On Tuesday, September 20th, Geoffrey C. Bowker, professor at the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of California, Irvine, delivered the second lecture in the Design Dialogues Speakers Series at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. Bowker’s talk, titled, “The Data Citizen: New Ways of Being in the World,” discussed the ways in which Big Data is affecting not only our lives, but is reshaping what it means to be human.
Bowker discussed many examples of ways in which Big Data impacts modern life. These included:
- PREDPOL: The Predictive Policing Company
- Cambridge Analytica, a strategic communications company that relies heavily on big data. Bowker noted the company’s work with Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign.
- A White House Executive Order on “Using Behavioral Science Insights to Better Serve the American People.”
Despite expressing some concerns about the ways in which Big Data are used, Bowker appeared by and large optimistic about the possibilities that Big Data and design education can bring into reality. Moreover, Bowker suggested that humanists and social scientists, as well as members of the STEM fields have much to offer as we improve our understanding and use of data and design.
To learn more about design at Illinois, visit the webpage for the planned Illinois Design Center, a central component of a campus wide multidisciplinary initiative. The page includes details about the center, information about related events, and opportunities to provide your own feedback.
You can also browse the reference collection in the Scholarly Commons, which includes books on design, Big Data, and many other topics.
-post co-authored with Jasmine Kirby