Each year, Chicago Magazine publishes it’s “Who’s Got Next” list of local luminaries in arts, politics, sports, and science. Among the 17 Chicagoans on this year’s list of “emerging power players” is a familiar face for UChicago CS: Liew Family Chair of Computer Science Michael Franklin.

Dubbed by the magazine as “The Big Data Guru”, Franklin talks about the pervasive role of data in modern society, and what it may mean for businesses and fields such as medicine, finance, education, and government.

Ask Franklin to get specific about the big data analysis and artificial intelligence research he and his colleagues are doing, and the affable 57-year-old Boston native demurs: “The problem is, it works for everything. Our lives are being modulated by and lived through networks and computing, and all our activities are spitting out tremendous reams of data about what works and what doesn’t work in the world.”

Franklin’s blurb also highlights the new computer science space in the John Crerar Library and the Center for Data and Computing, an incubator for multidisciplinary data science collaboration at the University of Chicago. The magazine writes that Franklin is “putting Chicago at the center of the data science map,” playing “matchmaker” between data science researchers and students and scholars studying urban planning, medicine, and other areas.

“I think that’s the way you do impactful computer science research,” he tells reporter Princess Ojiaku. “You work with people who are trying to solve real problems.”

See the full list at Chicago Magazine.

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