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Big & Open Data Frontiers

  • NAB 700 Bourke St Docklands, VIC, 3008 Australia (map)

Two pioneers share their stories, insights and vision from the frontiers of dealing with challenging scientific and social problems with data.

5:30pm – Doors open 
5:45pm – Open Data, Citizenship & Code for Australia (Alvaro Maz) 
6:15pm – Big Data, Big Models, New Insights (Aurore Delaigle) 
7:45pm – Drinks at Platform 28

Open Data, Citizenship & Code for Australia 
Alvaro Maz

Democracy is rooted in the idea that government derives its power from citizens, and that citizens are a necessary participant in building strong government. But in an age of deep cynicism in the political process, record low voter turnout and historic mistrust in government, we have lost that sense of civic responsibility.

Digital technology offers an opportunity to reanimate citizenship for the 21st century, making government work for and, more importantly, by the people again. Alvaro will talk about the work Code for Australia is doing to create spaces for productive citizen participation through open data, where we can use not just our voices but also our hands to build more responsive governments and ultimately a stronger democracy.

Alvaro has been a designer, change management, open data and open government consultant for Australian governments and a social entrepreneur. He is currently working on a series of projects to improve the governance processes and the urban infrastructure of Australian cities, including an Australian enterprise called Code for Australia to facilitate innovation in government through collaboration, transparency and technology.

Big Data, Big Models, New Insights 
Aurore Delaigle

In today's world, massive amounts of data in a variety of forms are collected daily from a multitude of sources. Many of the resulting data sets have the potential to make vital contributions to society, but are difficult to analyse using traditional tools. The aim of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Mathematical and Statistical Frontiers (ACEMS) is to create innovative mathematical and statistical models that can uncover the knowledge concealed within the size and complexity of these big data sets, with a particular focus on problems arising from the Centre's Collaborative Domains: Healthy People, Sustainable Environments and Prosperous Societies. 

One type of data that are of interest are functional data, which come in the form of curves rather than single variables. Some examples include growth curves of children, speech curves, and sound and light spectra. The infinite dimension of functional data can challenge conventional methods and tackling this has been a particular focus of Aurore's work. 

In this talk, Aurore will give an introduction to ACEMS and describe a few of the problems they are working on. She will then give an introduction to functional data and introduce techniques that can be applied to analyse such data, illustrating the methods with some real data examples. 

Aurore graduated from the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium. After spending three years at the University of California, she moved to the University of Bristol in the UK, and then to the University of Melbourne in Australia. She is particularly interested in nonparametric statistics, functional data, and problems involving imprecise observations.

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