Mellon Forum: Joe Battles & Sonia Helen Pascale
Davenport seniors Joe Battles and Sonia Helen Pascale kicked off the spring Mellon Forum season. Joe, an Economics & Mathematics major, presented on “The Power, Pitfalls, and Problems of Big Data.” He walked us through examples, some from his own research, of machine learning, modelling, controlled experiments, econometrics, and artificial intelligence. He explained what we can learn by using these methods, but, also, why we should be cautious both in how we interpret the results and in how society uses the results to make decision. Sonia Helen, a Global Affairs major, discussed her senior capstone project with Big Win Philanthropy. She discussed the big picture issues facing both the nutrition community and the development world today, which were at the core of the project. She also explained some of the recommendations her team made and one of the tools she created to help the Ethiopian government improve its Seqota Declaration and end stunting by 2030.
Fellows Talk with Linda Greenhouse
On Wednesday night, following the Fellows Dinner, Linda Greenhouse discussed her new book, Just a Journalist. Linda is arguably the leading authority on the U.S. Supreme Court. She is the long-time reporter on the Court for the New York Times and is now the go-to person for the justices themselves when they want to get their stories out. One famous newspaper editor expressed his belief that it was unethical for a journalist to vote, because the act of choosing one candidate over another could compromise objectivity. Linda Greenhouse disagrees. Calling herself “an accidental activist,” she raises urgent questions about the role journalists can and should play as citizens, even as participants, in the world around them.