Alex ‘Sandy’ Pentland to open Golisano College Dean’s Lecture Series Oct. 11

Computer scientist, faculty and students open computing security and big data discussion

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The Golisano Computing College will help kick off RIT’s Brick City Homecoming & Family Weekend Oct. 11 with an exploration of cyber security and computing. The day of discovery features exhibits, a guest speaker and a championship celebration.

Alex “Sandy” Pentland, director of MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory and the MIT Media Lab Entrepreneurship Program, will discuss the impact of “big data” and the need for a “new deal on data” to preserve privacy and personal safety, as part of the B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences’ Dean’s Lecture Series. Pentland will present “Social Physics and the Beginning of the Big Data Society” at 1 p.m. Oct. 11 in RIT’s Golisano Hall auditorium.

Pentland, a computer scientist and lead academic for the World Economic Forum’s Big Data and Personal Data initiatives, helps to further discussion about big data—the analyzing of social interactions and behaviors on a wide scale—and the trade-offs between privacy and the value of personal data. In 2011, he was chosen by Forbes as one of the world’s seven most powerful data scientists.

Before the talk, visitors can discover the Golisano College through three exhibits from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Golisano Hall Atrium. Students and professors will be on hand to explain the security methods used by leading tech companies, how to protect your personal and professional information and to show off projects that harness computing technology.

After the talk, visitors can join in the celebration for RIT’s first National Collegiate Cyber Defense Championship at 2 p.m. The RIT team that bested the national field in San Antonio in spring 2013 will be presented the Alamo Cup. In addition, the college will raise a championship banner in the atrium to commemorate the team’s achievements. A reception will follow the trophy presentation and the cyber defense team will be available to meet with attendees.

For more information about the free events at the Golisano College, go to