ACM Distinguished Speakers Porgram:  talks by and with technology leaders and innovators

Computing Topic:
Computers and Society
The ethical and societal impact of computers. See the ACM Special Interest Group on Computers and Society, SIGCAS.

Available Speakers on this Topic


Available Lectures

  • A Digital Socioscope:
    How can Twitter data be used to study individual-level human behavior and social interaction on a global scale? This talk introduces the audience to the methods, opportunities, and challenges of using Twitter data to analyze phenomena ranging ...
  • A Free Digital Society: What Makes Digital Inclusion Good Or Bad? :
    There are many threats to freedom in the digital society. They include massive surveillance, censorship, digital handcuffs, nonfree software that controls users, and the War on Sharing. Other threats come from use of web services. Finally, we ...
  • Actionable Video Content Summarization: Lessons from Practical Case Studies:
    For the first time in the history of universe, the video data generated by humans has exceeds all other forms of the data. While no one denies the utility of the information hidden within this deluge of data, it is clear that it is humanly imp...
  • Big Data? Big Promise, Big Problems:
    The data that we record daily about ourselves through our cell phones, credit card purchases, emails, social media postings, etc., helps us connect with each other and improve our life quality. But we do not own nor control most of this data. ...
  • Biometrics:
    The determination of identity can be accomplished by three generic means. Conventionally, an exclusive possession (either a physical, e.g., key or electronic, e.g., cookie), knowledge (e.g., password, PIN, social security number) are used as means of...
  • Bridging the gap between research on educational technology and social impact:
    Most researchers in the field of Technology-Enhanced Learning dream of developing cutting-edge technology that can have a real impact on learning at schools.  Nevertheless, for most of us, this dream never come true. In this talk, we will...
  • CBC2015: Industry Connect:
    IBM's Watson represents a whole new class of industry specific solutions called cognitive systems. It builds on the current paradigm of Programmatic Systems and is not meant to be a replacement; programmatic systems will be with us for the...
  • Can you trust what you see? The magic of visual perception:
    This lecture presents and explains a diverse collection of visual perception phenomena that challenge our common knowledge of how well we detect, recognize, compare, measure, interpret, and make decisions upon the information that arrives at our brai...
  • Computational Methods for Early Diagnostics and Multiple Blood Cleansing Interventions in Sepsis:
    Sepsis, a severe complication of pathogen infection that triggers systemic inflammatory response and can lead quickly to multiple organs damage, is recognized as one of the leading causes of in-hospital death. The results obtained on our ongoing DARP...
  • Computational Optometry: Optometry and Vision Science Meets Computer Graphics and Geometric Modeling:
    We define computational optometry as multidisciplinary research integrating optometry and vision science with computer graphics and geometric modeling.  This endeavor began with research on a cornea shape reconstruction algorithm, scientific vis...
  • Computational Thinking Meets Design Thinking: Technology and Arts Collaborations:
    There seems to be an explosion of interest in exploring arts and technology connections: new media, digital media, kinetic art, new frontiers, emergent media, interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary, and transdisciplinary are only some of the ter...
  • Computer Aided Geometric Design and Modeling for Curve and Surface Representations:
    Computer aided geometric design and modeling is concerned with the mathematical techniques for the representation of curves and surfaces in the computer for image display and object fabrication.   Drawing on mathematics from geometry, various ap...
  • Computer Ethics and Technology:
    This talk focuses on computer ethics as it relates to the day to day activities of practicing computer professionals. The emphasis is on real world moral and legal issues for the practicing computer professionals and with a focus on how one resolves ...
  • Computer vision in the study of art: New rigorous approaches to the study of paintings and drawings:
    New rigorous computer algorithms have been used to shed light on a number of recent controversies in the study of art. For example, illumination estimation and shape-from-shading methods developed for robot vision and digital photograph forens...
  • Computing, Freedom and Privacy :
    The way digital technology is developing, it threatens our freedom, within our computers and in the internet. What are the threats? What must we change?
  • Coordination in Open Collaboration Communities :
    Open collaboration communities produce highly complex work yet lack many of the coordination mechanisms that exist in more traditional organizations. This study examines an open source software community ? where contribution and participation is open...
  • Creating Meaningful Works of Virtual Reality (VR) Experiences:
    Drawing on my 25 year history of creating meaningful virtual reality experiences, I will discuss the techniques I have developed to help evoke emotional responses from participants in such spaces. These include methods to allow a narrative str...
  • Creativity, innovation and taking risk in your research:
    Most people just “do” research without thinking strategically about their work, their interests and how to do better. What is their plan when a paper or a funding application gets rejected? What is their plan for their plans? How can they...
  • Cybercurrencies and Blockchain (fiction, fallacy, fact, fun, and future):
    Hardly a day goes by without a news story about Bitcoin or Ethereum, two of the best known and strongest cybercurrency technologies. Opinions run the spectrum, from those who view it as mainly a monetary vehicle for criminal activity to those ...
  • Dependability in a connected world: From the very large to the very small:
    Much of the computational infrastructure that we encounter today and that we increasingly rely on for critical applications is provided by a distributed system, be it the air traffic control system or the smart electric grid or the cyber physi...
  • Disruptive Technologies and the Future of Society:
    The new generation of technology development -- including Computational intelligence, Cognitive Computing, Internet of Things, Social Computing and Virtual Reality, and others – will disrupt the economic and social model of every human endeavor...
  • Distributed All k Nearest Neighbor Queries:
    A wide spectrum of Internet-scale mobile applications, ranging from social networking, gaming and entertainment to emergency response and crisis management, all req...
  • Evolution of Digital Education and Impact on Learning Performance:
    The evolution of Digital Education focuses on delivering the best quality education for all. The results will be the enhancement of society as a whole, impacting from health to happiness, from markets to social well being, from governances to househo...
  • Foretold Futures from Digital Footprints: Artificial Intelligence, Behavior Prediction, and Privacy:
    For a few years, we have been developing algorithms to predict individual attributes like personality traits, political preferences, and demographics. More recently, we have shown that AI combined with social data can predict future behavior - before...
  • Free Software and Your Freedom :
    The Free Software Movement campaigns for computer users' freedom to cooperate and control their own computing. The Free Software Movement developed the GNU operating system, typically used together with the kernel Linux, specifically to ma...
  • Game Over? New Approaches to Teaching Engineering Courses:
    Gamification has been explored recently as a way to promote content delivery in education, yielding promising results. However, little is known regarding how it helps different students experience learning and acquire knowledge. In this talk I...
  • History of Virtual Reality:
     This talk introduces the basics of early VR history, including the people and inventions that enabled it. I define what fully immersive VR means and look at the factors that support full immersion.  I also feature a deep dive into the most...
  • How to get your paper rejected from a Computer Graphics Journal:
    This is a tongue-in-cheek lecture about what NOT to do to publish a paper in an international scientific journal dedicated to Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques. Writing papers is Important. Having great ideas is not enough. Scientists need...
  • Human error is not the problem:
    Error, if it was a disease, would be classified as the third biggest killer after cancer and heart disease. Why is it neglected, and what can be done? 

    When something bad happens to a patient, then s...
  • Inclusive Technologies:



    Nearly 1 of every 5 people either currently has a disability or will develop a one in their lifetime.  For these individuals, inability to use digital devices and servic...
  • Innovation at IBM -- Smarter Planet Initiative:
    When IBM set its sights on helping to create a smarter planet two years ago, we predicted the evolution of an increasingly instrumented, intelligent and interconnected world. Intelligence is being infused into the systems and processes that make the ...
  • Innovative Approaches to Teaching Animation:
    This presentation will discuss two innovative courses on animation.  First, "The Art of Animation" explores the artistic, aesthetic, and cinematographic underpinnings of animation and is complementary to courses on the mathematics, phy...
  • Introduction to Computational Social Science:
    Due to the increasing availability of large-scale data on human behavior collected on the social web, as well as advances in analyzing larger and larger data sets, interest in applying computer science methods to address research questions in ...
  • Introduction to Research Methods in Human-Computer Interaction:
    The output of outstanding Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) research can be considered as an input for the work of brilliant designers and engineers that fuel disrupting inventions or major innovations that positively impact our daily lives across the...
  • Is our software gender-inclusive?:
    Gender inclusiveness in the software workforce is receiving a lot of attention these days, but it overlooks a potentially critical factor—the software itself. Research into how individual differences cluster by gender shows that males an...
  • Knowledge Representation in the Era of Deep Learning, Watson and the Semantic Web:
    A burst in optimism (and unwarranted fear) has grown around a number of technologies that are high impact and able to solve problems that have challenged AI researchers for years.  The over-enthusiasm that often follows such breakthroughs has ca...
  • Leadership and Communication Skills for Engineers and Computer Scientists:
    This lecture provides an overview of successful leadership and communication skills that engineering and computer science students and professionals can use to thrive in today’s diverse, team-oriented, professional environments. Topics i...
  • Missed solutions to WWII Enigma design weaknesses:
    The German World War II Enigma suffered from design weaknesses that facilitated its large-scale decryption by the British throughout the war. The main technical weaknesses (self-coding and reciprocal coding) could have been avoided using simpl...
  • Mobile Persuasion for Health and Safety Promotion:
    Mobile apps are a very promising tool to promote attitude and behavior change in users. However, creating effective and successful mobile apps for health and safety promotion requires a wealth of multidisciplinary knowledge that includes usability an...
  • Multi-media Compliance: A practical paradigm for managing business integrity:
    In virtually every business context there is a need to establish some form of monitoring system to ensure that employees comply with business processes and policies. Compliance failures range from organized theft to gaps in procedure that can be easi...
  • OPPORTUNITY OF INTERNET OF THINGS SEMINAR :
    Internet of Things (IoT) is an expanding space for researchers, students, and professionals.  Development of IoT applications is hindered by the lack of available design tools, methodologies, and interoperability.  The creation of a ...
  • On the Diminishing Prospects for an Engineering Discipline of Requirements:
    What do the following have in common? (1) describing the computation an electronic control unit should perform as it detects rotational speed from wheel speed sensors and adjusts hydraulic valves in order to prevent a car from skidding, (2) describin...
  • Pathways to Technology Transfer and Adoption: Achievements and Challenges :
    Producing industrial impact has often been one of the important goals of academic or industrial researchers when conducting research. However, it is generally challenging to transfer research results into industrial practices. There are some common c...
  • PhD-Program Preparation for Successful Post-PhD Career :
    It is valuable for PhD students to think ahead on what kinds of career paths the students intend to seek and what kinds of skills such career paths would require the students to have. This talk discusses important skills that a PhD researcher is typi...
  • Pirate talks: Getting to great presentations:
    Pirates say Arrrrr! This is the best mnemnonic on how to give great presentations: audience, remember, route... 
     
    Pirate Harold Thimbleby explains, and gets the audience to an arrr arrr moment.
  • Public Sector Surveillance:
    Situation awareness is the key to security. Awareness requires information that spans multiple scales of space and time. The increasing need for sophisticated surveillance systems and the move to a digital infrastructure has transformed surveillance ...
  • Retail video analytics:
    The retail industry grosses trillions of USD revenue annually worldwide and provides numerous opportunities for innovation to facilitate real-world business operations. Applications include: loss prevention, capture of marketing data and business int...
  • Safety Issues in Cyber-Physical Systems:
    Computers and software components are now integral to large complex systems in almost all sectors of modern society.  The safety of such systems is therefore dependent upon many components with diverse technologies, and their interactions...
  • Should We Have More Surveillance Than The USSR?:
    Digital technology has enabled governments to impose surveillance  that Stalin could only dream of, making it next to impossible to talk with a reporter undetected.  This puts democracy in danger. Stallman will present the absolute l...
  • Simulating Human Vision and Vision Correcting Displays :
    Research on simulating human vision and on vision correcting displays that compensate for the optical aberrations in the viewer's eyes will be discussed.  The simulation is not an abstract model but incorporates real measurements of a...
  • Social Applications and Sensible Societies:
    In this lecture, we will entice the audience to think of mobile media technologies as a tool to address urban social issues. The explanation will explore the potential of mobile devices, social networks, and collective thinking to generate dir...
  • Social Machines: The Coming Collision of Artificial Intelligence, Social Networking, and Humanity :
    As technology has increasingly brought computing off of the laptop and into our social domain, we see society more and more impacted by the interactions allowed by mobile technologies and  increasingly ubiquitous communications.  These new ...
  • Social Robotics  A New Generation of Robots Built for People:
    Compared to how people interact with computer and other electronic devices, something ‘special’ happens when humans come in contact and interact with physical robots. Human-Robot Interaction is a growing area of research where rese...
  • Social network analysis and interactive device design analysis:
    All interactive systems respond to what users do by changing what they are doing Ñ though sometimes maybe not in the way you intended! What they were doing before and after any particular user action defines a network. These networks have many...
  • Software Development: More Than Just Programming :
    We are often surprised by the number of non-programming related issues that affect the professional’s efforts to develop quality software and web interfaces. Development efforts are constrained in a number of positive and negative ways. This ta...
  • THE POWER OF SEARCH ENGINES:
    Search engines are the premier tools when it comes to finding information on the Internet. Newer technological developments show how search is changing from the query-results paradigm to search as an underlying technology for a great variety o...
  • Tackling Memory and Concurrency Barriers for Modern Parallel Computing:
    Two key barriers for tapping into the full power of modern (massively) parallel machines are the limited bandwidth in memory and the limited parallelism in some applications. This talk presents two recent advancements in tackling the barriers. The fi...
  • Technological Fluency through Circuit Bending:
    Electronic technology is pervasive in our modern world but how it actually works can be a mystery to many people. In 1999 and 2002 the National Research Council (NRC) released influential reports stressing that all Americans need to know more ...
  • Technology Futures - The IBM Technology Forecast:
    Join me for a look at IBM's vision for the near term future, or as IBM terms it, IBM's Global Technology Outlook (GTO).  IBM Research and its global community of some of the world’s top scientists consider the cultural and business...
  • The Age Wave:

    Are technology difficulties an inescapable fact of ageing?  Or are there factors that can equip future generations of older adults with skills that will erase or lessen these difficulties?  Globally, older a...

  • The BLUR Project at Berkeley: Algorithms for Computer Generated Imagery, Computational Photography, and Aiding Human Vision:
    The multidisciplinary BLUR project at UC Berkeley combines computer graphics with optics, optometry, and photography.  This research investigates mathematical models to describe the shape of the cornea and algorithms for cornea measurement, scie...
  • The Challenges of Artificial Intelligence  Boundless Benefits  or the Threat of Runaway Machine Sentience?:
    Of the several transformative developments we can expect in the 21st century, none has more promise – or generates more concern – than the invention of generalized, artificial intelligence.  The societal effects of machines that have...
  • The Danger of Software Patents:
    Richard Stallman will explain how software patents obstruct software development. Software patents are patents that cover software ideas. They restrict the development of software, so that every design decision brings a risk of getting sued. Patents ...
  • The Future of Media Interfaces:
    We are living in a post-WIMP world. Indeed, more and more users access information, communicate and operate mobile information appliances foregoing the still common mouse and keyboard of yonder. However, no matter how powerful or elegant the new mobi...
  • The Human Side of Cyber Security:
    Security experts often claim that people are the most unreliable part of their systems. I argue that the problem is not people behaving insecurely, but security systems that are designed with no concern for their users. More importantly, the adversar...
  • The Incredible Shrinking Pipeline:

    The number of Bachelor degrees awarded in Computer Science in the United States reached an all-time high in 2002-03 (57,439), and the trend of women earning a decreasing percentage of the Bachelor degrees awarded ...

  • The Law of Cyberspace, Computers, and Technology:
    The presentation focuses on the emerging fields of cyberspace and computer and technology law. Included are topics such as the law of the Internet; protection of computer software and technology through copyrights, trademarks, patents, and trad...
  • The New Era of Cognitive Computing Experience:
    In this lecture, we explain the nature of potential new experiences that the era of Cognitive Computing will require.  Historically, human-computer interaction has progressed from machine-oriented, batch processes towards more dynamic and...
  • The Power of Big Data:
    More and more data is being generated around us by every activity we do in our daily life. Such large amounts of data are changing the way we do things and are used to make data-driven decisions by companies and organisations. From mobile phones, wea...
  • The Semantic Web:
    For more than a decade now, the Semantic Web community has been listening to one critic after another explain why the technology will not work.  The good news is that we have now exceeded the expectations of all of our early critics, and the tec...
  • The Ultimate Selfie: Musings on the Future of Our Human Identity:
    Identity in today's world is being radically redefined by our access to sophisticated technologies that allow us to share images of ourselves ubiquitously, don a variety of avatars to connect with others in virtual environments, scan ourse...
  • The Web: A Nostalgic View of the Past and Informed Hopes for the Future:
    This lecture draws upon the speaker’s 30-year love affair with WWW technology – from his first exposure at CERN in 1989 and the first US Web site at SLAC in 1991 to his current involvement with Web Science, the Semantic Web, and the Web O...
  • The upward and downward links between credibility, trust and authority:
    The Internet and its main tools (Google, Wikipedia, Facebook, Tweeter) deeply raise and renew fundamental questions, that everyone asks almost everyday: Is this information or content true? Can I trust this author or source? These questions are not n...
  • Ubiquitous Indoor Localization: The Indoor Equivalent of GPS:
    Although GPS has been considered a ubiquitous outdoor localization technology, we are still far from a similar technology for indoor environments. While a number of technologies have been proposed for indoor localization, they are isolated eff...
  • Unmanaged Risk: Why Systems Don't Work:
    The focus on software testing and risk analysis during software development has only had a limited effect in reducing software failures. This talk will present a new approach to the identification of software risk and reduce the rate of system failur...
  • Unsafe in any bed:
    ‘Unsafe At Any Speed’ was the title of Ralph Nader’s damning critique of the 1960s car industry. We are at a similar position with today’s healthcare: Terrible, but quite able to improve. Harold will present examples of Health...
  • Using Hybrid Goal Programming for performing National Analysis of Wild land Fire Management in US:
    We present a multi-criteria budget allocation model for assigning national budgets across all the Fire Planning Units (FPU) in the US. We discuss the innovations we have made, based on users desire to perform a deep dive analytics. We showcase the fl...
  • Using Social Media for Health Studies:
    Given that users share all kinds of minutiae on social media, can this noisy, crowd-sourced data be used for health studies? This talk presents a number of recent examples that show the feasibility of using social media to study health both at...
  • Vision Realistic Rendering :
    Present Vision-realistic rendering (VRR) is the computer generation of synthetic images to simulate a subject's vision, by incorporating the characteristics of a particular individual’s entire optical system.  Using measu...
  • What Programmers Should Know about DRAM:
    Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM) is what makes up the "main memory" of most computer hardware. It's also much stranger than you might think, and has hidden complexity that can have a large influence on how your programs run. I...
Featured Speaker


Keith Cheverst
Lancaster University

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