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16: Understanding Big Data

Seminar / Seminar
english language

Big Data is being generated around us all the time in the contemporary world. Does it truly create more objective research or simply disguise the presence of human input to algorithmic construction is hence still based on subjective assumptions? Does the enormous amount of data created and recorded today make it possible to identify connections in a more causal and objective way or does it lead to an unmanageable amount of non-comparable values? In addition to scientific “efficiency”, security and economic aspects also play a role in this arena. What data is collected? When? How? Where? Who has access to this information? Who can analyze data and how do they do so? This interactive seminar deals with the risks and possibilities in a world full of big data.


Urban Innovation Agent, MIT Media Lab, Boston; Visiting Professor, Vienna University of Technology, Vienna Chair
Postdoctoral Research Associate, Northeastern University, Boston, MA Chair

Dipl.-Ing. M.Sc. Katja SCHECHTNER

Urban Innovation Agent, MIT Media Lab, Boston; Visiting Professor, Vienna University of Technology, Vienna

2001-2013 Head, Dynamic Transportation Systems, Austrian Institute of Technology, Vienna, Austria
since 2010 Visiting Scholar, MIT Media Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, USA
since 2011 Curator/Artist, Ars Electronica, Technisches Museum Wien, MAK, Venice Biennale of Architecture, Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism
2013-2016 Senior Urban Mobility Specialist, Asian Development Bank, Manila, The Philippines
since 2015 Visiting Professor Vienna University of Technology, Vienna
since 2017 Innovation Agent, OECD - Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Paris, France

M.Sc. Ph.D. Michael SZELL

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Northeastern University, Boston, MA

since 2004 Developer & Administrator of the Massive Multiplayer Online Game Pardus
since 2006 Founder & Manager of Bayer & Szell OG
2007 M.Sc, Technical Mathematics Focus on Computer Science, Vienna University of Technology, Vienna
2009-2012 Research Assistant, Medical University of Vienna, Section for Science of Complex Systems, Vienna
2012 Ph.D. in Physics, University of Vienna
2012-2014 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, MIT, Senseable City Laboratory, Cambridge, MA
since 2014 Postdoctoral Research Associate, Northeastern University, Center for Complex Network Research, Boston, MA

Seminar Week

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17:00 - 17:30Opening of the European Forum Alpbach 2016Plenary
17:30 - 18:00Opening SpeechesPlenary
18:00 - 18:30A Midsummer Night's Dream - a TeaserCulture
19:00 - 20:30Presentation of the SeminarsPlenary
20:30 - 22:00Bread and WineSocial


Seminar 01: Beyond MapsSeminar
Seminar 02: Common Challenges to the European and African Union - Climate, Demography, MigrationSeminar
Seminar 03: Religion and PowerSeminar
Seminar 04: World Water Resources and Human Well-Being at Risk - Trends, Data and GovernanceSeminar
Seminar 05: Scientific Excellence and Social Responsibility - How do they go together?Seminar
Seminar 06: The European Union and Its Eastern NeighboursSeminar
Seminar 07: (Economic-)Policy for Progress - The Return of the "Magic Polygon"Seminar
Seminar 08: Biological or Synthetic Evolution?Seminar
Teach For Austria Summer School: Changemaker Lab - Sapere aude!Seminar
Seminar 09: Rule of Law in China and EuropeSeminar
Seminar 10: Utility of Force in the 21st CenturySeminar
Seminar 11: The European Ethos and the SacredSeminar
Seminar 12: Towards a Sustainable Global Carbon LoopSeminar
Seminar 13: Gender Issues in Complex SocietiesSeminar
Seminar 14: Art as Enlightenment in Post-Enlightenment Times?Seminar
Seminar 15: Smart Factory: Social Effects - Prospects for Employment - Impacts on Work and OrganisationSeminar
Seminar 16: Understanding Big DataSeminar
Theatre Workshop with Students of the Royal Academy for Dramatic Art (RADA), LondonSeminar


09:00 - 15:00Alpbach Open SpaceBreakout