Challenge Week

The Norbert O. Schedler Honors College will be hosting its annual Challenge Week event the week of October 2, through October 6, 2017.

Challenge Week is a week-long event each Fall that brings to campus nationally known thinkers to engage the community in a reflective interchange of ideas. Speakers present compelling arguments to UCA students, faculty and staff, and to the broader community, in an effort to inform, educate, and thoughtfully address contemporary problems and concerns. Challenge Week serves as an opportunity for the Honors College to engage the larger community in issues that impact our society.

This year’s theme is Brave New Algorithms: How “Big Data” Shapes Our World.

Monday, October 2 – 5:00 p.m., Dean Stephen Addison, College of Natural Science and Mathematics, Doyne Auditorium
Dean Addison will set the stage for our Challenge Week conversation with his talk, “Algorithms: What they are, How we use them, and Why you should know about them.”

Tuesday, October 3 – 4:30 p.m. UCA Faculty Panel, Doyne Auditorium
An interdisciplinary panel of UCA Faculty – Dr. Sherry Skaggs (Criminal Justice in the Information Age), Dr. Jim Downey (Big Data and Management Information Systems), and Dr. Lisa VanHoose, Ph.D., MPH, PT (Big Data and the Healthcare System) – will provide participants with a behind the scenes look at how ‘Big Data’ and algorithms have shaped the criminal justice system, business operations, and the health and medical fields.

Wednesday, October 4 – 7:00 p.m., Dr. Rayid Ghani, College of Business Auditorium
Dr. Rayid Ghani holds a variety of positions at the University of Chicago – Research Director of the Computation Institute and Senior Fellow at the Harris School of Public Policy – and is co-author of a recently published book, Big Data and Social Science: A Practical Guide to Methods and Tools. He will speak about the work he does as Director of the Center for Data Science and Public Policy: a joint venture between the Computation Institute and Harris School whose mission is to further the use of data science in policy research and practice. How can ‘Big Data’ and algorithms be used for the social good? How can these tools promote social justice? His work spans health, public safety, criminal justice, social services, economic development, and education.

Thursday, October 5 – 7:00 p.m., Film, Reynolds Performance Hall
Werner Herzog, the legendary filmmaker, will be in residence and will present his Sundance documentary Lo and Behold, Reveries of a Connected World. This film delves into issues of artificial intelligence and the connectivity of the internet. Presented by UCA’s Department of Film, Theatre, and Creative Writing. See the trailer here:

Friday, October 6 – 3:00 p.m., Student SoapBox, Farris Presentation Room
Alexys Lamkin, an Applied Math and Computer Science double major, will round out Challenge Week by exploring a question: we rely on a variety of devices to get us through our day, but do we, and should we, know how they work?

Receptions will follow each event. No registration is needed. All events take place on the UCA campus and are free and open to the public. Sponsored by Schedler Honors College, Honors Center Society, and the Student Government Association.