Category: Uncategorized

[Cara Stepp] Cracking the Code of the Most Common Voice Disorder: Mysterious Loss of Voice with No Known Cause

February 25th, 2015 in Uncategorized

Wednesdays @Hariri

3:00 PM on March 18,2015 @ Rm 180

Cracking the Code of the Most Common Voice Disorder: Mysterious Loss of Voice with No Known Cause

Cara Stepp

Junior Faculty Fellow, Hariri Institute for Computing
Assistant Professor, Speech, Language & Hearing Sciences/Biomedical Engineering
Boston University

Abstract: An estimated 9% of adults in the U.S. are affected by voice disorders, causing communication impairment that impacts patients’ lives both socially and economically. The most common voice disorder occurs when functional control over the voice is impaired in the absence of any known structural or neurological abnormalities. These individuals are thought to have “excess muscle tension”, but very little work has characterized this disorder quantitatively: current assessment in clinical practice still relies primarily upon the subjective interpretation of patient history and physical and perceptual examination. Although ubiquitous, nothing is known about the underlying sensorimotor physiology of this pervasive disorder. This talk will focus on some of the many unanswered questions in this population: How can this pathophysiology be measured? Why does it happen? How can it be predicted and prevented? These questions will be addressed in the context of clinical presentation, laryngeal physiological function, acoustic ramifications, auditory and somatosensory acuity, and motor control.

Bio: Dr. Stepp is Assistant Professor in the departments of Speech, Language & Hearing Sciences and Biomedical Engineering at Boston University, where she is a Peter Paul Career Development Professor and a Hariri Institute for Computing Junior Faculty Fellow. She received the S.B. in Engineering Science from Smith College, S.M. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences & Technology. Her postdoctoral training was completed jointly in Computer Science & Engineering and Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Washington. Dr. Stepp directs the Stepp Lab for Sensorimotor Rehabilitation Engineering, which uses engineering tools to improve rehabilitation of sensorimotor function in disorders of voice and speech.

[Francesco Decarolis] Common Agency and Coordinated Bids in Sponsored Search Auctions

February 11th, 2015 in Uncategorized

Wednesdays @Hariri


Common Agency and Coordinated Bids in Sponsored Search Auctions

Francesco Decarolis

Junior Faculty Fellow, Hariri Institute for Computing
Assistant Professor, Department of Economics
Boston University

Joint work with:
Maris Goldmanis (Royal Holloway, University of London)
Antonio Penta (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Abstract: As auctions are becoming the main mechanism for selling advertisement space on the web, marketing agencies specialized in bidding in online auctions are proliferating. We analyze theoretically how bidding delegation to a common marketing agency can undermine both revenues and efficiency of the generalized second price auction, the format used by Google and Microsoft-Yahoo!. Our characterization allows us to quantify the revenue losses relative to both the case of full competition and the case of agency bidding under an alternative auction format (specifically, the VCG mechanism). We propose a simple algorithm that a search engine can use to reduce efficiency and revenue losses. The method is applied to a sample of auctions held by one of the largest search engine providers.

Bio: Francesco Decarolis joined Boston University in 2012 as an assistant professor in the Department of Economics. He holds a PhD from the University of Chicago. His areas of specialization are industrial organization and market design, with applications to auctions and healthcare insurance markets.

[Georgos Zervas] Do-Not-Track and the Economics of Third-Party Advertising

January 26th, 2015 in Uncategorized

Wednesdays @Hariri

3:00 PM on April 8,2015 @ Rm 180

Do-Not-Track and the Economics of Third-Party Advertising

Georgos Zervas

Junior Faculty Fellow, Hariri Institute for Computing
Assistant Professor of Marketing, School of Management
Boston University

Abstract: Retailers regularly target users with online ads based on their web browsing activity, benefiting both the retailers, who can better reach potential customers, and content providers, who can increase ad revenue by displaying more effective ads. The effectiveness of such ads relies on third-party brokers that maintain detailed user information, prompting legislation such as do-not-track that would limit or ban the practice. We gauge the economic costs of such privacy policies by analyzing the anonymized web browsing histories of 14 million individuals. We find that only 3% of retail sessions are currently initiated by ads capable of incorporating third-party information, a number that holds across market segments, for online-only retailers, and under permissive click-attribution assumptions. Third-party capable advertising is shown by 12% of content providers, accounting for 32% of their page views; this reliance is concentrated in online publishing (e.g., news outlets) where the rate is 91%. We estimate that most of the top 10,000 content providers could generate comparable revenue by switching to a “freemium” model, in which loyal site visitors are charged $2 (or less) per month. We conclude that do-not-track legislation would impact, but not fundamentally fracture, the Internet economy.

Bio: Georgos Zervas is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at Boston University’s School of Management. Before joining BU in 2013 he was a Simons postdoctoral fellow at Yale and an affiliate at the Center for Research on Computation and Society at Harvard. He received his PhD in Computer Science in 2011 from Boston University. He is broadly interested in understanding the strategic interactions of firms and consumers participating in internet markets using large-scale data collection and econometric analysis.

Institute-Sponsored BU Team Earns Judges’ Highest Scores at SC’11

April 1st, 2012 in BU News, Institute News, Uncategorized

Boston University’s Student Cluster Challenge (SCC) team was one of eight teams participating in a competition — held at the Supercomputing Convention (SC11) – to design a computer hardware and software network to demonstrate sustained performance in a series of science and engineering challenges. The BU team received the judges’ highest score but was edged out for the overall prize by the reigning champions from National Tsinghua University in Taiwan. BU’s team, sponsored by Silicon Mechanics, a HPC provider, and the Rafik B. Hariri Institute for Computing and Computational Science & Engineering, was made up of six students – Michael Abed (ECE ’14), Richard T. Black (ECE ’13), Derek J. DaSilva (CS, SMG ’12), John-Nicholas Furst (ECE ’13), and twins, Dusan and Darko Stosic (both Physics ’14). Dan Kamalic, manager of research computing in the College of Engineering, is their coach. [Read More]