Data Visualization, for Good and for Evil

2022-01-11T09:00:00-05:00/2022-01-11T11:00:00-05:00, with Patrick Thornton

Using a slew of readily available, user-friendly Python libraries such as Pandas, Matplotlib, and Seaborn, this seminar aims to provide a crash course of sorts on the art of data visualization. We will not only be covering the practice of converting incomprehensible spreadsheets of numbers into beautiful, cogent plots; we’ll also deal with some of the myriad ways in which visualizations can be ambiguous, misleading, or downright mendacious. Hopefully, learning to produce some of these data representations yourself will make you all the more vigilant in detecting and defusing faulty visualizations in the wild, too.

Data 101: Hacking Data

2022-01-13T11:00:00-05:00/2022-01-13T12:30:00-05:00, with Angelika Antsmae

Data analysis is a powerful tool that has immense potential to make the world a better place when used well. However, when used improperly, it can also cause or exacerbate big issues. In this seminar we will explore the world of numbers and data, learn new skills of analyzing data and verifying our intuitions. We will use Python and libraries such as pandas, matplotlib, numpy, and scikit-learn to dive further into the world of data cleaning and analysis.

Git: The Power of Version Control

2022-01-14T18:30:00-05:00/2022-01-14T20:30:00-05:00, with Ashley Zhuang

When programmers collaboratively develop software, whether it be for a small personal project or commercial use, they need a way to track and manage changes in a codebase that multiple people are working on. To this end, Git is the most widely used version control system — think Google Docs, but much more powerful and with support for distributed, non-linear workflows. In this seminar, we will explore how and why Git is used, and learn the basics of using Git to manage a software project.

Choose Your Tech Wisely

2022-01-18T09:00:00-05:00/2022-01-18T11:00:00-05:00, with Catherine Deskur

How do companies pick the programming languages they use to write their codebase? Which website hosting service to use? What API to use for processing online payments? In this seminar, we will analyze the pros and cons of popular programming languages and software, and discuss some potential consequences of these choices.

Cryptocurrency: Technicals and Ethics

2022-01-20T10:00:00-05:00/2022-01-20T12:00:00-05:00, with Angel Mata

We’ll first examine how cryptocurrency works (blockchain, hashing, etc.), with an emphasis on breaking the mystique around cryptocurrency. Then we’ll spend time discussing ethical questions like environmental impact, anonymity, wealth inequality, and the question of control/power in cryptomarkets.

The Net Neutrality Pendulum Is Swinging Once Again

2022-01-21T14:00:00-05:00/2022-01-21T16:00:00-05:00, with Sophia Cho

Net neutrality, a term coined by Professor Tim Wu at Columbia Law School in 2002, has been one of the most contentious issues in telecommunications policy since the early 2000s. In this seminar, we will delve into what net neutrality is and how the internet works, followed by how net neutrality regulations and laws have swung back and forth in the United States.