Open Thinkers

 

Angel A. Juan

Angel A. Juan

Associate Professor, Computer Science Department, UOC – IN3 (Spain)

Dr. Angel A. Juan is Associate Professor of Operations Research (accredited as Full Professor / Catedrático) in the Computer Science Department at the Open University of Catalonia (UOC). He is also a Researcher at the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3). Dr. Juan holds a Ph.D. in Applied Computational Mathematics (UNED), an M.S. in Information Systems & Technology (UOC), and an M.S. in Applied Mathematics (University of Valencia). He completed a pre-doctoral internship at Harvard University and a postdoctoral internship at the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics. He has given invited seminars at the University of Southampton (UK) and at the LAAS-CNRS (France). His research interests include Applied Optimization, Randomized Heuristics, Computer Simulation, Educational Data Analysis, and Mathematical e-Learning. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers in international journals, books and proceedings regarding these fields. Currently, he is the coordinator of the ICSO-HAROSA and the CYTED-HAROSA@IB Networks.

Read Juan’s contribution: Shedding light on personal data, analytics and education

 

Aape Pohjavirta

Aape Pohjavirta

Chief evangelist and founder at Funzi (Finland)

Pohjavirta is an entrepreneurship coach and lecturer in Startup Sauna, Aalto University, DTBi and other institutions. Currently he also is chief evangelist and founder at Funzi, a mobile service ecosystem focussed on learning new skills. He is also founder of Inclusion, an open source software project for mobile learning, and sits on multiple advisory boards of research projects and technology programs. Formerly, he was the CEO and founder of Ympyra and CMO of Exomi. Pohjavirta has worked in the mobile industry since 1997 in various management roles and has a solid track record of international business, product, and technology development including. He is an Apple Achiever and an international patent inventor (mobile media app).

Watch Pohjavirta’s contribution: Personalised learning and the new role of teachers

 

John Roberts

John Roberts

Co-founder and President, Open University of West Africa (Ghana)

Roberts is co-founder and President (pro tempore) of the Open University of West Africa (OUWA), a learning community based in Ghana that provides support services for online education. His research focuses on development assistance, education, Africa’s role in geo-political affairs, and technology’s role in economic growth. Roberts has also a Diploma in Cuisine and Pastry from Le Cordon Bleu, a Bachelors in International Affairs from the American University in Paris and a Masters in Public Policy from the National University of Singapore. He is also co-founder of Hub Accra, Global Shaper at the World Economic Forum, and a Fellow at Power of Youth.

Watch Roberts’ contribution: Big data for small institutions

 

Julià Minguillón

Julià Minguillón

Associate Professor at Computer Science, Multimedia and Telecommunications Department, UOC – eLC (Spain)

With a PhD from the Autonomous University of Barcelona in Machine Learning, Dr. Minguillón arrived at the UOC in 2001, where he currently is associate professor within the Computer Science, Multimedia and Telecommunications Department and researcher at the eLearn Center. His main research interests include the formal description of the learning process by means of ontologies, personalizing the learning process by means of adaptive itineraries based on reusable learning objects, and user modeling in virtual e-learning environments applying web and data mining techniques for improving user experience and usability, accessibility and mobility issues. He is also interested in open educational resources and the uses of social tools for teaching and learning. He is also a member of the LAIKA research group that aims to develop methodologies and techniques to analyze educational scenarios, identify significant variables, build analytical models and interpret them from an educational perspective, in order to extract knowledge useful to improve such scenarios in a continuous cycle of observation, analysis and intervention.

Read Minguillón’s contribution: The importance of context

 

Volker Hirsch

Volker Hirsch

Mobile, gaming and digital media entrepreneur and executive (UK)

Hirsch is the co-founder of Blue Beck, a game development studio; and Digital M, a branded digital merchandise for avatar and sticker platforms. He also serves as Chairman of Bibblio, an educational video curation platform, and as Venture Partner at Emerge Education, an education-tech accelerator. Hirsch holds a law degree, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Governor of the Fallibroome Academy. He was previously the Chief Strategy Officer at Scoreloop (sold to BlackBerry) and subsequently the Global Head of Business Development – Games for BlackBerry. He has worked in mobile entertainment since 1999. He worked with music artists like Britney Spears and Nile Rodgers on the world’s first mobile artist services, and oversaw licensing and corporate development with Mforma/Hands-On Mobile and Connect2Media, which he co-founded. He also worked with Marvel, Hasbro, Activision, LEGO, BMW, Konami, Universal, Viacom, and many developers, brand owners and network operators along the way.

Watch Hirsch’s contribution: Improving learning outcomes, avoiding cognitive biases

 

Sara M. Watson

Sara M. Watson

Technology critic and fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard University (USA)

As a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, Watson contributes to the Center’s internet health data initiatives. She spearheads Berkman’s Study Group program and convenes a number of discussion groups, including Tech Book Club and Angry Tech Salon. She is also a Digital Ecologies Research Partnership Fellow. With an MSc in the Social Science of the Internet from the Oxford Internet Institute, Watson’s work explores how people are learning to live with, understand, and interpret data. She aims to uncover the ways that corporations, governments, and individuals use data from wearable sensors, the internet of things, and other digitally processed systems. Her writings have appeared in The Atlantic, Al Jazeera America, Wired, Harvard Business Review, and Slate.

Read Watson’s contribution: Mapping the Data Ecosystem

 

Anne-Marie Imafidon

Anne-Marie Imafidon

Founder and head of Stemettes (UK)

Imafidon is the youngest girl ever to pass A-level computing (aged 11) and one of the youngest to be awarded a Master’s degree in Mathematics and Computer Science by the University of Oxford (aged 20). She has also been named Guardian “Top 10 women in tech you need to know”, UK IT Industry & British Computer Society’s Young IT Professional of the Year in 2013, Red Magazine’s “Woman to Watch” 2014, the 2014 FDM Everywoman in Technology “Rising Star” and won a Points of Light award from the UK Prime Minister in October 2014. She has worked at Goldman Sachs, Hewlett-Packard, Deutsche Bank and Lehman Brothers and recently she set up the Stemettes project, a bid to inspire the next generation of females into Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics via a series of panel events, hackathons — like this one on big data — and exhibitions.

Watch Imafidon’s contribution: Towards a gender neutral curriculum

 

Alyssa Wise

Alyssa Wise

Associate Professor, Faculty of Education, Simon Fraser University (Canada)

Dr. Alyssa Wise is an Associate Professor of Education and Coordinator of the Educational Technology & Learning Design Program at Simon Fraser University (Canada). She also serves as an Executive Member and Communications Chair for the Society for Learning Analytics Research. Wise holds a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and a M.S. in Instructional Systems Technology from Indiana University (USA) and a B.S. in Chemistry from Yale University (USA). She has over thirteen years’ experience designing, developing and evaluating learning technologies for both academic and business contexts. In prior research she has investigated the ways in which learners collaborate in online environments and how to create useful analytics about these processes. Her current work focuses on understanding the social context of learning analytics use and how instructors and students practically take up learning analytics to inform their teaching and learning activities.

Read Wise’s contribution: Getting to Know Ourselves (Really)

 

Phil Richards

Phil Richards

Chief Innovation Officer, Jisc (UK)

With a first class honours degree in physics and a doctorate in nuclear structure physics from University of Oxford, Dr. Richards has been involved with e-learning since early in his career. First as a courseware developer in physics at Cardiff University, next as an e-learning advisor working directly with academics at the University of Hull and then as head of e-learning at King’s College London. Within Jisc, he leads the futures team: a group of experts with the capacity to identify, shape and exploit opportunities for new, digitally enabled, ways of working. Formerly, Richards was director of IT at Loughborough University and head of ICT at Plymouth University.

Read Richards’ contribution: Sharing best practice to make the most of big data

 

Terry Anderson

Terry Anderson

Professor in Distance Education, Athabasca University (Canada)

With a PhD in Education Psychology with specialty in Educational Computer Applications, Anderson is currently professor and former Canada Research Chair in Distance Education at Athabasca University, Canada’s Open University. He is also the director of the Canadian Institute for Distance Education Resarch (CIDER). Anderson teaches and advises students in the Masters of Distance Education, Master of Arts Integrated Studies (MAIS) program and the Education Doctoral (EdD) program at Athabasca University. His research interests relate primarily to social software use in distance education.

Read Anderson’s contribution: Big Data, Learning Analytics and Distance Education

 

Nuria Oliver

Nuria Oliver

Scientific director at Telefonica R&D (Spain)

Nuria Oliver is scientific director at Telefónica R&D. She is the founder and leader of the Data Mining, Mobile HCI, Multimedia Analysis and User Modelling research areas. She received the BSc and MSc degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the ETSIT at the Universidad Politécnica of Madrid. Then she moved to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where she obtained her PhD, and immediately after started working for Microsoft Research in Redmond (WA, USA). Oliver finally returned to Europe at the end of 2007, when she was appointed to create and lead her research team at Telefónica R&D in Barcelona. Her research interests include big and personal data analysis, mobile computing, multimedia data analysis, artificial intelligence and human computer interaction, among many others. She is passionate about the power of technology to have positive impact in the world.

Watch Oliver’s contribution: For personalized education big data is a must

 

David Weinberger

David Weinberger

Senior researcher, Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Harvard University (USA)

Dr. Weinberger is a senior researcher at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, at Harvard University. He is the author of Small Pieces Loosely Joined, Everything Is Miscellaneous, and Too Big to Know, and is a co-author of The Cluetrain Manifesto. He was for four years the co-director of the Harvard Library Innovation Lab. Weinberger holds a PhD in philosophy from the University of Toronto.

Read Weinberger’s contribution: Big Data needs a human network

 

Audrey Watters

Audrey Watters

Journalist, founder of Hack Education (USA)

Audrey Watters is a technology writer and rabble-rouser with a Master’s Degree in Folklore. She was working on a PhD in Comparative Literature, but chose instead to write about data, culture, education and technology outside of academia rather than finish her dissertation. In 2010, she founded Hack Education, a blog on education technology, after seeing there was a lack of coverage on this area. She is also a freelance writer whose articles have been published in The Atlantic, O’Reilly Radar, ReadWriteWeb, The Huffington Post, and Edutopia, among other media. Watters is author of The Monsters of Education Technology, a collection of her lectures, and she is working on two new books: Teaching Machines and Reclaim Your Domain.

Watch Watters’s contribution: Looking for solutions in wrong places

 

Rosa Borge

Rosa Borge

Associate Professor, Open University of Catalonia; and researcher, IN3 (Spain)

Dr Borge is a Political Science Associate Professor at the Open University of Catalonia and Researcher of the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3-UOC). She was Associate Director of the Doctoral Program in Information and Knowledge Society at UOC for 6 years. Borge holds a PhD in Political Science and Sociology from the Deusto University (Bilbao). She has been a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Political Studies at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) and Senior Researcher at the Pompeu Fabra University (Barcelona). Her current areas of research are online deliberation and participation, social networks analysis of parties and social movements and the evolution of the 2011 cycle of protests.

Read Borge’s contribution: Big Data and Knowledge in the Social Sciences

 

Maarten de Laat

Maarten de Laat

Professor, Open University of the Netherlands (Netherlands)

De Laat is full professor of professional development in social networks at the Welten Institute, Research Centre for Learning, Teaching & Technology, Open University of the Netherlands. He is director of the Social and Networked Learning research programme. His interests revolve on exploring social learning strategies and networked learning relationships that facilitate learning and professional development. De Laat’s research addresses informal learning in the workplace, lifelong learning, professional development and knowledge creation through (online) social networks and communities and the impact technology, learning analytics and social design has on the way these networks and communities work, learn and create value.

Watch De Laat’s contribution: Analytics by and for students

 

Darcy Hardy

Darcy Hardy

Associate Vice-President for Enterprise Consulting, BlackBoard (USA)

Dr. Darcy W. Hardy is Associate Vice President for Enterprise Consulting at Blackboard Inc, where she leads a team of nationally-recognized experts in higher education, K-12, e-learning and distance education, information technology, open source technologies, outcomes and assessment, and analytics. The team works together with educational institutions in designing and developing their educational programs, and providing expertise in driving transformation and managing institutional change. Hardy also serves as Chair Emerita with the United States Distance Learning Association. Previously, she spent over 25 years in public higher education, most recently serving as Assistant Vice Provost for Technology Education Initiatives at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Hardy obtained her PhD in Instructional Technology from the University of Texas at Austin in 1992.

Watch Hardy’s contribution: More data to better serve our students

 

Francesc Balagué

Francesc Balagué

Educator and founder of Akoranga and Crowdfunding Sherpas (Spain)

Francesc Balagué is an educator and researcher with a PhD in Educative Multimedia from the University of Barcelona. Mainly, he is interested in aspects related to innovation of educational processes, like learning by doing and learning by creating. Balagué is also a natural born entrepreneur. He is founder of Akoranga, a blog about education and technology, and Crowdfunding Sherpas, a website aimed to plan and enhance success of crowdfunding campaigns. He is also a member of TeamLabs, a think tank and research lab on education strategies.

Watch Balagué’s contribution: What sort of educational tools for the future?

 

María Binaghi

María Binaghi

Head of science programs & content manager, DataDonors (Argentina).

With a PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of Buenos Aires, María Binaghi joined The Wikilife Foundation team five years ago, and she currently leads the science programs and content manager sections of DataDonors, a campaign to collect volunteer online data for health research purposes. Binaghi has always been interested in human health. She has worked on mammalian cancer at the National Academy of Medicine, she has been teaching assistant at the Biology Department at the John F. Kennedy University, and she is currently professor at the University of Belgrano.

Watch Binaghi’s contribution: Data donation for the advancement of health research

 

Natalie Shoup

Natalie Shoup

Program manager, Data-Pop Alliance (USA)

Natalie Shoup holds a BSE in Operations Research and Financial Engineering and certificates in Engineering and Management Systems and Latin American Studies from Princeton University. She is currently program manager at Data-Pop Alliance, a program created by the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, the MIT Media Lab and the Overseas Development Institute to bring together researchers, experts, practitioners and activists to promote a people-centered Big Data revolution through collaborative research, capacity building and community engagement. Prior to this position, Shoup worked in analytics consultancy and spent some time in Latin America, especially working with NGOs focusing on education in Brazil and Colombia.

Watch Shoup’s contribution: Big Data for development

 

Manuel Armayones

Manuel Armayones

Associate professor and Deputy Director, Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences, UOC (Spain)

Manuel Armayones holds a doctoral degree in Psychology from the University of Barcelona. After having practised psychology since 1992, he joined the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) in 2001 as a professor of different subjects in the area of Personality, Evaluation and Psychological Treatment. Armayones is the UOC’s coordinator of the Joint University Master’s Degree in General Health Psychology (UdG-UOC). Since 2012 he is also the Vice-president of the Spanish Federation of Rare Diseases (FEDER), an entity that represents 290 patients’ organizations affected by uncommon diseases. Within FEDER, he participates in the Observatory for Rare Diseases initiative along with researchers from the UOC’s PSiNET research group and other Spanish universities.

Read Armayones’ contribution: Smart Cities, Big Data and Behavioural and Social Sciences: Human Cities

 

Reynol Junco

Reynol Junco

Associate professor, Iowa State University; and faculty associate, Berkman Center for Internet and Society (USA)

Dr. Junco is an associate professor of education and human computer interaction at Iowa State University and a faculty associate at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. He applies quantitative methods to analyze the effects of social media on youth psychosocial development, engagement, and learning. His research has focused on discerning better practices for using social technologies to enhance learning outcomes. Junco is investigating the ability to use trace data (seemingly irrelevant data collected through natural uses of technology) to provide real-time and unobtrusive prediction of student outcomes. He is author of three books, the latest being Engaging Students through Social Media: Evidence Based Practices for Use in Student Affairs.

Read Junco’s contribution: Predicting course outcomes with digital textbook analytics

 

Susan Grajek

Susan Grajek

Vice President, Data, Research, and Analytics, EDUCAUSE (USA)

Dr. Susan Grajek is EDUCAUSE‘s vice president for data, research, and analytics, where she also has programmatic responsibility for cybersecurity; governance, risk and compliance (GRC), and administrative IT programs. Previously, she spent over 25 years in different positions at Yale University. With a PhD in research psychology from Yale, Grajek also held a faculty appointment at the University School of Medicine’s Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, where she started teaching a data management course. Her work with the School of Medicine included creating and leading its IT research department. Grajek’s expertise encompasses the design and execution of research in management, the behavioral sciences, and public policy, as well as statistical analysis. She also has an established background in IT planning, assessment, and metrics, as well as IT operational leadership.

Read Grajek’s contribution: Big data and analytics in higher education: So near, yet…

Marco Bressan

Marco Bressan

Chief data scientist, BBVA (Spain)

Marco Bressan is chief data scientist at BBVA and Chairman at BBVA Data & Analytics. This includes the promotion and development of data services, data-centric operations and analytical competencies within the group. Prior to BBVA, Marco was chief innovation officer, transportation and government for Xerox Corporation, and was also responsible for the Services Innovation Laboratory at Xerox Research Centre Europe. As a researcher his background is in data science, statistical pattern recognition, machine learning, and computer vision. Bressan holds a BA in Applied Mathematics from the University of Buenos Aires, a M.Sc. in Computer Vision from the Computer Vision Centre in Spain and a Ph.D. in Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence from the Autonomous University of Barcelona.

Read Bressan’s contribution: People’s needs first

Jorge Alvarado

Jorge Andrés Alvarado

Director of the Master of Science in Analytics for Business Intelligence, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (Colombia)

Jorge Andrés Alvarado is Associate Professor of Analytics at the Industrial Engineering Department at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana. He has a Ph.D in Engineering from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana and a M.Sc in Analytics from North Carolina State University. His research interests are in analytics of databases of human behavior and Human-Computer Interaction in the field of judgmental forecasting. His work has been published in refereed academic journals including Computers in Human Behavior and the International Journal of Forecasting.

Read Alvarado’s contributionGetting along with intelligent machines

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Oriol Travesset-Baro

Researcher at Observatori de la Sostenibilitat d’Andorra (OBSA)

Oriol is a Researcher at Observatori de la Sostenibilitat d’Andorra (OBSA) mostly involved in energy-related projects. He holds a Degree in Telecom Engineer and a M.S. in Sustainability Science and Technology (UPC). He is also Ph.D. Candidate in Sustainability Measurement and Modeling Lab (SUMMLab) at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC). This research is focused on exploring how Andorra can advance towards a more sustainable energy system. He undertake an internship at University College Cork (UCC) in the Energy Policy and Modelling Research Group. His main research interests include energy systems modelling, energy planning, renewable energy technologies and sustainable mobility.

Read Trevesset’s contribution: The need to bring research closer to society

Aldo de Jong

Co-founder and partner, Claro Partners (Spain)

Aldo de Jong holds an MBA from IESE Business School and an MSc in Chemical Engineering from Delft University of Technology. He is the co-founder of Claro Partners and Startupbootcamp (focused on IoT & Smart Data), where he helps corporations and start-ups navigate disruptive shifts in society and business. Previously, he also worked in business development and strategy as a founding member of the European office of Smart Design. De Jong is a strategist with a strong analytical capability and business acumen, coupled with creativity and passion for understanding people. He understands what it takes to take an initiative through the organization to the marketplace.

View De Jong’s contributionPeople’s need first (Cont.)

About the Question
Are Big Data & Analytics shaping a smarter society?

Every day we generate a huge amount of big data, but we need to resort to analytics to make abstract information meaningful and get valuable knowledge from it. In education, learning platforms let us easily gather an immense quantity of data regarding students’ behaviour, interactions, preferences and opinions. When properly analysed — through learning analytics — all these data might provide useful insight on how to make learning processes more adaptive, attractive and efficient.

Are these techniques allowing us to provide better support to our students? Are we taking advantage of big data and analytics to help shape the citizens of the future?

Big Data and Simheuristics
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