Northwestern Mutual, Marquette to host fourth annual Symposium on the Ethics of Big Data

April 29, 2019

MILWAUKEE — The Northwestern Mutual Data Science Institute, in partnership with the Marquette University Center for Cyber Security Awareness and Cyber Defense, will host the fourth annual Symposium on the Ethics of Big Data at 8 a.m. Wednesday, May 1, at Cream City Labs, 733 N. Van Buren St., Milwaukee.

The symposium, which is now sold out, is the second event hosted by the NMDSI at Marquette. It will break down the ethical, legal, privacy and social challenges society is facing since the emergence of data-driven technology such as learning analytics, wearables, intelligent personal assistants and more.

This year’s keynote speaker is Michael Zimmer. Zimmer, who, in August, will become an associate professor in the Department of Computer Science at Marquette University after serving 10 years in a similar role at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, will discuss pervasive data ethics for computational research. He aims to help consumers better navigate the challenges and opportunities that come with evolving technology and a hyper-focus on data collection.

“A wide range of economic interests, including consumer marketing, health care, manufacturing, education and government are now in pursuit of the value of data-driven decision making that big data promises,” Zimmer said. “At the same time, the rise of the big data ecosystem fosters concerns about digital surveillance, individual privacy, and user consent. The 4th annual Ethics of Big Data Symposium will engage with these issues by encompassing multiple perspectives, stakeholders and approaches.”

The event will feature two additional expert presentations, as well as an exercise called “Letting go of your data,” led by Joseph Coelho, an adjunct instructor of computer science at Marquette.

About the Northwestern Mutual Data Science Institute
Last year, Northwestern Mutual formed an academic partnership with Marquette University and UW – Milwaukee. Leveraging the strengths of the three institutions, the groundbreaking partnership will contribute $40 million over the next five years to help build a technology ecosystem and advance southeastern Wisconsin as a national hub for technology, research, business and talent development, while creating an organic pipeline of tech talent in the area.

About Shelby Williamson

Shelby Williamson

Shelby is a senior communication specialist in the Office of Marketing and Communication. Contact Shelby at (414) 288-6712 or