When Machines Decide: The Promise and Peril of Living in a Data-Driven Society: Faculty

Honors 3700-002, Fall, 2016-Spring 2017 Thursdays 2:00 pm-5:00 pm MHC 1205


Randy Dryer, J.D.

I have professionally reinvented myself several times over. I started my career as a working journalist in both print and TV and then went to law school with the thought of becoming a network correspondent reporting on the Supreme Court. Along the way, I developed a love of the law and thus began my second career as a practicing lawyer at Utah’s largest law firm. There, I developed a media law litigation practice where I was able to combine law and journalism by representing many local and national news organizations, including 60 minutes, CNN, the New York Times, the Associated Press, Redbook Magazine and the Salt Lake Tribune, among others. Ask me about my representation of the Globe supermarket tabloid who was sued by Marie Osmond. I have some great stories!

After 30 years as a practicing lawyer, I began phase three of my professional career when I was named as the Presidential Honors Professor at the University with a joint appointment at the law school and the Honors College. I had taught for several years as a part-time adjunct, but the opportunity to be a full time educator was too enticing. I now enjoy the satisfaction of teaching the best and the brightest and am no longer a slave to the almighty billable hour. Nirvana! View Professor Dryer's Faculty Page

Suresh Venkatasubramanian, Ph.D.
My background is in theoretical computer science: the study of the intrinsic complexity of computations. Over the years, I’ve become more interested in problems of data analysis (which I like to think of as a special case of high dimensional geometry !). I’m also a sci-fi fan, and many years spent reading cyberpunk thrillers got me thinking about our machine-enhanced future. A few years ago, I started imagining what it would be like to live in a world where all my decisions were controlled (or nudged) by algorithms that learnt things about me, and it didn’t take long to realize that we’re barreling into a future driven by algorithms that aren’t that smart, and aren’t particularly fair.

Valeri Craigle, MLS
Valeri Craigle is a Librarian at the James E. Faust Law Library. She joined the Library faculty in the Spring of 2008 as a specialist in the discovery of and access to scholarly research, particularly in the digital environment. View Ms. Craigle's Faculty Page

Donna Ziegenfuss, MLS
Dr. Donna Ziegenfuss is an Associate Librarian in the Marriott Library and Assistant Head of Scholarship and Education Services. She came to the University of Utah in 2008 after earning her Ed.D. in Academic Leadership/Higher Education from Widener University in Chester, Pennsylvania. She was most recently the Assistant Director for The Center of Teaching & Learning Excellence at the University of Utah and has also been working in the area of faculty development for 14 years at a variety of types of institutions and she has also been teaching in traditional, hybrid, and online formats in higher education for 8 years. View Dr. Ziegenfuss' Faculty Page
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