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Harvard Data Science Review Podcast

Harvard Data Science Review

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Brought to you by the award winning journal, Harvard Data Science Review, our podcast highlights news, policy, and business through the lens of data science. Each episode is a “case study” into how data is used to lead, mislead, manipulate, and inform the important decisions facing us today.
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This month we take some time to talk in depth about what exactly generative AI is, what it can do, and what it can’t do. In this special episode, derived from a webinar titled "Future Shock: Grappling With the Generative AI Revolution," host Xiao-Li Meng collaborates with Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences to tackle the topic of generat…
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Teaching the next generation of scholars has never been an easy task, but the recent boom of generative AI has introduced a new set of problems and opportunities for educators at all levels. This month we sit down with two experts and discuss the challenges and possibilities generative AI platforms pose for the education system. Are students becomi…
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As the U.S. approaches another presidential election, many of us are contemplating our beliefs, staying informed about election news, and at times, questioning the integrity of the voting polls. This month we delve into the upcoming House, Senate, and presidential elections with the help of two political polling experts. Where can we find reliable …
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The financial industry has a rich history of leveraging data for predictive purposes. From hedge funds employing regression analysis to fine-tune portfolios to individuals utilizing summary statistics in pursuit of the next groundbreaking startup, data has been a cornerstone of investment strategies for years. On today’s episode we sit down with tw…
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After the positive reception to our first listener question episode featuring co-host Xiao-Li Meng last August, we decided to start the new year with an exclusive interview with one of our most esteemed guests yet: HDSR’s own Liberty Vittert! For this special episode, Xiao-Li is joined by guest co-host, Arianwyn Frank, a producer of this podcast, a…
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The HDSR podcast team wishes you happy holidays and a wonderful new year! We're grateful for the continued support and enthusiasm from you, our listeners and readers. We invite you to listen to our special holiday message from co-host Liberty Vittert and stay tuned for an exciting lineup of episodes in 2024!…
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In recent years, police departments nationwide have increasingly embraced data and AI tools to enhance their crime prevention, investigation, and conviction efforts. These technologies range from image analysis on body cameras to license plate trackers predicting potential involvement in drug trafficking. However, a crucial question arises: Are the…
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According to the UN Refugee Agency, a staggering 108.4 million people were displaced from their homes by the end of 2022 due to reasons such as persecution, conflict, violence, or human rights violations. On today’s episode, we discuss the pressing issue of the global refugee crisis and how data is playing a crucial role in addressing it. To help s…
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In recent years, our fascination with the cosmos has reached new heights. From ground-breaking research missions to the emergence of interstellar consumerism, our universe has transformed into a thriving hub of exploration and innovation. How are we currently engaging with space and where might we be headed in terms of future interactions? What are…
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We’ve been inundated with questions from our listeners on what defines a data scientist, how to break into analytics, and ways for the average person to assess data reliability. That is why for this month, we interview our very own Xiao-Li Meng, who has contemplated many such questions during his distinguished career. In this episode we delve into …
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In 2022, the sports analytics sector was valued at 2.98 billion USD and is expected to grow to 22.13 billion USD by 2030, at a CARG of 28.7% (source). In today's episode, we do a deep dive into this rapidly growing field from both industry and academic perspectives. What metrics do companies and researchers use to predict the next big winner? How a…
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How can the data collected by AI sex toys be used to help understand a wide variety of medical conditions and prescription side effects? Are companies storing and selling your most intimate data? When in your life is tracking your sexual satisfaction most important? In March we covered the Kinsey report for its 75th anniversary and discussed ways w…
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Why are we seeing an unprecedented rise in prescription drug use in the U.S.? Is Ozempic really the magic cure for weight loss? How has the landscape of prescription medicine changed over time, and why are currently facing supply issues? On today’s episode, we explore hotly debated drugs and what the data says about prescribing them. Our Guests: Dr…
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This month, we are diving into the important and currently hot topic of artificial intelligence. Do we think rising platforms like ChatGPT are going to be running the world anytime soon? Does technology not only have the ability to be intelligent, but also rational? In this episode we get the pleasure of discussing these issues with Steven Pinker, …
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On today’s episode we commemorate the publication of the Kinsey Reports, two scholarly books by Alfred Kinsey on human sexual behavior, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male (1948) and Sexual Behavior in the Human Female (1953). These reports were among the earliest research studies to look at sexual behavior, but they also raise important questions fo…
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What can data tell us when it comes to how our money is invested? Are there data science tools that can help us manage the ups and downs of the financial markets? How has machine learning impacted forecasting? Can we rely on AI for investment advice? On today’s episode we explore these questions and more during a deep dive discussion on financial m…
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It's the post-holiday season and the time when people are focused on self-improvement and getting in shape for the new year. But how do we keep and meet our fitness goals? How many days a week should we exercise? Do diet and food tracking apps actually work? In this episode we explore the data on fitness and health and discover successful strategie…
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For centuries religion has played an important role in shaping our society as a whole and determining the basis of life/purpose for individuals. Whether it’s several daily prayers, Sunday church, or the determination of what time you can eat, religion dictates day-to-day life for many. In this episode, we explore religion’s relationship to health a…
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In this month’s episode, we dive into the glamorous side of data science by exploring the ways the field is being integrated in the beauty and fashion industries. We talk to two experts, a plastic surgeon and a fashion designer, about the tools and techniques they use. Our guests are: Dr. Heather Levites, a fellowship-trained plastic surgeon with a…
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With the 2022 U.S. midterms right around the corner, this month’s podcast is all about elections. Who is going to win and why? In today's episode, we talk to four experts about their predictions for the upcoming midterm elections in November and how these elections might impact the presidential race in 2024. Our guests are: Caroline Carlson, Senior…
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Today we discuss the most important element of our lives: our health. We do so by diving into personalized medicine, or more specifically, personalized (N-of-1) trials – clinical trials in which a single patient is the entire trial. For this episode, we invited two editors of Harvard Data Science Review’s special issue on N-of-1 trials and data sci…
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The effects of drinking is a constant news headline. Every month or so, there seems to be a new study released that weighs the benefits and risks of drinking alcohol. Is some level of alcohol good for your health or should everyone completely avoid drinking? On today’s episode we invited two experts with differing views on alcohol consumption to he…
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For today’s episode we embark on part two of our discussion on the U.S. Census. Protecting the data privacy of survey respondents has always been a central consideration for the U.S Census Bureau, and throughout its history, many methods have been developed and implemented. For the 2020 Census, the Bureau adopted a new form of privacy protection—di…
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While most Americans have heard of the U.S. Census and understand that it is designed to count every resident in the United States every 10 years, many may not realize that the Census’s role goes far beyond the allocation of seats in Congress. For this episode, we invited the three co-editors of Harvard Data Science Review’s special issue on the U.…
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In this episode we dive into the data on refugees and immigration. American public opinion seems very divided on these issues, but is it really? Is the U.S. more or less welcoming to refugees and immigrants than other parts of the world? How has disinformation influenced politics? Will the U.S. Southern Border, Ukraine, and other potential refugee …
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