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The Facebook Breach, Stephen Hawking's Legacy, Where Smartphones Go When They Die

Top of Mind with Julie Rose
  • Mar 21, 2018
  • 01:42:45
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A Data Scientist’s View of the Facebook Breach Guest: Quinn Snell, PhD, Professor of Computer Science and Data Systems, Brigham Young University Investigations by Congress and the Federal Trade Commission are underway into just how a data consulting firm in the UK called Cambridge Analytica got its hands on the basic profile information and “likes” of tens of millions of Facebook users and what it did with that data. A whistleblower says the firm used it to try and sway people in support of Donald Trump during the 2016 election. Facebook says a Cambridge University researcher misled them about what he planned to do with the data he was collecting through a personality test app he created on the site.  Was this a security breach? A hack? A door left open by Facebook intentionally, or by accident? The investigations are ongoing, but let’s get the perspective of a data scientist. Quinn Snell is a professor of computer science and big data systems here at BYU. He’s not involved in the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal, but he does a lot of work with data through social media sites and trains students to do it, too. Publish or Perish: Even Harder for Women Guest: Ione Fine, PhD, Professor of Psychology, University of Washington In the academic world, the way to get promoted is to publish your research in prestigious journals like Nature or The Lancet. But women don’t seem to get a fair shake in this system. University of Washington neuroscientist Ione Fine looked at the gender of the key researchers on thousands of articles published over the last decade in the top neuroscience journals. Stephen Hawking’s Legacy Guest: Raphael Bousso, PhD, Professor of Physics, University of California Berkeley World-famous physicist Stephen Hawking died last week. As a bestselling author of “A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes,” he made cosmology more accessible to millions. His image in pop culture image helped with that accessibility too – Hawking had cameos on The Simpsons, Star Trek, the Big Bang Theory and, of course, his early years were the focus of the Oscar-winning film “The Theory of Everything.”  For a look now at Stephen Hawking’s legacy – scientifically and culturally – we’ve got one of his former students on the line. Stories with The Apple Seed Guest: Sam Payne, Host, The Apple Seed, BYUradio Center of the Galaxy Guest: Farhad Zadeh, PhD, Professor of Astronomy, Northwestern University, Faculty member, Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics (CIERA), Weinberg College of Arts and Science We heard last hour how Stephen Hawking helped us better understand some of the mystery around black holes. In the center of our Milky Way galaxy, we’ve got a supermassive black hole, and lately astronomers have noticed unexpected things happening in the neighborhood right around it. Taking Stock of Black Life and Racism in America 50 Years After a Pivotal Moment Guest: Nathan Connolly, PhD, Associate Professor of History, Johns Hopkins University, Author, “A World More Concrete: Real Estate and the Remaking of Jim Crow South Florida,” Co-host, BackStory podcast Fifty years ago this month, the Kerner Commission report came out. It was a group organized by President Lyndon B. Johnson and led by Illinois Governor Otto Kerner to investigate why young black men were rioting in more than 150 cities around the country.  The report was very direct. “White racism is essentially responsible for the explosive mixture which has been accumulating in our cities since the end of World War II,” it said. Racial discrimination in housing, employment and education had led to pent-up frustration in low-income black neighborhoods. And the report warned that the riots would continue if something didn’t change.  Fifty years later, that legacy is not behind us. In fact, when it comes to homeownership, unemployment and incarceration, there’s been no progress for African Americans compared to whites, according to new analysis by the Economic Policy Institute. Where Smartphones Go When They Die Guest: Mohammad Shahrad, PhD candidate, Princeton’s Department of Electrical Engineering The smartphone in your pocket holds more processing power than all the computers NASA had at its disposal when it sent the first astronauts to the moon. Yet, when the screen on a smartphone breaks or it no longer supports the latest apps, we toss them. Now researchers at Princeton are working to harness all that wasted processing power by bundling old phones into servers. Show More...

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