Rayid Ghani, Chief Scientist For Obama Campaign, To Speak At Sewanee Jan. 31

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Rayid Ghani, C’99, will speak at the University of the South on “The Role of Data, Technology, and Analytics in the Presidential Election.” He will give his talk at 4:30 p.m. CST Thursday, Jan. 31, in Convocation Hall on the Sewanee campus. 

Mr. Ghani was the chief scientist at the Obama for America 2012 campaign focusing on analytics, technology, and data. He will talk about how the Obama campaign used analytics to improve decision-making across the organization and will describe how data from a variety of sources was used to improve fundraising, volunteer activities, and voter mobilization. 

Mr. Ghani’s work focused on improving these campaign functions using analytics, social media, and machine learning—developing algorithms to fine-tune messages to voters. He will discuss what kind of data was available to the campaign, what technologies were developed, and how the resulting products were used by the campaign. Although the focus will be on the election, Mr. Ghani will also discuss how some of the same techniques can make other organizations more successful through better use of data and analytics.

Before joining the campaign, Mr. Ghani was a senior research scientist and director of analytics research at Accenture Labs. He has more than 10 years of applied R&D experience in machine learning, data mining, text mining and other analytics areas across politics, retail, healthcare, manufacturing, intelligence and financial services industries.

At Accenture Labs, Mr. Ghani was responsible for setting the R&D vision and agenda for analytics, inventing new analytics algorithms, conducting analytics R&D, and the commercialization of early-stage research. His work has been featured in numerous stories in publications such as Time, the New York Times, Slate, Business Week, Financial Times, Chicago Tribune, US News & World Report, and NBC.

Mr. Ghani’s lecture is the 2013 Sherwood Ebey Lecture, co-sponsored by Friends of the Library. The annual Sherwood Ebey Mathematics Lecture is an endowed lectureship with the goal of presenting mathematically sound ideas in a manner that makes them accessible to a general audience.


UTC Student, Robert Fisher, Earns Prestigious National Scholarship Recognition

Robert Fisher, a Brock Scholar and Student Government Association president at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, has been named a 2014 Truman Scholar by the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation. Mr. Fisher plans to earn his undergraduate degree in political science in May 2015. He is the fourth student in the school’s history to be named a Truman Scholar. “Robert ... (click for more)

East Ridge High School Class Of 1974, 1978 And 1979 To Hold Reunions

The East Ridge High School Class of 1974 is having their 40th reunion Sept. 20 at the Chattanoogan on Broad Street.    For more information please go to the website  Eastridge74.com .  East Ridge High School Class of 1978 and 1979 and Friends is planning their upcoming 35th year reunion on July 26 at the Chattanooga Convention Center and an Alumni Picnic ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Chamber Taps Bill Kilbride As Next CEO

The Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce has tapped retiring Mohawk Industries executive Bill Kilbride as president-elect to succeed Ron Harr as president and CEO on a schedule to be announced later. According to Howard Levine, chairman of the chamber board, Mr. Harr will continue as CEO for several more months. “We were disappointed that health concerns have made it necessary ... (click for more)

Cleveland, Tn., Woman Missing Since 2011 Turns Up In Mississippi

A Cleveland, Tn., woman who had been missing since 2011 was found Tuesday in Mississippi. The Biloxi Sun Herald said 50-year-old Tammy Renee King, was walking along Mississippi 613 when a citizen stopped to help her. The Good Samaritan called the sheriff's office. Members of a local church plan to drive her back to Cleveland after she is checked out at a hospital. The newspaper ... (click for more)

Time For Tennessee To Act On Climate This Earth Day - And Response

Tennessee will join the rest of the southeast region, the nation and countries across the world in celebrating Earth Day on April 22. The entire month of April is a great time to reflect on the strides we have made to reduce pollution over the last 44 years, and assess current environmental conditions while evaluating our personal responsibility to a cleaner environment.  ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Why Jim Coppinger Excels

Jim Coppinger, who as the mayor of Hamilton County has understandably had to grow some thick skin, wants no part of the repulsive billboards now seen around town that ask, “Do you have gonorrhea?”  His Tuesday morning telephone call revealed he is just as disgusted as the rest of us who see them showing a picture of a forlorn African-American male. “You need to know the Hamilton ... (click for more)