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Marquette Announces Center for Data, Ethics and Society

Marquette University announced the creation of the Center for Data, Ethics, and Society within Klingler College of Arts and Sciences to address the ethical, social, and political dimensions of an increasingly data-driven society. .

Grounded in the university’s Catholic and Jesuit social justice mission, the center will focus on confronting data ethics issues such as the controversies and consequences of our increasingly data-driven lives and spaces, unfair algorithmic biases, unequal effects of computational decision-making, privacy threats from ubiquitous surveillance systems, and the role of corporate social responsibility and accountability. The center will address these concerns through an applied, interdisciplinary approach to research, pedagogy, and community engagement.

“The Center for Data, Ethics and Society is an exemplary expression of our Catholic and Jesuit values, as data and the ethics around data management become increasingly crucial topics,” said Dr. Heidi Bostic, Dean of Klingler College of Arts and Sciences. “Addressing fundamental concerns of justice and equity in our data-saturated world, which particularly affect underrepresented groups, requires a commitment to diversity and inclusion. The center will seek to create inclusive programs, collaborate with a diverse group of faculty and community partners, and create a welcoming community that expands opportunities for students from all backgrounds.

Dr. Michael Zimmer, Associate Professor of Computer Science, will lead the center. Under her leadership, the center will engage with the campus community by supporting research and teaching, hosting public events that advocate for public policy issues, and providing opportunities to work collaboratively on challenges in the data ethics faced by community and business partners. In addition to a network of interdisciplinary units on campus that address data, ethics, and societal issues, the center and its leadership will also engage community partners, including the Northwest Mutual Data Science Institute and other centers aligned throughout the region.

“This center is representative of what Marquette can do differently when it comes to data science,” Zimmer said. “Our Jesuit mission, our expanding offerings in data science and analytics, and transformational education that informs future decision makers; ethics is central to these things. There is a deliberate comma between “data” and “ethics”. We look at data in a much broader way and how that data affects our society. »

Through the Department of Computing, Marquette has already addressed data ethics concerns, with undergraduate and graduate course offerings and sponsored programs such as the Annual Report Big Data Ethics Symposium. The online Master of Science in Computer Science program is ranked 14th (2022). According to american news, computer information technology program rankings are based on factors such as classroom engagement, faculty credentials and training, and student excellence. The Computer Science undergraduate program is ranked 191st (2022).