Big Data 175

BIG DATA : The 3-Ds : Define, Describe, Debate 

Queen’s University 175th Anniversary Series 2016-17

Queen's: 175 Years

The Big Data buzz is everywhere. Precision agriculture uses Big Data on soils and climate to boost crop yields. Clinical analytics is used to track the effectiveness of prescription drugs. Police use Big Data to find leads more quickly.

But exactly what is Big Data? Who’s using it on campus, in Canada and globally? And what are the challenging, critical questions for Big Data?

This series of events at Queen’s explores 3-Ds: define, describe, debate. 

  • Define: Demystifying big data: where did it come from and what is it?
  • Describe: Delving into big data in various contexts: what are its common features? 
  • Debate: Deciding when big data is the right choice: what are the ethical questions?

The events raise the profile of Big Data activities on campus and invite discussion between faculties, schools, departments. The events are accessible to students, faculty, staff and the wider Kingston community.

The Big Data series is a 175th anniversary event that engages intellectually and practically with a major analytic development and pressing public issue, from multi-disciplinary and cross-campus perspectives.

The series celebrates Queen’s contributions to Big Data innovations and critically debates nationally and internationally, contributes to the historic and future role of Queen’s in fostering such open dialogue within the university and in the City of Kingston.

We open the black box of Big Data, explore what’s being done with Big Data on campus, and argue about the pros and cons of Big Data in fields from healthcare to marketing to national security and beyond.

External speakers, along with Queen’s professors and students, address the 3-Ds of Big Data through lectures, seminars panel discussions, plus pechakucha, video showings, film discussions, art exhibits and other media. 

The series occurs through the fall term 2016 and winter term 2017.

Events Schedule

Queen's Seminar Series 

Big Data Art Exhibit


Planning Group

  • Bita Amani – Faculty of Law
  • Brent Gallupe – Smith School of Business
  • Martin Hand – Sociology Department
  • David Lyon – Surveillance Studies Centre
  • Patrick Martin – School of Computing
  • David Murakami Wood – Sociology/Geography Department
  • Scott Thompson – Surveillance Studies Centre
  • Melinda Knox – Office of the Vice Principal (Research)
  • Anne Craig –University Relations (Communications team)

Thank You to Our Sponsors:

Project Partners