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March 13, 2019 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EDT

Title: Scaling Science: Data-Driven Tools for Scientific Philanthropy and Venture

Speaker: James W. Weis, Doctoral Candidate, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Date: Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Time: 3:00pm – 4:00pm

Location: 11th Floor, 177 Huntington Ave, Boston MA, 02115


From Göbekli Tepe to the World Wide Web, the story of civilization is the story of collaboration—the goal-oriented organization of resources. However, while the quantity, speed, and complexity of collaboration has grown exponentially in recent decades, our core resource allocation algorithms have failed to scale accordingly. Specifically, the current grant-and journal-based status quo evolved to meet the needs of a much smaller research community, which interacted asynchronously and was largely detached from the general public. In contrast, today’s over seven million researchers are distributed globally, and interact broadly and with low-latency.

In this talk, James will introduce the Scaling Science project, which aims to span this gap through the development of data-driven tools for the optimized allocation of scientific resources. By building a multi-source graph with over2 billon nodes and relationships, learning community structure in an unsupervised manner, and combining node centrality, metrics of community permeation, and methods from portfolio theory, we seek to (a) develop a distribution over future impact of new technologies and inventions, and (b) leverage these results in the construction of more optimal funding allocations.

About the Speaker

James W. Weis is a doctoral candidate in the MIT Media Lab and MIT Computational and Systems Biology programs. James is a graduate of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, where he received his S.M. for designing machine learning algorithms to engineer next-generation biocatalysts, and of Brown University, where he graduated with highest honors in Computational Biology and Computer Science. Previously, James was Partner at an early-stage venture capital firm focused on translating breakthrough research into impactful ventures, Founding CEO of a multi-country incubator that provided shared laboratory infrastructure to healthcare startups, Director of the MIT Alumni Angel Group, Founding President of the MIT Biotech Group (which he helped grow to the largest biotechnology-focused organization at MIT) and a quantitative trader in New York.


March 13, 2019
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
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177 Huntington Ave, 11th Floor
177 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115 United States
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