Home About Us


Colloquium Series

We're excited to announce the speakers for our Spring 2021 Colloquium Series below. The Colloquium Series serves to highlight exemplary work on improving access to opportunity for disadvantaged and marginalized groups through a monthly online talk series. You can find here a list of the past talks in our colloquium series and their recordings on our youtube channel and you can subscribe to our calendar.

Please reach out to the organizers at organizers@md4sg.com if you have any questions or suggestions for future colloquium speakers.


Upcoming Talks

Francisco Marmolejo, The Qatar Foundation

Date: January 22nd, 11 AM - 12:15 PM ET (5-6:15 PM WAT/CET)


Francisco Marmolejo is since February 2020, Education Advisor of Qatar Foundation, based in Doha, Qatar, providing support and advice towards the enhancement of the overall education strategy of QF and its unique eco-system of innovative education. Previously (2012-20), he worked at the World Bank, where he served as the Global Higher Education Coordinator and Lead, based in Washington, DC., and more recently as Lead Higher Education Specialist for India and South Asia, based in Delhi. From 1995 to 2002, he served as founding Executive Director of the Consortium for North American Higher Education Collaboration, a network of more than 160 universities mainly from Canada, USA and Mexico, based at the University of Arizona, where he also worked as Assistant Vice President, Affiliated Researcher at the Center for the Study of Higher Education, and Affiliate Faculty at the Center for Latin American Studies. Previously, he has been American Council on Education Fellow at the University of Massachusetts, Academic Vice President of the University of the Americas in Mexico, and International Consultant at OECD in Paris. He has received honorary doctorate degrees from his Alma Mater, the University of San Luis Potosi, and the University of Guadalajara in Mexico.

Bridging research and practice in the post-pandemic world: challenges for higher education institutions

Colleges and universities are among those that have been most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Even with a potential end to the ongoing global restrictions in sight, the manner in which these institutions operate is likely to be permanently altered as a result of the significant impact of the virus. Most notably, a more traditional, siloed approach to research will play a key role in effectively meeting the needs of local communities. Additionally, the existing teaching-learning paradigm will need to be reimagined, keeping in mind the transformation of the educational landscape. This session will address key global trends in the education sector, as well as propose some ideas on how universities can adopt a more proactive approach to cope with these changes.


Tina Eliassi-Rad, Northeastern University

Date: Friday, February 12, 12:00-1:15 PM ET


Tina Eliassi-Rad is a Professor of Computer Science at Northeastern University in Boston, MA. She is also a core faculty member at Northeastern's Network Science Institute. Prior to joining Northeastern, Tina was an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Rutgers University; and before that she was a Member of Technical Staff and Principal Investigator at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Tina earned her Ph.D. in Computer Sciences (with a minor in Mathematical Statistics) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research is at the intersection data mining, machine learning, and network science. She has over 100 peer-reviewed publications (including a few best paper and best paper runner-up awardees); and has given over 200 invited talks and 14 tutorials. Tina's work has been applied to personalized search on the World-Wide Web, statistical indices of large-scale scientific simulation data, fraud detection, mobile ad targeting, cyber situational awareness, and ethics in machine learning. Her algorithms have been incorporated into systems used by the government and industry (e.g., IBM System G Graph Analytics) as well as open-source software (e.g., Stanford Network Analysis Project). In 2017, Tina served as the program co-chair for the ACM SIGKDD International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (a.k.a. KDD, which is the premier conference on data mining) and as the program co-chair for the International Conference on Network Science (a.k.a. NetSci, which is the premier conference on network science). In 2020, she served as the program co-chair for the International Conference on Computational Social Science (a.k.a. IC2S2, which is the premier conference on computational social science). Tina received an Outstanding Mentor Award from the Office of Science at the US Department of Energy in 2010; and became a Fellow of the ISI Foundation in Turin Italy in 2019.

What can science do for democracy?

We will discuss the following questions. What is democratic backsliding? What makes a democracy stable? Which processes potentially lead to instability of a democratic system? How can complexity science help us understand and mitigate democratic backsliding? The talk is based on this paper and this paper.