worldcanvass

On its final program of the 2015-2016 season, ​WorldCanvass tackled informatics—also known as big data. As a highlighted event of the UI's first Informatics Week, guests from the diverse fields of computer science, medicine, sociology, public health, and geographical and sustainability sciences discussed the proliferation of big data and their attempts to both understand and utilize this massive and, in many ways, untamed digital resource.

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We live in a world where digital data is almost as pervasive and unnoticed as the air we breathe. We have become an integral part of the Internet of Things; our personal smart items that we carry with us are sensing the world around us and sharing it with other smart things in our environment including our TV, refrigerator, thermostat, car, bridges — the list is ever growing. The amount of data that is being gathered and exchanged is staggering and growing fast. A billion tweets every 72 hours is one example. Collectively, the amount of data in our digital universe — approximately 5 trillion gigabytes — is doubling every two years.

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WorldCanvass tackles informatics—also known as big data—on its final program of the 2015-2016 season. Guests from the diverse fields of computer science, medicine, sociology, public health, and geographical and sustainability sciences will discuss the proliferation of big data and their attempts to both understand and utilize this massive and, in many ways, untamed digital resource. “Big Data: Big Brother or Big Sister?” is the topic at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 19, at FilmScene. WorldCanvass is free and open to the public.

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What defines a nation, or a state? What’s the meaning of sovereignty, and how do communal or religious identity figure into demands for self-determination? The world community in 2016 appears to be a fractured place with aspirations to statehood like those we’ve seen in South Sudan and Palestine, as well as civil disruptions and realignments like those between Crimea, Ukraine, and Russia. Amidst all of this there are non-state actors like ISIS challenging sitting governments and established states. The 2016 Provost’s Global Forum, The Nation, the State, and the Global Redefinition of Self-Determination, will address these questions and more during a series of lectures and panel discussions on April 7-9. A highlight of the forum will be the April 9 WorldCanvass, which will be held for the first time in Des Moines at the John and Mary Pappajohn Education Center, from 5-6:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public and begins with a reception at 4 p.m.

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The UI’s Obermann Center for Advanced Studies has long been the home of interdisciplinary collaboration, where thinking outside the box isn’t just the result, but the operating principle. On March 1, 2016, Joan Kjaer and her WorldCanvass guests discussed “Taking It to the Streets: Engagement and the Academy” just before the ten year anniversary of the center's week-long institute.

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On April 7 – 9, 2016, the University of Iowa will host scholars, experts, and researchers from around the world as part of the 2016 Provost’s Global Forum, “The Nation, the State, and the Global Redefinition of Self-Determination.” Organizers Adrien Wing, associate dean for the International and Comparative Law Programs and the Bessie Dutton Murray professor, College of Law, and Nathan Miller, assistant director of the UI Center for Human Rights and director of the International Legal Clinic at the College of Law, will host a three-day academic conference comprised of lectures, presentations, and panel discussions to help raise awareness about concepts concerning contemporary self-determination and statehood.

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On the morning of Jan. 11, I woke early, poured myself a cup of coffee and sat down to reflect. It was an important day, one that had the potential to significantly impact my scholarship and teaching. I wanted to get it right. I was about to join the ranks of nearly 200 other graduate students who, over the last ten years, had participated in the Obermann Graduate Institute on Engagement and the Academy. Their engagement work — which ranges from collaborating with incarcerated Iowans to creating public art to coordinating disaster relief — both excited and intimidated me as I thought about my own project.

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We live in an age of new technology, expecting any day to wake up to yet another jaw-dropping device or a discovery that simply changes everything about the way we live and work. The rate of innovation in the modern age can be breathtaking, but technological advances have jolted humans into new and unfamiliar territory since the dawn of humankind. On February 9, Joan Kjaer and her WorldCanvass guests contemplated the larger implications of the adoption of new technologies—how they change the ways in which individuals interact, the sharing of information, the movement of people and ideas from place to place, and what all of this means to the shape and form of a culture. Below is a ReCap of the event with access to see and hear the full program.

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The UI’s Obermann Center for Advanced Studies has long been the home of interdisciplinary collaboration, where thinking outside the box isn’t just the result but the operating principle.
Ten years ago, the Obermann Center, believing strongly in the power of actively-engaged scholarship, established an institute which would put experienced faculty together with graduate students to show them how they can enhance their teaching, research, and creative work through purposeful interaction with community partners.
We’ll hear from participants—faculty, graduate students, and community members—on the next WorldCanvass in a program called “Taking It to the Streets: Engagement and the Academy.” The free program begins at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 1, at FilmScene in downtown Iowa City.

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Some believe new technologies are powerful forces that dictate social, cultural and political relations. These “technological determinists” focus on the technology itself, questioning whether it produces positive or negative outcomes in society. Others believe people use technologies in ways that suit existing goals and interests. These “social constructionists” think about new technologies as tools that can be seized, adapted and appropriated by the public. While there is plenty of middle ground between these two perspectives, this dichotomy draws attention to a key question in the study of new technologies. Who has the most power: technology or people? This question, and how it has been answered throughout history and around the world, will be central to an upcoming WorldCanvass discussion, featuring University of Iowa faculty from Communication Studies, Journalism & Mass Communication, and Computer Science. The program, “Encountering New Technology,” will be held at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Iowa City’s nonprofit cinema arts organization FilmScene on 118 E. College St. The program is free and open to the public.

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