GVU Brown Bag Seminar: Computational Journalism

Philip Meyer, Professor Emeritus, University of North Carolina
Irfan Essa, Professor in the School of Interactive Computing of the College of Computing

Computation + Journalism Symposium 2013

In 1967, Philip Meyer introduced the world to Precision Journalism in a Pulitzer Prize winning series about Detroit race riots that ran in the Detroit Free Press. Since then, he has been the leading light in the area of Investigative Journalism and Computer Assisted Reporting. In 2006, Irfan Essa coined the term “Computational Journalism” when he and Nick Diakopoulos organized the first course on the subject. followed by a Symposium at GA Tech in 2008. How did we get to this point and what’s the transition from Precision to Computational Journalism? Join us as Professor Essa and Professor Emeritus Philip Meyer, engage in a dialogue to understand where Journalism is, where it is going, especially in light of recent technological changes and the needs and demands of the news consumers.

Philip Meyer is professor emeritus and former holder of the Knight Chair in Journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He researches in the areas of journalism quality, precision journalism, civic journalism, polling, the newspaper industry, and communications technology. Meyer was a Nieman Fellow in 1966-1967. He blogs at http://philipmeyer.authorsxpress.com. Meyer is a member of the Board of Contributors for USA TODAY's Forum Page, part of the newspaper’s Opinion section. Before becoming a professor in 1981, Meyer was employed in the newspaper industry for a total of 26 years, the last 23 with Knight Ridder Inc., where he started as a reporter for the Miami Herald. In 1962, he became the Washington correspondent for the Akron Beacon Journal, then a national correspondent, and finally, from 1978-1981 the director of news research at company headquarters in Miami, where he worked on Knight Ridder's pioneering Viewtron online service. Meyer's most recent book is "Paper Route: Finding My Way to Precision Journalism," a memoir of his newspaper career. He has also written The Vanishing Newspaper: Saving Journalism in the Information Age, Precision Journalism," Ethical Journalism: a Guide for Students, Practitioners and Consumers," and "The Newspaper Survival Book." The National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting hosts annual Philip Meyer Journalism Award, which recognize "recognize excellent journalism done using social science research methods".

Irfan Essa is a Professor in the School of Interactive Computing (iC) of the College of Computing (CoC), and Adjunct Professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology (GA Tech), in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Currently, he is also serving as the Director/Assistant Dean of Off Campus Initiatives for the College of Computing. Professor Essa works in the areas of Computer Vision, Computer Graphics, Computational Perception, Robotics and Computer Animation, Machine Learning, and Social Computing, with potential impact on Video Analysis and Production (e.g., Computational Photography & Video, Image-based Modeling and Rendering, etc.) Human Computer Interaction, Artificial Intelligence, Computational Behavioral/Social Sciences, and Computational Journalism research. He has published over 150 scholarly articles in leading journals and conference venues on these topics and several of his papers have also won best paper awards. He has been awarded the NSF CAREER and was elected to the grade of IEEE Fellow. He has held extended research consulting positions with Disney Research and Google Research and also was an Adjunct Faculty Member at Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute. He currently serves as the Director of Off-campus Initiative for the College of Computing at GA Tech. He is a core member of the GVU Center and in 2008 was awarded the GVU Center’s 15 years of Impact Award. He joined GA Tech Faculty in 1996 after his earning his MS (1990), Ph.D. (1994), and holding research faculty position at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Media Lab) [1988-1996].

Event Details


  • Thursday, January 31, 2013
    10:30 am - 12:00 pm
Location: TSRB 132 (Ball Room)

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