Big Data, digital libraries, cloud computing, mobile applications, digital humanities, information, data, geolocation, privacy, Google, Pixar, textual repositories, crowd sourcing, prediction, probability, word clouds, remote sensing, algorithms, causation and correlation, Internet of Things


Presented as a Keynote Address to the International Conference on Computing in Engineering and the Sciences in Istanbul, Turkey, on July 30, 2015.

This is an abstract of the speech:

Thanks to technological progress, thanks to the copious Internet, thanks to geometrically burgeoning social media and to quickly proliferating sensors, the flood of data available to us is surging larger and larger, faster and faster. Paradigms for management and analysis are at the core of data-driven businesses and institutions, fueling the velocity of scientific research and development. The phrase “Big Data” was itself coined by scientists as they manipulated exploding data masses as a means of mapping the heavens on the astronomical scale and mapping the genome on the human scale. Now we are finding myriad uses between the celestial and the personal. The potential utility of Big Data in all fields of endeavor is as clear as are the challenges and difficulties. The entire enterprise of dealing with Big Data is so new that the field is still full of questions about the validity of the practice itself and the value of the means by which the data are analyzed. On the positive side, it is appropriate to point out how artifical intelligence may assist in legitimizing and validating approaches to massaging and interpreting Big Data. It is likewise relevant to point out how cloud computing (as series of widely interconnected digital repositories or cooperative workshops) and the use of mobile applications, (above all as sensing organs) can help us to put a human face on the computing power – a power which is not ultimately about capturing and counting things, not about crunching numbers, but rather about improving society and living conditions for the humans who live on the earth.

Original Publication Citation

Proceedings, 2015

Document Type


Publication Date


Permanent URL


International Conference on Computing in Engineering and the Sciences




Harold B. Lee Library

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor