The ever-increasing availability of digital information has far-reaching consequences. At this year's Data X Symposium, three new faculty members, each hired through Lehigh’s Data X Initiative, explored these consequences in the areas of marketing, communication and computer science. They were joined by colleagues from Northwestern University, Penn State and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, who gave complementary presentations.

“Journalism, news, information, social media: the lines are now permanently blurred in ways that shake the foundation of our society,” said Daniel Lopresti, professor and chair of computer science and engineering and director of the Data X Initiative, in his introduction. “Technology powerhouses like Facebook and Google are scrambling to find ways of advancing the artificial intelligence they deploy to cope with the massive amounts of information that flow through their systems, which is far too great a task for humans to manage unaided.”

The May 3 symposium, titled “Found and Lost in Information: Perspectives from Marketing, Communication and Computer Science,” was held in the Roemmele Global Commons in Williams Hall. It included a presentation from CSE assistant professor Eric Baumer, "Algorithms and their Interpretation: Designing around Mis/Alignments.

The symposium, said Lopresti, was tremendously interdisciplinary, spanning the College of Business and Economics, the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science, and the College of Arts and Sciences.

“I realize we think this [interdisciplinarity] is a special thing at Lehigh, but often we use that term to describe overlap between two fields that are really quite close, or we use it purely in the context of undergraduate education,” Lopresti said. “What we saw [at the symposium] was noteworthy in that it demonstrated incredibly strong overlap in the area of faculty scholarship—not just teaching—across three different fields in three separate colleges that have traditionally been considered very distinct.”

Read the full story at the Lehigh University News Center.

-Kelly Hochbein is Editor of the Lehigh Research Review and an Assistant Editor with Lehigh University's Office of Communications and Public Affairs.