Data in the First Mile
Speaker: Kuang Chen, University of California, Berkeley
Date: Friday, March 11 2011
Time: 1:00PM to 2:00PM
Location: Patil/Kiva Seminar Room, 32-G449
Host: Rob Miller, MIT CSAIL
Contact: Juho Kim, email@example.comRelevant URL:
In many disadvantaged communities worldwide, local low-resource organizations strive to improve health, education, infrastructure, and economic opportunity. These organizations struggle with becoming data-driven because their communities still live outside of the reach of modern data infrastructure, which is crucial for delivering effective modern services. In this talk, we summarize some of the human, institutional and technical challenges that hinder effective data management in "first mile" communities. We propose a set of directions, including 1) separating the capture of data from its structuring, 2) applying intelligent automation to mitigate human, institutional and infrastructural constraints, and 3) deploying services in cloud infrastructure, opening up further opportunities for human and computational value addition. We illustrate these ideas in action with two projects: Usher, a system for automatically improving data entry quality based on prior data, and Shreddr, a hosted paper form digitization service.
Kuang Chen is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of California, Berkeley.
His research focuses on data management systems that help low-resource organizations in the developing world, aiming to improve local practices in data collection, data quality, information integration and analytics. He holds a B.S. in Computer Science and B.A. in Comparative History of Ideas from the University of Washington.
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