The Web has redefined the way in which malicious activities such as online harassment, disinformation, and radicalization are carried out. To be able to fully understand these phenomena, we need computational tools able to trace malicious activity as it happens and identify influential entities that carry it out. In this talk, I will present our efforts in developing tools to automatically monitor and model malicious online activities such as coordinated aggression and disinformation. I will then discuss possible mitigations against these harmful activities, keeping in mind the potential unintended consequences that might arise from suspending offending users.

Bison Hacks the Yard: socially and culturally relevant computer science education techniques

HBCUs were founded to educate primarily African-American students in the United States and since 1837 have continued to provide quality education, culture, and social environments for Black students to thrive and create their own identities. These institutions have produced one third of all Black STEM PhD recipients, produced 19% of all STEM Bachelor’s degrees, and provided clear pathways to the middle class. HBCU researchers and alumni describe these institutions as places providing “freedom to explore”, “be yourself and develop yourself”, and “unapologetic Black spaces”. HBCUs are rich with social capital crucial to nurturing and promoting academic success.

Chameleon: An Innovation Platform for Computer Science Research and Education

New research ideas require an instrument where they can be developed, tested – and shared. To support Computer Science research such an instrument has to provide access to a diversity of hardware configurations, support deployment at scale, and deep reconfigurability so that a wide range of experiments can be supported. It also has to provide mechanisms for sharing so that new results can multiply their value by triggering further innovation. Most importantly — since science does not stand still – it requires constant adaptation to support an ever increasing range of experiments driven by emergent ideas and opportunities.