Hackathon examines power of Big Data to change lives

Entire moun­tain ranges of data are growing all around, and they will either bury us or help us climb to new heights of under­standing. It all depends on how we respond. This was the focus of a four-​​hour “hackathon” Wednesday night, spon­sored by North­eastern to explore the inter­sec­tion between public policy and Big Data analysis. The event, “Data Sci­ence, Jour­nalism, and the Future of Jus­tice,” was part of HUB­week, a series of more than 100 events that brought together the brightest minds in gov­ern­ment, pri­vate industry, and acad­emia to cel­e­brate inno­va­tion in Boston.

Millennials, shaped by ‘a nation in distress,’ pose a unique challenge to presidential candidates

Millennials—the gen­er­a­tion born between 1981 and 2001—have largely grown up in a post-​​9/​11, Great Recession-​​battered America: a cli­mate that has left them with stag­gering debt and a dis­trust of estab­lished sys­tems, argued Boston Globe jour­nalist Evan Horowitz at this week’s Open Class­room. These voters, he said, could be a major influ­ence in the pres­i­den­tial election.

New professor has made crime prevention his life’s work

Anthony Braga, newly appointed Dis­tin­guished Pro­fessor and director of the School of Crim­i­nology and Crim­inal Jus­tice, has been working in con­junc­tion with the Boston Police Depart­ment for more than 20 years, ana­lyzing poli­cies and devel­oping pro­grams aimed at reducing the city’s vio­lent crime rate.

Study: Using Big Data to monitor societal events shows promise, but the coding tech needs work

Dis­tin­guished Pro­fessor David Lazer and his col­leagues ana­lyzed global-​​scale data­bases of news events and found them wanting. Their rec­om­men­da­tions for improve­ments would enable researchers to build models antic­i­pating every­thing from the esca­la­tion of con­flicts to the pro­gres­sion of epidemics.

Who are we? And who belongs here?’ Panel tackles pertinent immigration questions

A team of fac­ulty experts exam­ined Amer­ican atti­tudes about immi­gra­tion during a panel dis­cus­sion on Wednesday. Sen­ti­ments of accepting then rebuking immi­grants has long been a pat­tern throughout Amer­ican his­tory, they said, though the tone of the rhetoric during this pres­i­den­tial race is new.

Want the most telling presidential polling data? Professor says turn to Twitter

Knowing society’s con­stant demand for imme­diate, real-​​time infor­ma­tion, assis­tant pro­fessor of polit­ical sci­ence Nick Beauchamp devel­oped a model that uses tweets to gauge public opinion of can­di­dates more quickly than tra­di­tional polls.

A survivor’s story: From genocide to healthcare visionary

Deogra­tias Niy­i­zonkiza, the pro­tag­o­nist in author Tracy Kidder’s Strength in What Remains, inspires first-​​year stu­dents to under­stand “the pain of others so you can work to never let people suffer like that again.” The book was this year’s selec­tion for the university’s First Pages program.

EpiPen’s pricing debacle and its impact on patients, insurers

A firestorm erupted this week in response to the phar­ma­ceu­tical com­pany Mylan’s sharp increase in the price of its EpiPen, a life-​​saving treat­ment for severe allergic reac­tions. The com­pany quickly back­tracked, announcing a rebate plan. Here, three North­eastern fac­ulty members—pharmacist Tayla Rose, health­care finance expert Steven Pizer, and health policy researcher Gary Young—explain the clin­ical, eco­nomic, and policy impli­ca­tions of the controversy.