We are living in a data-centric world. You might not realize, but data influences nearly every important decision you’ll make on a daily basis. Consider your daily commute from Marietta to Midtown Atlanta. You leave at a particular time or take a particular route based on your understanding of the traffic data. You choose a particular restaurant after work or select a hair stylist based on Yelp reviews. You vote and influence the entire direction of your local, national, and global community based on your understanding of political trends or voting records. There’s so much data, that an entire field – data analytics – exists to make sense of it all. But what about people like you and me? How can we, as non-data analysts, take advantage of all of this information to make decisions or come to better-informed conclusions?
Many of the veterans who come home from combat zones by the thousands with high rates of mental illness, as well as the clinicians treating them, face barriers to achieving effective outcomes. Today, host Dr. Ayanna Howard is joined by Rosa Arriaga, a senior research scientist in the School of Interactive Computing, whose new grant from the National Science Foundation aims to take this challenge head-on. What are the challenges to effective care of patients facing PTSD or other chronic illnesses? Can usable computational tools be the key to improving the effectiveness and efficiency of treatment? Why is it important that we in the computing community continue to think about how our technologies work for people in the real world?
In recent years, as computing as become central to most fields of study, so too has the education and research being performed in Georgia Tech’s College of Computing. One person who has been here through it all is Charles Isbell, the new John P. Imlay Jr. Dean of Computing. We chat with Dean Isbell about the importance of maintaining an interdisciplinary approach to research, the potential challenges facing computer science education and computing as a whole in the coming years, and why equity is the tie that binds all we do toward a fruitful future of computing.
When Zvi Galil, the outgoing John P. Imlay Jr. Dean of Computing, came to Georgia Tech in 2010, there was no such thing as OMSCS. True online degree programs were still a dream, AI teaching assistants unnecessary, and the College of Computing, while excellent, in many ways mirrored its peers in higher education. Over nearly a decade that he has led the College, however, it has experienced dramatic growth both in size and reputation. As he prepares for the final month of his deanship at the College of Computing, we chat with Dean Galil about what brought him to Georgia Tech, his mission and how he fulfilled it, and, of course, the world-renowned online degree program for which he will be most remembered.
In the late 1990s, the United States saw a sharp increase in the number of opioid overdose deaths – rising by nearly 600 percent between 1999 and 2017, according to data provided by the CDC. It has, appropriately, been labeled an epidemic, and in 2018 the country’s life expectancy dropped for the third consecutive year, reflecting the ongoing drug crisis and rising suicide rates. As researchers and clinicians continue to examine the quality of different approaches to treatment, many seeking recovery have taken matters into their own hands. Our guest, School of Interactive Computing Ph.D. student Stevie Chancellor, will present a paper on this subject next week at the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in Glasgow, Scotland. What exactly do these addiction support communities entail? What alternative strategies are people pursuing in recovery, and why? How can we ensure that clinicians are well-informed about the types of self-treatments being used outside of their care?