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September 18, 2017 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm EDT

Title: The Nature of Failure: Near Misses, Repeated Failures, and Their Paradoxical Benefits

Speaker: Dashun Wang, Associate Professor, Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University

Location: 177 Huntington Avenue, 11th Floor, Boston, Massachusetts 02115


Despite its inevitable nature and the incontrovertible wisdom that “failure is the mother of success,” our quantitative understanding of failures remains limited, in part due to the lack of systematic datasets that record the frequently occurring yet often neglected failures within individuals, teams and organizations.  This situation is changing radically, however, thanks to newly available large-scale datasets spanning social, scientific, and technical domains.

In this talk, Wang will touch on three different examples of failures through the use of data analytics, causal inference, and predictive modeling, hoping to illustrate that a data-driven approach towards failures – combining big data with computational tools from AI and complexity sciences – offers exciting new opportunities and challenges.  By helping improve our understanding and predictions of the why, how, and when of failure, advances in this area not only hold direct policy implications; they could also substantially further our ability to imagine and create by revealing the total pipeline of creativity.

About the Speaker

Dashun Wang is an Associate Professor of Management and Organizations at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, where he directs the Social Complexity Group. He is also a core faculty at the Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems (NICO) and an affiliated faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management Sciences at the McCormick School of Engineering.

Prior to joining Northwestern, he was an Assistant Professor of Information Sciences and Technology at the Pennsylvania State University and before that, a Research Staff Member at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center.  His research has been published in such general audience journals as Science and PNAS as well as top specialized venues in computer science and physics, and his work has been featured in the New York Times, Forbes, the Economist, the Guardian, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, among other major global media outlets.

He is a recipient of the AFOSR Young Investigator Award in 2016.

Wang is a Northeastern University Alumni. He received his PhD in Physics in 2013.  He is also currently an Adjunct Associate Professor of Physics at Northeastern University.

**** Please bring your Northeastern University ID (or other photo ID) when entering the building. ****


September 18, 2017
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
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177 Huntington Avenue
177 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115 United States
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