Fighting Poverty with Data: Research at the Intersection of Machine Learning and Development Economics

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Date(s) - 04/15/2016
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


The Digital and Computational Knowledge Initiative is hosting a Friday lunch talk featuring Wesleyan alumnus Joshua Blumenstock, a graduate of 2003 with a degree in Computer Science and Physics. He was a Watson fellow.

Joshua Blumenstock is Assistant Professor in the Information School, with affiliations in Computer Science and Engineering, at the University of Washington. He is co-Director of the Data Science and Analytics Lab, where they work on methods to analyse large-scale behavioral data, keyed to trying to understand better poverty and economic development. He is a former Watson Fellow.

In this talk, he will share how he’ll show how he and his collaborators have worked in Afghanistan, Ghana, and Rwanda combining field-based experiments and interviews with terabyte-scale mobile phone data to gain insight into the distribution of poverty and wealth in order to improve policy decisions.

Downey House 113 – lunch will be served



Jennifer Roach is the Civic Engagement Fellow in Allbritton for the academic year 2015-2016. She is a recent Wesleyan alumni, class of 2014. Since graduating, she has moved to Hartford to continue developing Summer of Solutions Hartford, an urban farming internship program she worked on during her time at Wesleyan.