Presentation, Nov. 13, ‘Something Real About Fake News: How Mindfulness and Mindlessness Drive The Echo-Chamber!’

On Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, from 1 to 2 p.m. in Wood Hall 324, the Austin E. Cofrin School of Business will be hosting a research presentation entitled, “Something Real About Fake News: How Mindfulness and Mindlessness Drive The Echo-Chamber!” This presentation will be presented by UW-Green Bay Prof. Gaurav Bansal (MIS and Statistics) and was authored by Prof. Bansal and Prof. Aaron Weinschenk (Political Science).

A message from the authors:
The online generation and dissemination of false information through online social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have garnered immense public attention following the 2016 Brexit referendum and also the 2016 and 2018 US elections, among others. The significance gained by this phenomenon is nontrivial, as evident from the fact that the Oxford Dictionaries selected “post-truth” as the 2016 international word of the year. Recent research shows that fake news spreads significantly farther, faster, deeper, and more broadly than true news and has significant harmful effects. There is little research examining how the fake news spreads and the challenges it poses at multiple levels including individuals, organizations, and societies. Such understanding is important to develop awareness programs to limit the spread and lessen the degree of the negative consequences posed by the spread of fake news. Online social networking sites are experimenting with crowd-powered programs to reduce the spread of fake news and misinformation, but such measures are not very effective and also very costly. All signs indicate that it will get worse as AI gets more sophisticated in the production and targeting of fake news. In this research, we examine the role of several theories such as mindfulness, polarization and echo-chamber effect, and social influence to understand what makes people share fake news; even when they are alerted that it is not 100% accurate. Data were collected from 500 MTurk users using eight different political scenarios, from all over the US and analyzed using both PLS and covariance-based SEM techniques. We also develop a novel scale to measure social media mindfulness. The study offers several insightful findings such as how social media engagement could enhance the influence of the friend sharing the “fake news,” pushing the respondent into the “echo-chamber” where mindfulness ceases to help. We will discuss the theoretical, managerial as well as the social implications.

Acknowledgment: The authors would like to thank Frederick E. Baer Professorship in Business for financial support in conducting this research.

Faculty note: Prof. Bansal moderates CIO panel

UW-Green Bay Prof. Gaurav Bansal (MIS, Statistics) organized and moderated a CIO panel on Ethical Framework for Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big data that included several industry and government IT leaders—David Cagigal State of WIsconsin CIO, Todd Thiel Executive VP IT SECURA Insurance, Murali Balakrishnan CIO TIDI Products Neenah, and Raman Mehta CIO Visteon Corporation Michigan. The CIO panel on Ethical Framework for Big Data was organized as part of the 14th Annual Midwest Association for Information Systems 2019 Conference (MWAIS). The panel was reported and covered by NEW IT Alliance in its July Newsletter.

Prof. Bansal shares editorial

The Frederick E. Baer Professor in Business Gaurav Bansal (Management Information Systems, Statistics) shares his editorial, Time to Revisit Sumantra Ghoshal’s Legacy: One AI Algorithm at a Time, recently published in Taylor and Francis’s Journal of Global Information Technology Management, Volume 22 Issue 3. Read it, here.

Faculty note: Prof. Bansal named editor for information systems journal

UW-Green Bay Frederick E. Baer Professor in Business Gaurav Bansal (Business Administration, MIS, Statistics, Cofrin School of Business) has been invited to serve as a special issue (SI) co-editor, along with Prof. Lionel Robert and Nigel Melville both of Univ of Michigan, and Prof. Thomas Stafford of Louisiana Tech University, for AIS Transactions on HCI (THCI) Journal, focusing on AI fairness, Trust and Ethics. THCI is a premier Association for Information Systems (AIS) journal with A* rating from Australian Business Deans’ Council. The SI invites research from different perspectives that offer novel theoretical implications on topics of Artificial Intelligence (AI) fairness, trust and ethics in organizations and our broader society. More here.

Bansal is also invited to be SI editor on Dark Side of Information Technology for Journal of Information Technology Case and Application Research (JITCAR).  JITCAR is a Taylor & Francis Publication and is recognized by the Australian Business Dean’s Council. It is beyond doubt that IT has both positive and negative aspects, which impact us in all spheres and disciplines of life. This special issue will provide a forum for researchers worldwide to present for publication a wide range of social and ethical issues related to the dark side of information technology. More here.

Faculty note: Prof. Bansal has research published with student Emma Nies

Prof. Gaurav Bansal announce that research with his undergraduate Emma Nies (Business Administration, Statistics) has been accepted for presentation and publication at Midwest Association for Information Systems Conference (MWAIS) to be held in St Louis, this May. The conference is hosted by College of Business Administration at the University of Missouri – St. Louis (UMSL). The title of their research is, “Shipping and Return-Shipping Costs do not Cost the Same: The Role of Gender and Product Price in Online Buying.”

Prof. Bansal is guest lecturer at Fox-Wolf Watershed Alliance event

UW-Green Bay Associate Prof. Gaurav Bansal (Data Science, MIS, Statistics) delivered a lecture on the topic “Does being ethical make good visual sense?” The conference was organized by Fox-Wolf Watershed Alliance’s at the Lambeau Field Atrium, March 7, 2018. The two-day conference brought together expert practitioners to share experience, both successful and challenging, with protecting, conserving and restoring the waters of the Fox-Wolf Basin and waters from around the state and across the country.

 

Three UW-Green Bay faculty bestowed named professorships

From left: Amy Wolf, Guarav Bansal, David Corey
Recipients of UW-Green Bay Professorships, 2017 to 2022. From left: Amy Wolf (Biology), Gaurav Bansal (Management Information Systems, Statistics) and David Coury (Humanities).

Three members of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay faculty were selected to hold named professorships today (August 23, 2017) at the University’s 2017 Fall Convocation. Named professorships are created through private gifts that support the study and research of a faculty member who has an outstanding record of scholarly accomplishment. The annual stipend associated with these professorships is for five years, but the recipient retains the title for life. Stipends are typically applied to research expenses or special projects benefiting students or service to the community.

  • Prof. David Coury (Humanities) has been selected to hold the Frankenthal Professorship
  • Prof. Amy Wolf ’89 and ’93 (Biology) has been selected to hold the Herbert Fisk Johnson Professorship
  • Associate Prof. Gaurav Bansal, Business Administration (Management Information Systems, Statistics), has been named the Frederick E. Baer Professor in Business

Frankenthal Professorship — Prof. David Coury 
The Frankenthal Professorship was established in October of 1980 in honor of the late Siegfried W. Frankenthal by members of the Frankenthal family of Green Bay. The Frankenthals owned and operated Packerland Packing Company until the business was sold in the 1970s. Mr. Frankenthal and his wife, Karola, were active in their synagogue and community charitable work. Their memorial professorship is open to full professors in any field of study whose work exemplifies the spirit and mission of UW-Green Bay. Coury’s record shows sustained scholarly work while serving two terms as chair of Humanistic Studies (now Humanities), one of the University’s largest academic units. He has also chaired Modern Languages. Coury is extensively published and participates in multiple scholarship networks that focus on topics ranging from German film and literature to immigration and national identity. Originally a scholar of German literature, he has effectively retrained himself to also specialize in politics, religion and culture — specifically at the intersection of Middle Eastern studies and globalization.

His strong public presence is well documented by his leadership of the Green Bay Film Society and, most recently, his passion to bring the topic of immigration and refugees to hundreds of middle school students in partnership with the Neville Public Museum. His work spans countries and continents — as co-founder and co-director of the Center for Middle East Studies and Partnerships, as an advocate of study abroad and as a visiting instructor in Spain. His passion is connecting UW-Green Bay students and the Green Bay community to global issues.

As an undergraduate, Coury studied in Salzburg, Austria and later at the University of Hamburg, Germany. He has published widely on contemporary German cinema as well as the contemporary novel. More recently he has been studying the intersection of Eastern and Western cultures as expressed in European literature and film. Of particularly interest is the role globalization has played in shaping conceptions of identity as well as the so-called clash of cultures and civilizations in Europe. An avid cinephile, he is also the director of the Green Bay Film Society and serves on the board of Film Green Bay. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Wittenberg University (Springfield, Ohio) and a Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati.

Herbert Fisk Johnson Professorship in Environmental Studies — Prof. Amy Wolf
The Herbert Fisk Johnson Professorship in Environmental Studies was established in 1985 by Samuel C. Johnson and his wife, Imogene Johnson of Racine. It is named in honor of his father. Herbert Fisk Johnson was the grandson of Samuel Curtis Johnson, founder of Johnson Wax Company. He led the company to its present position as a world leader in the manufacture and marketing of wax, wax products and other products produced by the company. Samuel and Imogene Johnson were among the early supporters of UW-Green Bay and remained friends of the University over the years. Samuel passed away in 2004. The award recognizes and gives support for a full professor who has demonstrated a productive commitment to scholarship and outreach and whose work exemplifies the spirit and mission of the University. The Johnson Professorship is designated for the areas of biological or physical environmental studies or policy studies of environmental issues.

Prof. Wolf is known as someone who exemplifies the University mission in her teaching, scholarship, service and outreach. Her interdisciplinary problem-focused scholarship address the University’s commitment to environmental sustainability and to serving communities in Wisconsin. Her scholarship focuses on forest ecology, species preservation and ecological restoration. In 2014, she was recognized with the Founders Award for Excellence in Scholarship. She is widely published and most recently, in collaboration with Prof. Bob Howe and other UW-Green Bay researchers, contributed to work published in Science — considered the premiere scientific journal in the world. She serves as a mentor to UW-Green Bay undergraduates and graduates. As both the principal- and co-investigator, she has acquired more than $1 million in grants administered through UW-Green Bay for research. Her work typically focuses on the ecology of plant-animal interactions, including studies of host specific insects (Northern Blue Butterfly), rare plants (Serpentine Morning Glory), and Wisconsin bees. She is co-leader of the Wabikon Forest Dynamics Plot, part of a global network of intensive, long-term forest research sites initiated by the Smithsonian Institution’s Center for Tropical Forest Science. Hundreds of undergraduates and graduates under her supervision have studied invasive plant species, aquatic macrophytes, forest understory plants, bat biology and pollination ecology.

Wolf received both her master’s degree (Environmental Science and Policy, 1993) and bachelor’s degree (Biology, 1989) from UW-Green Bay. She earned a Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of California, Davis in December 1998.

Frederick E. Baer Professorship — Associate Prof. Gaurav Bansal
The Frederick E. Baer professorship recognizes and gives support for a tenured faculty member who has demonstrated a productive commitment to scholarship and/or outreach, and whose work exemplifies the spirit and mission of UW-Green Bay. It is specified for faculty members who work directly with business leaders, in business development or with students who later enter the business world. Scholarship namesake, Frederick E. Baer, had a distinguished 44-year career with Paper Converting Machine Corporation, culminating in his tenure as the company’s president and CEO from 1969 until his retirement in 1993.

Bansal is well known for leadership in curricular development and for engaging the business community in the region. He serves as the chair and academic director for the Master of Science in Data Science program, a high-enrollment program with a national reputation. He currently teaches courses in business statistics and MIS for the Cofrin School of Business. His research interests are in the areas of trust, privacy and security concerns and data analytics. He is extensively published and received best paper awards at the Midwest Association for Information Systems (MWAIS) conferences in 2010, 2011 and 2014. In 2016, he organized a two-day workshop at UW-Green Bay which focused on SAS business analytics software, drawing workshop leaders from across the country and business leaders from across the region.

Bansal was recognized as a UW-Green Bay Teaching Scholar in 2010-2011 and a Wisconsin Teaching Fellow in 2013-2014 and an Advanced Online Teaching Fellow in 2013. His research has won several nominations and best paper awards at prestigious national and international MIS conferences. He encourages and enjoys working with his students on research projects. His research wok with UW-Green Bay undergraduate students has won best paper awards at regional MIS conferences.

Bansal is an engaged community member and a proud alumnus of the Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Green Bay program. He serves on the Brown County Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration Event Committee and as a steering committee member of Community Information Systems (CIS) — an initiative of United Way of Brown County.

Bansal received his Ph.D. in MIS from UW-Milwaukee in 2008 and his M.B.A. from Kent State University, Ohio in 2002. He completed his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from University of Gorakhpur, India in 1996. Before starting his academic career, he worked as a quality assurance engineer for General Motors India (1998-2000) and Daewoo Motors India (1996-1998).

About the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is a comprehensive public institution offering undergraduate and graduate programs to 7,300 students. The University transforms lives and communities through exceptional and award-winning teaching and research, innovative learning opportunities and a problem-solving approach to education. For more information, visit www.uwgb.edu.

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Faculty note: Amiri publications

Assistant Prof. Saeid Amiri (Statistics, Natural and Applied Sciences) announced two recent publications:
-Amiri, S., Clarke, B, & Clarke, J. (2017). Clustering categorical data via ensembling dissimilarity matrices, Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistics, Doi: 10.1080/10618600.2017.1305278.
-Amiri, S., & Dinov, I. D. (2017). msktuple: An Integrated R Library for Alignment-Free Multiple Sequence k-Tuple Analysis, Chemometrics and Intelligent Laboratory Systems.