Kudos to Jerry Goldman, the other folks at the Oyez Project as well as the Chicago-Kent College of Law for making this free resource available to the public!
From the description: “OYEZTODAY at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law offers you the latest information and media on the current business of the Supreme Court of the United States. OYEZTODAY provides: easy-to-grasp abstracts for every case granted review, timely and searchable audio of oral arguments + transcripts, and up-to-date summaries of the Court’s most recent decisions including the Court’s full opinions. You will have access to all this information on your iPhone with the ability to share reactions on Facebook, Twitter, or by email. (Recordings of opinion announcements from the bench will follow when the Court releases these files to the National Archives at the start of the Court’s next Term). Chicago-Kent is proud to provide this free service to enhance the public’s understanding of the Supreme Court and current legal controversies.”
“In 2004, Salman Khan, a hedge fund analyst, began posting math tutorials on YouTube. Six years later, he has posted more than 2.000 tutorials, which are viewed nearly 100,000 times around the world. In this TED 2011 Talk, Salman talks about how and why he created the remarkable Khan Academy, a carefully structured series of educational videos offering complete curricula in math and, now, other subjects. He shows the power of interactive exercises, and calls for teachers to consider flipping the traditional classroom script — give students video lectures to watch at home, and do “homework” in the classroom with the teacher available to help.”
This offers a pretty interesting alternative model for education delivery. It is worth checking out!
As a member of the conference program committee, I would like encourage you to consider submitting a paper to “The Future of Computational Social Science” at the University of Washington – Seattle, May 16-17, 2011. The conference aims to bring together leaders from industry and the academy to present cutting edge work. For those who might be interested in attending, please click on the image above or here to access the call for papers. Here is an excerpt:
“Computational social science is an emergent field and source of new theoretical and methodological innovation for social science more broadly. Multidisciplinary teams of social and computer scientists are increasingly common in the lab and at workshops where cross-fertilization occurs in the areas of theory, data, methods, and tools. Peer-reviewed interdisciplinary work is becoming more common as the computational tools and techniques of computer science are being used by social scientists. Previously, large-scale computational processing was the purview of expensive, university-centric computing labs. Now, with the democratization of technology, universities and for-profit firms increasingly provide large amounts of inexpensive computing power to researchers and citizens alike.”
Authors are invited to prepare and submit to JITP a research paper, policy viewpoint, workbench note, or teaching innovation manuscript by January 30, 2011. There is also an option to submit an abstract for potential inclusion in the poster session. The poster abstract is also due January 30, 2011.
Starting with the Michael Bommarito’s twitter handle mjbommar, we built this visualization by collecting Mike’s direct friends, friends-friends, friends-friends-friends, etc. until we decided to stop …. just after passing 130,000 total twitter handles. Using the Fruchterman-Rheingold algorithm, we visualized a network where |V| = 130365, |E| = 197399.
Those interested in reviewing some other twitter visualizations, please consult Nathan Yau at Flowing Datawhohas collected some of his favorites. To our knowledge, the visualization we offer above is one the larger visualizations of twitter that have been produced to date.When you zoom in, you will notice we have flagged some of the celebrity twitter users we detected in the mjbommar friends-friends-friends, etc. network. For example, as shown above Ashton Kutcher (aplusk), Chad Ochocinco (OGOchOCinco) and RainnWilson (rainnwilson) are contained therein.
Given the budget limitations of this blog, we cannot host this visualization in house. However, if you click the picture above, you can access the visual from Seadragon … a zoomable visualization platform from Microsoft Labs.
So this is Version 1.0 of our series regarding the linkage structure of the Law Blogosphere. We are currently working on a Version 2.0 that will feature documentation and a larger set of law blogs. Check back soon for more!
From the abstract: “Computer scientists have recently undermined our faith in the privacy-protecting power of anonymization, the name for techniques for protecting the privacy of individuals in large databases by deleting information like names and social security numbers. These scientists have demonstrated they can often “reidentify” or “deanonymize” individuals hidden in anonymized data with astonishing ease. By understanding this research, we will realize we have made a mistake, labored beneath a fundamental misunderstanding, which has assured us much less privacy than we have assumed. This mistake pervades nearly every information privacy law, regulation, and debate, yet regulators and legal scholars have paid it scant attention. We must respond to the surprising failure of anonymization, and this Article provides the tools to do so.”
Here at the CSCS Lab, we are working hard to finish up some projects. In the meantime, we wanted to highlight one of our favorite articles, an article we previously highlighted on the blog. Some of you might ask “what does this have to do with law or social science?” (1) We believe the taxonomy outlined in this article could potentially be applied to a wide set of social phenomena (2) As we say around here, if you are not reading outside your discipline, you are far less likely to be able to innovate within your discipline. So we suggest you consider downloading this paper….
Earlier in the month, there was a very interesting discussion over at Flowing Data entitled the Rise of the Data Scientist. We decided to highlight it in this post because it raises important issues regarding the relationship between Computational Legal Studies and other movements within law.
As we consider ourselves empiricists, we are strong supporters of the Empirical Legal Studies movement. For those not familiar, the vast majority of existing Empirical Legal studies employ the use of econometric techniques. For some substantive questions, these approaches are perfectly appropriate. While for others, we believe techniques such as network analysis, computational linguistics, etc. are better suited. Even when appropriately employed, as displayed above, we believe the use of traditional statistical approaches should be seen as nested within a larger process. Namely, for a certain class of substantive questions, there exists tremendous amounts of readily available data. Thus, on the front end, the use of computer science techniques such as web scraping and text parsing could help unlock existing large-N data sources thereby improving the quality of inferences collectively produced. On the back end, the use of various methods of information visualization could democratize the scholarship by making the key insights available to a much wider audience.
It is worth noting that our commitment to Computational Legal Studies actually embraces a second important prong. From a mathematical modeling/formal theory perspective, at least for a certain range of questions, agent based models/computational models ≥ closed form analytical models. In other words, we are concerned that many paper & pencil game theoretic models fail to incorporate interactions between components or the underlying heterogeneity of agents. Alternatively, they demonstrate the existence of a P* without concern of whether such an equilibrium is obtained on a timescale of interest. In some instances, these complications do not necessarily matter but in other cases they are deeply consequential.
We just finished a few very interesting days at Colorado Law School. Given the intersect of Computer Program and Law is a fairly narrow set, it was great to spend sometime time at CU Law School because its faculty features two scholars with a significant programming background — Paul Ohm and Harry Surden.
In addition to discussing CLS, we participated in a workshop on New Institutional Economics (NIE) and Law. I found this workshop very interesting as outside of my work in Computational Legal Studies, I have authored scholarship at the crossroads of New Institutionalism and Constitutional Political Economy. For example, I have this article and this work in progress. My work follows the tradition of the Bloomington School of NIE. In two weeks, I will be presenting work in progress at ISNIE in Berkeley.
Following the Colorado NIE Workship, we participated in the Silicon Flatirons Government 3.0 roundtable. I do not want to preempt the forthcoming white paper but I will say that it was a very worthwhile discussion. It solidified my views on some topics and changed my mind on some others. So, the road show continues… AI & Law in Barcelona starts tomorrow… so light blogging for the next week. But as I like to say… more to come…
Prior to founding this blog, we had little doubt that developments in informaticsand the science associated with Web 2.0 would benefit the production of a wide class of theoretical and empirical legal scholarship. In order to lower the costs to collective action and generate a forum for interested scholars, we believed it would be useful to produce the Computational Legal Studies Blog. The early results have been very satisfying. For example, it has helped us link to the work of Paul Ohm.
For those interested in learning more about not only the potential benefits of a computational revolution in legal science but also some of the relevant mechanics, we strongly suggest you consider giving his new article a read!