Tuesday, November 21st, 2017

How Formalizing Access to Public Services Shapes Political Accountability and Citizen Well-Being: A Field Experiment in Mumbai

Anjali Thomas Bohlken, Assistant Professor at the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at Georgia Tech, will visit the United Nations University Institute on Computing and Society (UNU-CS) to present her research on the collective understanding of the key drivers of formalization as well as of the knock-on effects of formalization on citizens’ welfare and political accountability. ABSTRACT Across the developing world, many citizens must rely on informal providers rather than the government to gain access to basic amenities such as electricity, housing, and water. In turn, getting citizens on the state’s grid when it comes to these services has the potential of not only boosting government revenue but also of increasing citizens’ welfare and of strengthening the social contract between citizens and the state. Yet, the question of how such formalization can be achieved has been underexplored and the effects of such formalization have not been rigorously examined. Our study seeks to address these gaps through the use of a field experiment in Mumbai, India. Specifically, our study will assess the effects of complementary interventions that target two types of costs associated with the formalization of water access amongst slum residents: bureaucratic engagement costs and political mobilization costs. These interventions will be implemented by local NGOs and will be randomized across 140 slum colonies across Mumbai. Through this study, we seek to advance our collective understanding of the key drivers of formalization as well as of the knock-on effects of formalization on citizens’ welfare and political accountability. SHORT BIO Anjali Thomas Bohlken is an Assistant Professor at the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at Georgia Tech. Prior to this, she was Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. She obtained her Ph.D. from New York University in 2010. She is the author of the book “Democratization from Above: The Logic of Local Democracy in the Developing World” published by Cambridge University Press (2016) which focuses on the establishment of village level democratic institutions in India. She is also the author of several articles and book chapters focusing on questions surrounding democratic accountability, dynastic politics and the link between economic conditions and ethnic violence. Currently, she is working on a series of projects focused on the politics surrounding the implementation of public programs for infrastructure provision in India. She is also working on a project on water access in Mumbai’s slums funded by UK’s Department for International Development. Her work has been cited in several news outlets including “The Guardian”, “The New York Times”, “Vox”, “The Hindu: Business Line”, “Live Mint” and the “Wall Street Journal blog”.
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time:

11AM - 12PM

location:
UNU-CSMacau SAR China

Friday, November 10th, 2017

Talk: Social Media Fatigue & Psychosocial Well Being

Amandeep Dhir from the Universities of Helsinki and Aalto in Finland will visit the United Nations University Institute on Computing and Society (UNU-CS) to present his research on the associations of social media fatigue and different forms of psychosocial well being. ABSTRACT Every day, billions of photos, videos, status updates, and other forms of content are shared in computer-mediated space (e.g., different forms of social media). This massive volume of information actually supersedes the cognitive capabilities of social media users which results in information overload. Scholars suggest that too much information and content might lead to fatigue, anxiety and even result in improper decision making in an online environment. Recent studies suggest that social media fatigue is one of the critical but unnoticed and unintended consequences of the usage of online social media. The present study has examined the empirical associations of social media fatigue and different forms of psychosocial well being such as online social comparison, self-disclosure, privacy and subjective well being. SHORT BIO Dr. Amandeep Dhir is currently a researcher with the University of Helsinki and Aalto University, Finland. Amandeep also holds visiting positions at National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (NTUST), Taiwan, University of Bergen, Norway as well as North-West University, South Africa. Amandeep obtained his first Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Helsinki and second Ph.D. in the field of computer-mediated communication/HCI at Aalto University, Finland. He has taught several master’s and doctoral students in Namibia, Taiwan, and Finland. Amandeep is very active in publishing and so far has successfully published 35 high-quality journal articles since 2013. His work has appeared in different leading publishing forums, including Computers in Human Behaviour, New Media & Society, Computers & Education, Social Science in Computer Review, International Journal of Information Management, Telematics and Informatics, and Frontiers in Psychology. Amandeep has made several research visits to Taiwan, India, Japan, South Africa, Namibia, United Kingdom and Norway, and he is currently engaged in several large-scale cross-cultural research projects in Asia, Africa, and Europe.
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time:

3PM - 4PM

location:
UNU-CSMacau SAR China

Monday, November 6th, 2017

Talk: Georgia Tech’s Online MOOC-Based Master Program

Dr. Zvi Galil, Dean of the College of Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology, will visit the United Nations University Institute on Computing and Society (UNU-CS) to present a new online Master’s program in Computer Science based on massively open online courses. ABSTRACT In May 2013, Georgia Tech together with its partners, Udacity and AT&T, announced a new online master’s degree in computer science delivered through the platform popularized by massively open online courses (MOOCs). This new online MS CS— or OMSCS for short — costs less than $7,000 total, compared to a price tag of $40,000 for an MS CS at comparable public universities and upwards of $70,000 at private universities. The first-of-its-kind program was launched in January 2014 and has sparked a worldwide conversation about higher education in the 21st century. President Barack Obama has praised OMS CS by name twice, and over 1,000 news stories mentioned the programs. It’s been described as a potential “game changer” and “the first real step in the transformation of higher education in the US.” Harvard University researchers concluded that OMSCS is “the first rigorous evidence showing an online degree program can increase educational attainment” and predicted that OMSCS will single-handedly raise the number of annual MS CS graduates in the United States by at least 7 percent. To ensure program quality and rigor, Georgia Tech started in 2014 with a small enrollment of 380; in August 2017 enrollment exceeded 5,850. So far 590 students have graduated from OMSCS. The program has also paved the way for a number of similar, MOOC-based MS programs. The talk will describe the OMSCS program, how it came about, its first three and a half years, and what Georgia Tech has learned from the OMSCS experience. We will also discuss its potential effect on higher education. SHORT BIO Dr. Zvi Galil, Dean of the College of Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology, was born in Tel-Aviv, Israel. He earned BS and MS degrees in Applied Mathematics from Tel Aviv University, both summa cum laude. He then obtained a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Cornell University. After a post-doctorate in IBM’s Thomas J. Watson research center, he returned to Israel and joined the faculty of Tel-Aviv University. He served as the chair of the Computer Science department in 1979-1982. In 1982 he joined the faculty of Columbia University. He served as the chair of the Computer Science Department in 1989-1994 and as dean of The Fu Foundation School of Engineering & Applied Science in 1995-2007. Galil was appointed Julian Clarence Levi Professor of Mathematical Methods and Computer Science in 1987, and Morris and Alma A. Schapiro Dean of Engineering in 1995. In 2007 Galil returned to Tel Aviv University and served as president. In 2009 he resigned as president and returned to the faculty as a professor of Computer Science. In July 2010 he became The John P. Imlay, Jr. Dean of Computing at Georgia Tech. Dr. Galil’s research areas have been the design and analysis of algorithms, complexity, cryptography and experimental design. In 1983-1987 he served as chairman of ACM SIGACT, the Special Interest Group on Algorithms and Computation Theory. He has written over 200 scientific papers, edited 5 books, and has given more than 200 lectures in 20 countries. Galil has served as editor in chief of two journals and as the chief computer science adviser in the United States to the Oxford University Press. He is a fellow of the ACM and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. In 2008 Columbia University established the Zvi Galil Award for Improvement in Engineering Student Life. In 2009 the Columbia Society of Graduates awarded him the Great Teacher Award. In 2012 the University of Waterloo awarded him an honorary doctorate in mathematics. Zvi Galil is married to Dr. Bella S. Galil, a marine biologist. They have one son, Yair, a corporate lawyer in New York.
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time:

2:15PM - 3:15PM

location:
UNU-CSMacau SAR China

Wednesday, October 25th, 2017

Talk: Who Decides What Is “Personal Data”?

Lokman Tsui from the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) will visit the United Nations University Institute on Computing and Society (UNU-CS) to give a talk entitled “Who decides what is ‘personal data’? Testing the access principle with telecommunication companies and internet providers in Hong Kong”. ABSTRACT Do personal data protection laws allow citizens to feel reasonably assured that their personal data is protected? My study aims to answer this question in the context of the Personal Data Privacy Ordinance (PDPO) and to what extent this law helps protect personal data in the hands of telecommunication companies and internet providers in Hong Kong. For the study, we submitted data access requests to telecommunication companies and internet providers for a range of information, including subscriber information, IP addresses, geolocation data and whether they had shared any of this data with third parties. In my talk, I will present the findings and discuss its larger implications for a future where increasingly everything will be data-driven. SHORT BIO A geek and an activist, Lokman Tsui is an Assistant Professor at the School of Journalism and Communication of the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) where he researches free expression and internet policy. Lokman is also a Faculty Associate with the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. Before Lokman returned to academia, he was Google’s Head of Free Expression in Asia and the Pacific. He received his Ph.D. degree from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, where his award-winning dissertation is a critical interrogation of how new technologies challenge us to rethink journalism. He was born and raised in the Netherlands and managed the unofficial website for filmmaker Wong Kar Wai for many years.
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time:

2:30PM - 3:30PM

location:
UNU-CSMacau SAR China

Wednesday, October 11th, 2017

Talk: Gender Studies in Contemporary Chinese Contexts

Zhang Yuan (Noah) from the School of International Education at the China Women’ University in Beijing will visit the United Nations University Institute on Computing and Society (UNU-CS) to give a talk on the development of Chinese gender studies entitled “Gender Studies in Contemporary Chinese Contexts”. ABSTRACT Gender Studies is both an independent and an interdisciplinary academic discipline, which arose from and is largely researched within western institutions. It is worth considering to what extent there is any Chinese-specific academic (or wider cultural) focus on gender studies and education, including forms of knowledge, methodology, and research? Chinese gender studies make use of a variety of international forms of knowledge, which are contextualized in terms of local cultural factors and issues. This talk will provide an introduction and overview with regard to the development of Chinese gender studies. SHORT BIO Zhang Yuan (Noah) graduated with a multidisciplinary degree from the best university in China, and with an MA from a quality university in the Netherland. She completed her graduate work at the University of Macau and obtained a doctorate degree in Philosophy in Communication. She has considerable achievements in teaching, researching, and course development. Now she works in the School of International Education, at the China Women’ University in Beijing, as an assistant professor and the coordinator of the international MA program. Specialized in the fields of Gender Studies and Communication, she is not only a senior expert but also a pioneer and social activist.
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time:

2:30PM - 3:30PM

location:
UNU-CSMacau SAR China
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