New book: We, by Michael Landweber ’92 (Coffeetown Press)
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September 13, 2013
September 6, 2013
August 30, 2013
New book: A Jew’s Best Friend? The Image of the Dog Throughout Jewish History, edited by Phillip Ackerman-Lieberman *07 and Rakefet Zalashik (Sussex Academic Press)
August 23, 2013
New book: Numbersense: How to Use Big Data to Your Advantage, by Kaiser Fung ’95 (McGraw Hill)
The world belongs to Big Data, and we’re just living in it — or so it may seem if you read enough media coverage about the breathtaking amount of information being collected and analyzed today. To be a critical reader of these data-driven stories, you don’t need a degree in statistics, according to author Kaiser Fung ’95. You just have to know how to ask the right questions.
“You don’t need to be able to do analysis in order to be able to interpret it,” said Fung, a statistician in the marketing and advertising business who also teaches practical statistics at New York University. “We don’t need to know how to manufacture a car in order for us to be able to drive it.”
Fung provides a blueprint for dissecting data analysis in his new book, Numbersense, a follow-up to the 2010 release Numbers Rule Your World. Using accessible examples — college rankings, Groupon, and fantasy football, to name a few — Fung explains how to decipher the assumptions behind a particular analysis and apply a healthy dose of skepticism. “If you’re going to be make decisions based on someone else’s data analysis, you better look a few layers deeper,” he said.
Drawing partly on his professional experience, Fung highlights the benefits that data can provide for marketers who aim to identify purchasing habits among people with common traits. But he notes that retailers rarely know enough about you to make customized offers. Loyalty cards and ratings of previous purchases only go so far. “The dirty secret is it’s very difficult,” he said. “If you don’t know much about that person, you’re basically just making a guess.”
August 16, 2013
New work: Queen Jane, a play by Marvin Harold Cheiten *71, premiers tomorrow in Princeton. The play stars Phoenix Gonzalez ’11 in the title role, is directed by Dan Berkowitz ’70, and is stage-managed by Alexandra Mannix ’12. Ben Schaffer ’11 is the set designer.
New work: The play Half — written by Becca Foresman ’10; starring Foresman and Adam Zivkovic ’11; directed by Cara Tucker ’12; and staged managed by Christina Henricks ’13 — is being performed at the New York International Fringe Festival this month.
New book: Gridlock: Why Global Cooperation Is Failing When We Need It Most, by Thomas Hale ’04 *12, David Held, and Kevin Young (Polity Press)
The authors: Hale, who majored in the Woodrow Wilson School and returned to Princeton to complete a Ph.D. in politics, is a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government. His research explores how we can manage transnational problems effectively and fairly. Held is a professor of politics and international relations at Durham University. Young is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
The book: As international problems have grown worse, international institutions have become less equipped to address them. The breakdown of cooperation affects a range of issues, including security, economics, and the environment. In a recent summary article in Social Europe Journal, Hale and his co-authors wrote that following World War II, new international institutions “provided the momentum for decades of sustained economic growth and geopolitical stability,” but over time, those institutions have lost their problem-solving capacity.
July 18, 2013
New work: “What Are the Wild Waves Saying,” an exhibition of 14 photographs by Susannah Ray ’94 with audio by Jen Poyant
July 12, 2013
New book: Staging Social Justice: Collaborating to Create Activist Theatre, edited by Norma Bowles ’84 and Daniel-Raymond Nadon (Southern Illinois University Press)
July 2, 2013
New work: r e v e a l, a new site-specific dance work by Silas Riener ’06 in collaboration with Rashaun Mitchell and Cori Kresge, is part of the River to River Festival and Water Street Pops! in Lower Manhattan
June 27, 2013
New book: Mania: The Story of the Outraged and Outrageous Lives That Launched a Cultural Revolution, by David M. Skover ’74 and Ronald K.L. Collins (Top Five Books)
New book: The Snail Darter and the Dam: How Pork-Barrel Politics Endangered a Little Fish and Killed a River, by Zygmunt J.B. Plater ’65 (Yale University Press)