Blog Articles 36–40

Making a Fabric Poster

Fabric posters are great. You don’t need a clumsy poster tube, just fold it up and put it in your suitcase.

We use Spoonflower for ours, and there are even instructions. But there are a few details that take some extra work to get right; I hope that this will guide you through them.

I have also made a video of the process, which you can view on YouTube.

The very short version, so you have an idea of where we’re going:

Presenting at FAT*

As you’re hopefully well aware if you follow my Twitter, the end of this month will bring the first Conference on Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency (FAT*). It’s been an honor to be involved in some of the planning for this conference series; it is also a great honor to have two papers in the first edition. Algorithmic fairness is the main focus of my research agenda for the next several years.


2017 is almost over! What’s happened?

Quite a few things. Surviving the year feels like an accomplishment, for a bunch of reasons. And I have by no means experienced the worst of it.

But in the spirit of last year, here’s a rundown of 2017’s win list:

  • Had 2 papers (one full, one short) accepted & published at FLAIRS. I believe this is the first time that I have succeeded in publishing papers with all necessary reproducer scripts in a usable package.

  • Reviewed a lot of papers again. Cut back slightly on that this year, and will be cutting back some more for 2018.

  • Adopted two rabbits, Nyssa and Adric, from the Idaho Humane Society. They have been an incredible amount of fun to have around.

  • Built a platform bed frame, and then learned it was a terrible idea. Learned how to work with pocket-hole screws, though.

  • Served on the Ph.D committee of Felix Sommer, who successfully defended in October.

  • Submitted a full and a short paper to RecSys, both of which were rejected.

  • Took a 2-week trip through Belgium and the Netherlands, meeting with colleagues and giving talks on recommender ethics and my overall research.

  • Traveled back to the Midwest with Jennifer to see our families in the summer.

  • Organized the first workshop on fair recommendation.

  • Accepted an invitation to join the inaugural steering committee of the Conference on Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency (FAT*).

  • Secured a venue, organizing committee, and other preparatory things to announce RecSys 2018 in Vancouver, BC; co-chairing that is the major service responsibility from last year’s list.

  • Attended my first meeting as a member of the RecSys Steering Committee.

  • Published the first collaborative work with Sole Pera & the PIReTs, first as a poster at RecSys and then as a full paper to appear in FAT*. These are also the first publications to come out of my new research agenda on algorithmic fairness in recommender systems.

  • Wrote a position paper on fairness and privacy with another colleague, Hoda Mehrpouyan, and her student that has been accepted for FAT*.

  • Published a position paper on evaluating recommender systems for children at KidRec.

  • Finished rebuilding the Recommender Systems MOOC.

  • Created a new graduate-level Introduction to Data Science class. Its first offering was rough, but I’ve learned a lot about how to make it work better next time.

  • Participated in the Dagstuhl Perspectives workshop on performance prediction for IR, NLP, and recommender systems.

  • Submitted 2 NSF grants as PI (including a credible attempt at CAREER), 1 NSF grant as a major collaborator, another as a minor collaborator, 2 private-sector grants (1 as lead, 1 as co-PI), and an internal proposal.

  • Won the first competitive research funding for PIReT research, an internal seed grant from the College of Education. Katherine Wright in education led the proposal, and it will fund a collaboration with her, Sole Pera, and myself.

  • Arranged 4 research seminars for our department & Ph.D program.

People Are Not Tasks

The primary text in church this morning was Romans 15:22–33 — Paul’s travel plans, in which he hopes to visit Rome on the way to Spain after delivering a relief gift to Jerusalem. Our bishop is visting this weekend and gave the message, and some of the things he said got me thinking about how to live a good academic life.