Leonardo Art/Science Evening Rendezvous of 14 June 2018

Exploring the Frontiers of Knowledge and Imagination, Fostering Interdisciplinary Networking

Stanford, 14 June 2018
c/o Stanford University
LiKaShing building - Room LK130
Chaired by Piero Scaruffi

The LASERs are a national program of evening gatherings that bring artists and scientists together for informal presentations and conversation with an audience. See the program for the whole series. The event is free and open to everybody. Email me if you want to be added to the mailing list for the LASERs. Like previous evenings, the agenda includes some presentations of art/science projects, news from the audience, and time for casual socializing/networking.
Where: Stanford University, LiKaShing building - Room LK130
There should be ample parking in the structure on corner of Campus Drive West and Roth Way. (Stanford map)
Parking is mostly free at Stanford after 6pm.
Program (the order of the speakers might change):
  • 7:00-7:25: Geri Migielicz (Stanford/ Communications) on "The Future of Journalism is Visual - Nothing Else is Certain" The keys to journalism's survival will be both its ability to create engaging visual content at scale and the audience's ability to believe what it sees... Read more
  • 7:25-7:50: Reza Zadeh (Stanford Institute for Computational Mathematics) on "Computer Vision Made Simple" Machines are opening their eyes via neural networks... Read more
  • 7:50-8:10: BREAK. Before or after the break, anyone in the audience currently working within the intersections of art and science will have 30 seconds to share their work. Please present your work as a teaser so that those who are interested can seek you out during social time following the event.
  • 8:10-8:35: Adriana Manago (UC Santa Cruz) on "Millennials go Online to Build their Offline Lives" Communication technologies as cultural tools that transform social development during the transition to adulthood... Read more
  • 8:35-9:00: Patricia G. Lange (California College of the Arts) on "Is Ranting Ever a Good Idea?" Forms of civic engagement, which include collective identification of problems, are increasingly moving to online spaces... Read more
  • 9:00pm-9:30pm: Discussions, networking You can mingle with the speakers and the audience

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See also...
  • Other LASER series
  • Archive of past LASERs
  • Leonardo ISAST
  • Art, Technology, Culture Colloquia
  • ScienceSchmoozer
  • LAST Festival
  • Other recommended events
    • Patricia G Lange is an Anthropologist and Assistant Professor of Visual and Critical Studies at California College of the Arts (CCA). Her work focuses on technical identity performance and use of video to express the self. She is the author of Kids on YouTube: Technical Identities and Digital Literacies (Routledge, 2014). She also produced and directed the film Hey Watch This! Sharing the Self Through Media (2013) which provides a diachronic look at the rise and fall of YouTube as a social media site. Hey Watch This! was screened in Paris at Ethnografilm (2014), an international film festival showcasing films that visually depict social worlds. Her work has appeared in seminal collections such as The YouTube Reader and Video Vortex Reader: Responses to YouTube, as well as numerous publications and journals. She was also named an early influential vlogger and invited to reflect on her work in the Online Lives 2.0 issue of Biography. She also teaches undergraduate courses in: digital cultures; anthropology of technology; new media and civic action; space, place & time; and ethnography for design.
    • Adriana Manago is an assistant professor in the psychology department at UC-Santa Cruz. She earned a PhD in developmental psychology from UCLA in 2011 with an interdisciplinary certificate from the FPR-UCLA Center for Culture, Brain, and Development. Previously, she was an assistant professor of psychology at Western Washington University and a post-doctoral fellow in developmental psychology at the University of Michigan. Manago's research focuses on communication technologies as cultural tools for human social life that shape social development in the transition from adolescence to adulthood. She has published empirical studies and books chapters on the role of MySpace, Facebook, and mobile devices in identity, sexuality, friendship, social capital, values, and sociocultural change. Manago maintains a long-term field site in a Maya community in Mexico studying the impact of the Internet and mobile devices on social development and also collaborates with Israeli, Japanese, and French colleagues examining cross-cultural differences in communication technology use and social development. In 2016, the Society for Research on Adolescence recognized Manago with an Early Career Research Award for the breadth and scope of her interdisciplinary work and contributions to diverse research literatures.
    • Geri Migielicz is a professor in the Graduate Program in Journalism in Stanford's Communication Department. She has served as visiting faculty at The Poynter Institute for Media Studies, and is an instructor and advisory board member for the Stan Kalish Workshop. She was Director of Photography at the San Jose Mercury News from 1993 to 2009. Under Geri's tenure, the Mercury News won major awards for photo editing and for multimedia, making the paper a destination for the leading talent in the photojournalism industry. She was executive producer of a 2007 national News and Documentary Emmy Award-winning web documentary, Uprooted, for mercurynews.com. She was on the leadership team for the coverage of the Loma Prieta earthquake that won a 1990 Pulitzer Prize in general news reporting for the Mercury News. She also edited the paper's coverage of California's recall election, a 2003 Pulitzer finalist in Feature Photography. Geri was a 2004-5 Knight Fellow at Stanford University, where she studied multimedia narratives. She is a 2013 inductee to the Missouri Photojournalism Hall of Fame. She is co-founder and executive editor of Story4, (www.story4.org) a multimedia production studio. Story4 is in production of a feature documentary project, "The Cannon and The Flower", (thecannonandflowermovie.com).
    • Piero Scaruffi is a cultural historian who has lectured in three continents and published several books on Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science, the latest one being "The Nature of Consciousness" (2006). He pioneered Internet applications in the early 1980s and the use of the World-Wide Web for cultural purposes in the mid 1990s. His poetry has been awarded several national prizes in Italy and the USA. His latest book of poems and meditations is "Synthesis" (2009). As a music historian, he has published ten books, the latest ones being "A History of Rock and Dance Music" (2009) and "A History of Jazz Music" (2007). His latest book of history is "A History of Silicon Valley" (2011). The first volume of his free ebook "A Visual History of the Visual Arts" appeared in 2012. His latest book is "Intelligence is not Artificial" (2013). He has also written extensively about cinema and literature. He founded the Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous (LASER) in 2008. Since 2015 he has been commuting between California and China, where several of his books have been translated.
    • Reza Zadeh is CEO at Matroid and an Adjunct Professor at Stanford University. His work focuses on Machine Learning, Distributed Computing, and Discrete Applied Mathematics. Reza received his PhD in Computational Mathematics from Stanford under the supervision of Gunnar Carlsson. His awards include a KDD Best Paper Award and the Gene Golub Outstanding Thesis Award. He has served on the Technical Advisory Boards of Microsoft and Databricks. As part of his research, Reza built the Machine Learning Algorithms behind Twitter's who-to-follow system, the first product to use Machine Learning at Twitter. Reza is the initial creator of the Linear Algebra Package in Apache Spark. Through Apache Spark, Reza's work has been incorporated into industrial and academic cluster computing environments. In addition to research, Reza designed and teaches two PhD-level classes at Stanford: Distributed Algorithms and Optimization (CME 323), and Discrete Mathematics and Algorithms (CME 305).

    Extended abstracts:

    In today's political climate, concerns abound about appropriate ways to express the self and discuss problems in meaningful ways. Ranting is a diverse genre that since the time of Cicero has been associated with attack and invective. At the same time, research has shown that ranting as a genre offers disempowered ranters psychical relief. Many rants on YouTube address problems that are collectively experienced but not always easy to solve. Drawing on clips of rants and analyses of ranting as a genre, this talk will explore why YouTubers choose to rant about problems they experience on the site. It will analyze whether viewers see rants as inappropriate emotional forms or as necessary first steps towards action. Forms of civic engagement, which include collective identification of problems, are increasingly moving to online spaces. It is therefore vital that online platforms are shaped to meet the growing demand for working out issues of collective concern online. But what happens when such platforms challenge vernacular expression, such as through rapacious copyright removals of videos, excessively commercial orientation of promoted content, and layouts and designs that inhibit rather than promote individual and collaborative expression? Ranters on YouTube use productive forms of the genre not just to release individual emotions but to propose and create change.

    People love to watch video online. Half a billion people watch video on Facebook each day. Legacy print news publications and news start-ups are investing heavily in video production that is easily distributed via social media and consumable on a cell phone. But the technology -- and user habits -- are changing rapidly, making it hard for news outlets to stay ahead. Another emerging challenge is "deep fakes" and other technologies that will make it hard for users to detect fraud. Fake news stories will seem quaint once these visual manipulations become widespread. Who will solve this problem?

    I conceptualize communication technologies as cultural tools that transform social development during the transition to adulthood. I draw from my own research and others' work to illustrate how millennials (and now iGens) use mobile devices and social media to build social networks and social capital and to engage in the process of identity development in ways that depart from the developmental pathways of previous generations.

    How Computers are opening their eyes via Neural Networks. We will cover a quick introduction to convolutional neural networks followed by live demos to show their capabilities.

    Photos and videos of this evening


    The Stanford LASERs are sponsored by the Stanford Deans of Research; Engineering; Humanities & Sciences; Medicine; and Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences; Continuing Studies; and the Office of Science Outreach.