ISR Distinguished Speaker

Sep Kamvar

Associate Professor, MIT Media Lab
“Self-Limiting Software and Social Ecosystems: Fostering Human-Scale, Deinstitutionalized, and Decentralized Systems of Production”
Friday, January 23, 2015 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Faculty Host: 

RSVPs are not required.

Donald Bren Hall (building #314), room 6011

No cost to attend.

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In this talk, I will discuss three modes of use of the web, from library, to self-expression medium, to application environment.  I will discuss some opportunities that each mode can provide: including access to information, cultivation of empathy, and ability to work collectively.  I will give some examples from my own work, including Kaltix, a personalized search engine that was acquired by Google in 2003, We Feel Fine, an art piece that visualizes the world's emotions in real time, and Dog, a programming framework that helps to enable collective processes.  In showing these, I will propose a philosophical framework for creating social software, that takes its inspiration from eastern medicine and permaculture.  I will describe some principles that underly the framework, and suggest where they might lead.

About the Speaker: 

Sep Kamvar is an Associate Professor and Director of the Social Computing Group at the MIT Media Lab. His research focuses on social computing and information management. Prior to MIT, Kamvar was the head of personalization at Google and a consulting professor of Computational and Mathematical Engineering at Stanford University. Prior to that, he was founder and CEO of Kaltix, a personalized search company that was acquired by Google in 2003. Kamvar is the author of two books and over 40 technical publications and patents in the fields of search and social computing.  His artwork has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Athens. Kamvar received his Ph.D. in Scientific Computing and Computational Mathematics from Stanford University and his A.B. in Chemistry from Princeton University.