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.


Ron Travis, Key Educational Leaders Seek Tennessee Promise Mentors

State Representative Ron Travis joined with key educational leaders in seeking mentors for the state’s new Tennessee Promise plan which was adopted by the legislature earlier this year. The Tennessee Promise plan allows for last dollar scholarships to community college or colleges of applied technology for Tennessee’s high school seniors. “Last dollar” means the state will ... (click for more)

UTC Computer Science, Electrical Engineering Students Participated In Maker Faire

Dr. Craig Tanis and a group of UTC computer science and electrical engineering students took the blue and gold to Maker Faire in Chattanooga, described as “the Greatest Show (and Tell) on earth.”  Families were invited to First Tennessee Pavilion where people showed what they have made and shared what they learned. Dr. Tanis, who teaches Video Game Development in the College ... (click for more)

Woman Says Chattin Killed Deputy Donald Bond, Not Kiser

A woman testified Monday in Hamilton County Criminal Court that it was Mike Chattin - and not his roommate Marlon Duane Kiser - who killed County Deputy Donald Bond at a produce stand in East Brainerd in 2001. Kimberly Annette Bowman called Kiser, who is in the middle of an extended post-conviction hearing, "an innocent man." She said, "I've had this burden on me all these years." ... (click for more)

Legendary Radio Broadcaster Luther Dies At 92 After Record 74 Years On The Air

Legendary radio broadcaster Luther Masingill died early Monday morning at Memorial Hospital surrounded by family and friends. He was 92 and had been on the air for a record 74 years. Luther began his career with WDEF on New Years Day 1941. Throughout his life he was honored with the Marconi Award, inducted into the Tennessee and National Association of Broadcasters Halls of Fame ... (click for more)

Frances Pope Is The Only Answer For East Ridge Mayor

The time is upon us to stand together for a change, a changing of the guard for the better.  A time to elect officials that will actually listen to all the citizens that have concerns. A time to come together to watch East Ridge grow with new development. A time to elect the people in charge of the direction the city goes. A time when community involvement is essential. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: UT Ain’t Heard Nothing Yet!

Just moments before Florida would seal a football 10-9 victory over Tennessee in early October, the student section in Neyland Stadium stooped to a new low when it vociferously chanted, “F*** you, Florida! F*** you, Florida!” It was shocking, a loud and vulgar display of all that sportsmanship isn’t, and served as a great embarrassment to Knoxville and the university. Jimmy Cheek, ... (click for more)