"Big Data: A Threat to Science?"
with Kaiser Fung, Vimeo
Department of Mathematics Colloquium

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
4:30 p.m., Lawson, Room 1142

About the talk:
"Big Data" is one of the current talking points in the information technology sector. The global consultancy, McKinsey, expected Big Data to "create significant value for the world economy, enhancing the productivity and competitiveness of companies and the public sector and creating substantial economic surplus for consumers." (2011). Chris Anderson (The Long Tail) wrote in Wired that the abundance of data spells the "end of theory". I believe Big Data will produce a chaos of bad analyses that threaten to drown out good science. The key building blocks of statistical analysis, such as aggregation, adjustments, standardization, filtering, and modeling, will become sources of errors, many of which will be inadvertent rather than malicious. Therefore, it is most important for us as consumers of data analyses to develop the skills needed to recognize the good from the bad.

About the speaker:
Kaiser Fung is Vice President of Business Intelligence and Analytics at Vimeo. He is the author of "Numbers Rule Your World: The Hidden Influence of Probability and Statistics on Everything You Do" (McGraw-Hill, 2010) and the forthcoming "Numbersense: How to Use Big Data To Your Advantage" (McGraw-Hill, 2013). He created the acclaimed blog "JunkCharts", has appeared in "Analytically Speaking" and is also teaching practical statistics at New York University. He has over a decade of experience in business analytics at media and entertainment (including Sirius XM Radio), online advertising, telecommunications and financial companies. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and degrees in statistics and engineering from Cambridge and Princeton Universities.


Meet the Speaker
5:30 p.m., Lawson Room 1142

Refreshments will be provided.

Please come and meet the speaker after the talk. Kaiser will share his experience and life working in the real world of statistics. He will be happy to provide career advising on what you may want to know in this industry.

Questions? Contact Prof. Aaron Yip: yip@math.purdue.edu