Keynotes & Panelists

Jon Kleinberg

Jon Kleinberg | Cornell University

Friday, June 22 | 1:30pm-2:30pm (opening Keynote)

Title: Status and Diversity in On-Line Social InteractionAbstract:The availability of social interaction traces from a rich variety of on-line domains has led to an active line of work exploring social theories using these forms of data, and adapting these theories in the design of new applications. In this talk we discuss two particular classes of theories that have recently played a role in the analysis of on-line social systems: one class is based on formalizing notions of distinctiveness and diversity in the interactions, and the other is based on differences in status and power among the participants. In the analysis, we consider not just structural information—who interacted with whom, and when—but also the language content of the interactions, and the ways in which this content reveals subtle information about the relationships among the participants

Bio: Jon Kleinberg is the Tisch University Professor in the Computer Science Department at Cornell University. His research focuses on issues at the interface of networks and information, with an emphasis on the social and information networks that underpin the Web and other on-line media. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and serves on the Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) Advisory Committee of the National Science Foundation, and the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (CSTB) of the National Research Council. He is the recipient of MacArthur, Packard, and Sloan Foundation Fellowships, as well as awards including the Nevanlinna Prize, the Lanchester Prize, and the ACM-Infosys Foundation Award in the Computing Sciences

Siva Vaidyanathan

Siva Vaidyanathan | University of Virginia
Friday, June 22 | 6:15pm-7:15pm Title: The Web is Dead (Revisited)

Abstract:In 2010 Wired Magazine ran a controversial article declaring “The Web is Dead. Long Live the Internet.” The shift in use to mobile apps, the article asserted, would foster a more attractive “post-HTML environment” and render the openness of the Web less attractive to developers and users. The reaction to the article was not generous. But the premises of the article were not unfounded. This talk will assess the consequences of a “post-HTML environment” to the global information ecosystem in the wake of hyperbole about the effects of social media and the spread of mobile connectivity. What sort of “Web Science” is possible if everything we have assumed about digital connectivity is in flux?

Bio: Siva Vaidhyanathan is the Robertson Professor and the chair of the Department of Media Studies at the University of Virginia. He also teaches in the University of Virginia School of Law. Vaidhyanathan is the author of several books, and has written for many periodicals, including American Scholar, the Chronicle of Higher Education, the New York Times Magazine, MSNBC.COM,,, Columbia Journalism Review, BookForum,, the Washington Post, and The Nation.  He has testified as an expert before the U.S. Copyright Office on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.After five years as a professional journalist, Vaidhyanathan earned a PhD in American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. He has taught previously at Wesleyan University, the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Columbia University, New York University, and Universiteit van Amsterdam. You can follow him on Twitter at @sivavaid

Sonia Livingstone

Sonia Livingstone | London School of economics
Saturday, June 23 | 8:45am-9:45am

Title:What difference does the digital make? Social networks in and around the classroom

Abstract: In today’s digitally connected world, traditional boundaries between school and home, information and communication, learning and playing seem blurred, even reversed, with learning happening at home or with peers online while school is a key site for social activities and the authority of teachers is challenged. By tracing the social, digital and learning networks within and beyond a single class of 13-14 year olds at home, school and elsewhere over the course of an academic year, my lecture will examine the patterning of and contrasts between on- and offline experiences in teenagers’ daily learning lives in order to ask what difference, if any, does the digital make?
Bio: Sonia Livingstone is Professor of Social Psychology in the Department of Media and Communications at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her research examines children, young people and the internet; media and digital literacies; the mediated public sphere; audience reception for diverse television genres and public understanding of communications regulation. She is author or editor of 16 books, including The Handbook of New Media (edited, with Leah Lievrouw, Sage, 2006) and Children and the Internet (2009, Polity). She currently directs two major projects – EU Kids Online, a network of 33 countries funded by the EC Safer Internet Programme, and The Class, part of Connected Learning Research Network funded by the MacArthur Foundation.

Sinan Aral

Sinan Aral | New York University
Saturday, June 23 | 1:30pm-2:30pm

Title:Measuring Influence in Social (Media) Networks

Abstract: Measuring influence and finding influential people in social networks is now all the rage. But, true estimates of influence are fraught with statistical difficulties which naïve scoring methods cannot address. So, how can we robustly measure influence and identify influentials in networks? Whether in the spread of disease, the diffusion of information, the propagation of social contagions, the effectiveness of viral marketing, or the magnitude of peer effects in a variety of settings, a key problem is understanding whether and when the statistical relationships we observe can
be interpreted causally. Sinan will review what we know and where work might go with respect to identifying causal peer influence in social networks and the importance of causal inference for understanding the spread of products, political views and public health behaviors through society. He will provide examples from large scale observational and experimental studies in online social media networks and describe a new project to spread HIV testing using peer to peer influence and mobile messaging in South Africa, the subject of which is the basis for a new documentary film entitled “The Social Cure.”

Bio:Sinan Aral is an Assistant Professor and Microsoft Faculty Fellow at the NYU Stern School of Business. His research focuses on social contagion and measuring and managing how information diffusion in massive social networks such as Twitter and Facebook affects information worker productivity, consumer demand and viral marketing. This research has won numerous awards including the Microsoft Faculty Fellowship (2010), the PopTech Science and Public Leaders Fellowship (2010), an NSF Early Career Development (CAREER) Award (2009), the Best Overall Paper Award at the International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS) (in both 2006 and 2008), the ICIS Best Paper in IT Economics Award (2006), the ICIS Best Paper in IT Business Value Research Award (2006), the ACM SIGMIS Best Dissertation Award (2007), and the IBM Faculty Award (2009).

Sinan is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Northwestern University and holds
masters degrees from the London School of Economics and Harvard University.
He received his PhD from MIT. You can follow him on Twitter @sinanaral.

danah boyd

danah boyd | Microsoft Research
Saturday, June 23 | 6:15pm-7:15pm

Title:  Understanding Privacy in an Era of Big Data

Abstract:To many, privacy and “Big Data” seem like unresolvable concepts. Yet, when we understand that privacy is about guaranteeing that people have agency, information to interpret a socio-technical situation, and the ability to make informed decisions that shape how information flows, we can then move towards developing an approach to privacy that makes sense in an environment flush with data. In this talk, danah will explore how people think about privacy, the strategies that youth take to achieve privacy, and how those working in the area of “Big Data” should think about privacy. In addition, danah will offer some provocative questions to consider with respect to privacy as we move forward in the era of “Big Data.”

Bio: Dr. danah boyd is a Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research, a Research Assistant Professor in Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University, a Fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, a Research Fellow of the Born This Way Foundation, and an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of New South Wales. Her research examines the intersection of technology, society, and youth culture. Currently, she’s focused on privacy, youth meanness and cruelty, and human trafficking. She co-authored Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning with New Media. She’s working a new book called “It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens.”

Luis von Ahn

Luis von Ahn | Carnegie Mellon University
Sunday, June 24 | 4:50pm-5:50pm (closing Keynote)

Title: Learn a Language for Free while Helping to Translate the Web
Abstract: I want to translate the Web into every major language: every webpage, every video, and, yes, even Justin Bieber’s tweets.With its content split up into hundreds of languages — and with over 50% of it in English — most of the Web is inaccessible to most people in the world. This problem is pressing, now more than ever, with millions of people from China, Russia, Latin America and other quickly developing regions entering the Web. In this talk, I introduce my new project, called Duolingo, which aims at breaking this language barrier, and thus making the Web truly “world wide.”We have all seen how systems such as Google Translate are improving every day at translating the gist of things written in other languages. Unfortunately, they are not yet accurate enough for my purpose. With Duolingo, our goal is to encourage people, like you and me, to translate the Web into their native languages.

Bio:  Luis von Ahn is the A. Nico Habermann Associate Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. He is working to develop a new area of computer science that he calls Human Computation, which aims to build systems that combine the intelligence of humans and computers to solve large-scale problems that neither can solve alone. An example of his work is reCAPTCHA, in which over one billion people — 15% of humanity — have helped digitize books and newspapers. Among his many honors are a MacArthur Fellowship, a Packard Fellowship, a Sloan Research Fellowship, a Microsoft New Faculty Fellowship, the ACM Grace Hopper Award, and CMU’s Herbert A. Simon Award for Teaching Excellence and Alan J. Perlis Teaching Award.


Industry Panel on Enterprise Social Media

Sunday June 24, 8:45am-9:45am

JP Rangaswami  | Salesforce

Bio:  As Chief Scientist at, Rangaswami focuses on helping’s European customers think about innovative ways to use the real-time, mobile and social capabilities provided by Salesforce apps and the platform.

Prior to joining, Rangaswami spent four years at BT in London, most recently
as Chief Scientist of the BT Group. Rangaswami has also held a variety of leadership and technology positions at investment bank Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, Burroughs Corp., Data General and Hoskyns Group.

Rangaswami is chairman of School of Everything and is also a venture partner at Anthemis Group. Rangaswami is a Fellow of the British Computer Society, a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts and is a Chartered IT Professional of the British Computer Society. He writes a popular blog called Confused of Calcutta, and contributed a guest chapter to The Cluetrain Manifesto, a best-selling business book. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Statistics from St. Xavier’s College, University of Calcutta.

Chris Diehl | Jive

Bio:  Dr. Chris Diehl is a senior data scientist with Jive Software where he focuses on designing and developing advanced analytics for enterprise social search and online community health assessment. Prior to joining Jive, Dr. Diehl spent over ten years as a research scientist at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. There he defined and developed machine learning approaches to address a variety of inference challenges across the DoD and intelligence community. He is broadly interested in human-machine collaboration for optimizing analytic workflows and group performance.

Christian Posse | LinkedIn

Bio: Dr. Christian Posse is Principal Scientist and Product Manager at LinkedIn Corp. where he leads the development of recommender systems. Prior to LinkedIn, Dr. Posse was a founding member of Cisco’s Network Collaboration Business Unit developing Pulse, a network-based search and collaboration platform for the enterprise. Before that, Dr. Posse worked in a wide range of environments, from holding faculty positions in US universities, to leading the R&D at software companies and a US National Laboratory in the social networks, behavioral analytics, biological networks and computational linguistics fields. He has written over 40 scientific peer-reviewed publications and holds several patents in those fields. Dr. Posse has a PhD in Statistics from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.

Panel on Challenges & Opportunities for Industry Research
Sunday June 24, 8:45am-9:45am

Raghu Ramakrishnan | Microsoft

Bio:   Raghu Ramakrishnan is a Technical Fellow at Microsoft, and CTO for Information Services. He was previously a professor at University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a Yahoo! Fellow. As Chief Scientist for several divisions at Yahoo!, he drove content recommendation algorithms (CORE), cloud data stores (PNUTS), and semantic search (“Web of Things”). In 1999, he founded QUIQ, a company that introduced a cloud-based question-answering service.  He has written the widely-used text “Database Management Systems”. Ramakrishnan has received several awards, including the ACM SIGKDD Innovations Award, the SIGMOD 10-year Test-of-Time Award, the ACM SIGMOD Contributions Award, a Distinguished Alumnus Award from IIT Madras, a Packard Foundation Fellowship, and an NSF PYI Award. He is a Fellow of the ACM and IEEE.

Neel Sundaresan | eBay

Bio:  Neel Sundaresan is a Senior Director at eBay Research Labs where he has been a head for the past 5 years. He leads research in areas that include large scale platforms for eCommerce systems including search, classification, recommender systems, text mining, vision, trust, and social networks and economics of eCommerce. Prior to joining eBay, he was a founder and CTO of a startup focused on multi-attribute fuzzy search and network CRM and head of the eMerging Internet Technologies group at the IBM Almaden Research Center.

He led research work in other areas like domain specific search engines, multi-modal interfaces and assistive technologies, semantic transcoding, and web mining. He has over 50 research publications and several patents to his credit. He has been a frequent speaker at several national and international technology conferences. He has advised several PhD and several masters dissertations. He has a degree in mathematics and a masters in computer science and engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, India and a PhD in computer science from Indiana University, Bloomington.

Ed Chi | Google

Bio:  Ed H. Chi is a Research Scientist at Google, where he is embedded in the Google+ project, focusing on research relating to social search, recommendation, annotations, and analytics. About a year ago, he was the Area Manager and a Principal Scientist at Palo Alto Research Center’s Augmented Social Cognition Group, where he led the group in understanding how Web2.0 and Social Computing systems help groups of people to remember, think and reason. Ed completed his three degrees (B.S., M.S., and Ph.D.) in 6.5 years from University of Minnesota, and has been doing research on user interface software systems since 1993. He has been featured and quoted in the press, including the Economist, Time Magazine, LA Times, and the Associated Press.