Brown University scholar to shed light on the future of big data

December 1, 2014

Wendy Chun, renowned scholar of media and technology from Brown University, will present a free lecture at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 4 in Smathers Library East, Room 100.

 Chun, a systems engineer turned media and technology scholar, will discuss how scientists and humanities scholars can collaborate in the age of big data for the benefit of humanity.

This is the third in a series of six lectures presented by the UF Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere. The series, “The Work of the Humanities: Critical Thinking in Life and Labor,” will show how the humanities play a key role in the future workplace.

In her talk “Towards New Practices of the Future,” Chun will explore the relationship between scientific data, theory and practice. The scientific pursuit for truth is being questioned by the debate over climate change, and new big data research methods are changing how scientists make predictions about the future. As Chun will suggest, now is a perfect time for scientists and humanities scholars to come together to answer the hard questions about how to solve the most pressing problems of our world.

Chun, professor and chair of Modern Culture and Media at Brown University, has studied both systems design engineering and English literature, which she combines and mutates in her current work on digital media. She is the author of “Control and Freedom: Power and Paranoia in the Age of Fiber Optics” (MIT, 2006) and “Programmed Visions: Software and Memory” (MIT, 2011), as well as numerous journal articles and edited volumes.

The Work of the Humanities speaker series is sponsored by the Rothman Endowment and Yavitz Fund at the Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, with co-sponsorship from the UF Informatics Institute, Smathers Libraries, the Honors Program, the College of Public Health and Health Professions, the department of political science, the department of English, Marston-Milbauer Eminent Scholar Chair Phillip Wegner,), the department of philosophy, the department of classics, the Elizabeth B. and William F. Poe Center for Business Ethics Education and Research, Albert Brick Professor Pamela Gilbert, the Center for Women’s Studies and Gender Research, and UF Research Computing.

This event is open to the public and will include time for questions and discussion.

For more information, please contact Bonnie Effros at 352-392-0796 or