Jeff Gill presents at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar
Jeff Gill presents at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar

Quantitative reasoning is critical for 21st century careers

Distinguished lecturer Jeff Gill discusses challenges of big data

 

Speaking at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar (CMU-Q), Jeff Gill described the challenges of meaningfully analyzing the vast amount of data that is being produced each day.

“It turns out that the volume of data is so substantial that less than 1% of it ever actually gets analyzed,” Gill noted. “We are in this exponential phase in human development and it’s like jumping off a cliff and not realizing until you’re halfway down.”

Gill is the founding director of the Center for Data Science, as well as a distinguished professor in the departments of Government and Mathematics and Statistics at American University in Washington, DC. His research applies Bayesian modeling and data analysis to questions in the social sciences, political behavior, and health data analysis.

Given the exponential increase of data, Gill emphasized the importance of computational thinking for the next generation. “I think one of the key things that young people need to learn to do is to program. The idea that you can rigorously and logically lay out a process and algorithm that’s going to solve a real world problem is almost indispensable for people who want to work in the 21st century economy.”

Gill’s presentation was a John Patrick Crecine Distinguished Lecture in Arts and Sciences, named in honor of the dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University from 1976 to 1983.

The Distinguished Lecture Series includes talks in several disciplines, providing a glimpse into the depth and breadth of scholarship of the many experts who visit CMU-Q.

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