Professor honored with IBM award

first_imgEarlier this month, IBM awarded its Watson Solutions Faculty Award to Notre Dame computer science professor Nitesh Chawla. The IBM award recognizes the work of faculty on the forefront of big data and analytics and applying that work to social problems as well as incorporating it into curriculum, according to a University press release. Chawla, who currently serves as director of both the Interdisciplinary Center of Network Science and Applications and the Data, Interference, Analytic and Learning Lab, was honored for his work with the research of big data and healthcare innovation to examine possible solutions for the future of the healthcare field. “Big data is becoming a cornerstone of the modern economy,” he said. “A lot of my research has been around data, data mining, machine learning, network science and applications, and so my Watson Faculty Award was a recognition of that work and a recognition of the curriculum.” Chawla created a multidisciplinary course at Notre Dame called Healthcare Analytics, which uses his research ideas in part as a basis for the curriculum and includes majors from multiple colleges, he said. “It may be one of the more multidisciplinary courses on campus,” Chawla said. “Students from each discipline then are focused on how we can think about data and healthcare, how data in healthcare can lead to more personalized healthcare, more cost-effective healthcare.” The South Bend healthcare community has been responsive to the research and the class, Chawla said, and many local leaders in the industry have worked with the class, including executives from Michiana Health Information Network and the chief information officer of Beacon Health System. Chawla said this kind of outside interest and involvement is important to the class as well as demonstrating why IBM was so interested in his work, especially with the creation of its new initiative, the artificial intelligence machine known as Watson. IBM popularized its Watson machine by pitting it against top human competitors on the television game show “Jeopardy!”, but its capabilities are much greater than that, Chawla said. “[The class] is sort of emblematic of the work that Watson is doing. The machine is a cognitive system which brings in data and information from a variety of sources, processes it and delivers it in a viable form,” Chawla said. “That’s what we are trying to create in the classroom environment, where you have people from different disciplines, different backgrounds, different expertise working on projects together and then delivering it in a way that would make a difference to healthcare.” The class is split up into several groups that work on semester-long projects with the goal of operating at the intersection of medicine and big data research, Chawla said. Project topics include studying patient scheduling issues, readmission rates and global health partnerships. Contact Kevin Noonan at knoonan2@nd.edulast_img read more

Lecture examines origin of “Blessed are the poor”

first_imgNotre Dame law professor John Finnis posed the question, “Who Said, ‘Blessed are the Poor’?” in a lecture Friday at the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture’s 15th Annual Fall Conference entitled “Your Light Will Rise in the Darkness: Responding to the Cry of the Poor.”Finnis said the answer to the lecture’s titular question can be found by exploring the differences between the Gospels of Luke and Matthew.“The firm answer [to the question, who said, “Blessed are the Poor?”] is given by the Gospel [of] Luke,” Finnis said.Finnis said Jesus clearly that addresses not only the poor, but also his disciples, when he compares the destitute and hungry to the rich.“What [Jesus] promised the poor was not social justice,” Finnis said. “What he was — and is — holding out is the short hope of a place of Kingdom of God — not now, but as a great reward in heaven.”Finnis said “blessed are the poor” with “blessed are the poor in spirit” are found in distinct accounts of the gospels.“The Gospel according to Matthew describes similar blessings in the Beatitudes,” he said.  “Notice in his account that the poverty in the third and fourth Beatitudes are spiritual. Do not care for riches. Lay up your treasures in heaven. You cannot serve two masters in God and wealth.”Luke cautions readers of his gospel about the vices wealth may spawn.“In the context of warning, [Luke] cautioned against avarice,” Finnis said.  “… The poor in Luke’s straightforward sense is what the poor in spirit are to experience, that is the good news of the gospel — there is a treasure in heaven.“So, did Jesus say, blessed are the ‘poor’ or ‘poor in spirit?’ The two evangelists are reporting the same sermon.  Both contain —in the same order — love your enemies, judge not others, but it seems clear one account is not derived from the other and they’re not from the same source.  Two different reports on one sermon.”Finnis cited theologian John Chapman and said, “There is no reason to doubt that Jesus on inaugural sermon said both.”“While Luke’s Beatitudes may represent the fiery, original words, Matthew spiritualized them, making them applicable to the spiritual needs of others,” Finnis said. “Gospels are not eyewitness testimonies all the time, but each evangelist has arranged the accounts to address the spiritual needs of the community they are a part of.“One can forge a good argument from discontinuity for the core Beatitudes — in spirit can represent the Beatitudes in the communities. As for the other Beatitudes, they are parallel to the form and function of the work of Jesus.“Those Beatitudes may be referred to be authentic.”Tags: beatitudes, blessed are the poor, blessed are the poor in spirit, Gospel, Luke, Matthew, poor, poor in spiritlast_img read more