continuing Legal Education (CLE) may be available**. RSVP for each lecture to massaro@email.arizona.edu.

The lecture series is part of an official College of Law class. Each class meeting will begin with a public 50-minute lecture by a guest distinguished scholar and several UA experts. The other portions of the class are reserved for enrolled law students.

Jan. 22: An Introduction to the Law of Presidential Power
Toni Massaro and David Marcus, University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law

Jan. 29: The President, Congress, and Foreign Affairs
Toni Massaro, University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law

Feb. 5: The President, Congress, and the Contest Over the Federal Bureaucracy
David Marcus, University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law

Feb. 12: Presidential Power in Historical Perspective
Harold Bruff, University of Colorado Law School

Feb. 19: The President’s War Powers
Kristine Huskey, University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law

Feb. 26: The President and the Courts
David Marcus, University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law

March 12: Presidential Administration: An Insider’s Perspective
Howard Shelanski, Georgetown Law, and former head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, White House

March 19: The President and the Courts: Executive Orders and Judicial Review
Kathryn Watts, University of Washington School of Law

March 26: Impeachment and Resignation
Robert Glennon, University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law”

More info/background here: https://law.arizona.edu/university-arizona-law-lecture-series-examines-presidential-power-limits

Annual Tucson Japanese Festival on January 20, 2018

Want to sample & eat Japanese food? Watch taiko & dance performances and kendo demonstrations? Learn to fold origami? Draw calligraphy? Learn about origins of manga and anime in Japan?

All this and much, much more at this 2018 New Year’s celebration, the fifth sponsored by our Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition and Odaiko Sonora.  Name change from Tucson Mochitsuki to Tucson Japanese Festival last year, so hence it is the 2nd Annual.  Performance schedule flyer (updated 1/17/18) below.

Mochi making and pounding from rice will be demonstrated.  Join us to learn about Japanese culture in Japan and in the U.S.

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Grand opening of Thornhill Lopez Center on 4th for LGBTQ Youth

SOUTHERN ARIZONA AIDS FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES OPENING OF

THORNHILL LOPEZ CENTER ON 4TH

 “ The Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation (SAAF) is proud to announce the opening of Tucson’s newest youth center, the Thornhill Lopez Center on 4th. To mark the grand opening, SAAF invites the community and media representatives to attend a Ribbon Cutting and Open House on January 18, 2018 from 11:30-1pm at the Thornhill Lopez Center on 4th, 526 North 4th Avenue.

 The objective of the Thornhill Lopez Center on 4th is to serve youth through programming, direct client services, and community engagement, with a direct focus on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) youth. The central program of the Thornhill Lopez Center on 4th is Eon, a safe space for LGBTQ & allied youth. At Eon, youth can work on homework, access art programming through a collaborative with the Museum of Contemporary Art, participate in peer-to-peer education opportunities and harm-reduction, empowerment-driven programming. In addition to Eon, SAAF will collocate other youth programming at the Thornhill Lopez Center on 4th in order to best serve the community.

 The center is named after Curtis Thornhill, originally from southern Arizona. Mr. Thornhill said: “I am very excited to be part of a project giving youth, especially LGBTQ youth, a safe space in southern Arizona. The Thornhill Lopez Center on 4th will remind our whole community that our youth are loved and welcome.”

 SAAF’s Executive Director, Wendell Hicks, added: “SAAF has always been driven by transformative action. The Thornhill Lopez Center on 4th will change and save the lives of many, many youths and I couldn’t be prouder of that.” Adam Ragan, SAAF’s Associate Director of LGBTQ Initiatives noted: “What started a couple years ago as a dream of a few in the community is now a reality. Youth will have a safe space to access programs, education, art, and most importantly, each other. We know the power of peer-to-peer programming can really impact the lives of youth for years to come.”

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Two free MLK Holiday showings of “Hidden Figures” at the Loft

Free MLK Day Screenings!

Hidden Figures

MONDAY, JANUARY 15 AT 11 a.m. and 7:30PM | FREE ADMISSION, Loft Cinema at 3233 E. Speedway Blvd, in Tucson

Special thanks to our community partner, Tucson Black Film Club

Join us for either of two free screenings of Hidden Figures on MLK Day.

“Meet the women you don’t know behind the mission you do. The Oscar-nominated Hidden Figures tells the incredible untold story of Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson, Empire), Dorothy Vaughn (Octavia Spencer, The Help) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe, Moonlight) – brilliant African-American women working at NASA in the early 1960s, women who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in American history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation’s confidence, turned around the Space Race and galvanized the world.

This visionary trio crossed all gender and race lines to inspire future generations to dream big. Also starring Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst and Mahershala Ali, with music by Pharrell Williams.”(Dir. by Theodore Melfi, 2016, USA, in English, 127 mins., Rated PG)

Celebrate 5th Anniversary of Yume Japanese Gardens of Tucson

On January 15, 2013 Yume Japanese Gardens of Tucson formally opened its doors to showcase a beautiful, tranquil Japanese Garden in the Southwest desert of Tucson, Arizona.  Celebrate it’s 5th anniversary on Sat. January 13, 2018.  “Yume” means dream in Japanese, which it was as the creation by Owner/E.D. Patricia Deridder, who lived in Japan for 15 years.

Odaiko Sonora, Tucson’s taiko drumming group (pictured below), will be performing at 1:30 and 3 p.m.  UPDATE: Schedule below.

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