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“The Human Face of Big Data”

A New York Times article describing Rick Smolan’s forthcoming book The Human Face of Big Data features two of our favorite computer scientists:  UW CSE professor Shwetak Patel, and MIT EECS professor John Guttag:

“Mr. Smolan visited recently to offer a glimpse of what will be in The Human Face of Big Data and the imaginative photo composition involved in bringing technical subjects to life. One photograph shows Shwetak Patel, an assistant professor at the University of Washington, who has developed technology that measures energy and water use in homes; with wireless sensors and clever software to determine what appliances and gadgets in a home use the most electricity and water, the software suggests ways to conserve — information delivered graphically on an iPad. The photo shows young Mr. Patel in the backyard of his cousin’s house in Hayward, Calif., with his cousin’s family, surrounded by what looks to be every single appliance, digital device, faucet and toilet in the household.

“Another photo illustrates software technology that captures previously discarded data from heart-monitoring electrocardiogram machines. The software program sifts the data, looking for subtle heart abnormalities that identify patients that are at high risk of suffering a second heart attack within a year. The photo shows two M.I.T. scientists, John Guttag and Collin Stultz, who developed the technology, standing in a small mountain of paper, which is 10 hours of printout data from an E.K.G. machine.”

Read the New York Times article here.  Visit the web page for the book here.

Additional related articles:  Enterprise here; Huffington Post here.

September 13, 2012