Hosted 8th Recsys Amsterdam Meetup

Thursday 19 October, I had the pleasure of hosting the 8th Recommender Systems Amsterdam meetup at FDMG/ The meetup’s theme was media-content recsys, and we had three talks from industry, dealing with recommending tv programs, music videos, and text articles);

  1. Ghida Ibrahim (Senior Data Scientist, (formerly at) Liberty Global): “Recommender systems for video and TV products”
  2. Bouke Huurnink and Roman Ivanov (XITE): “Music Video Recommendation@XITE”
  3. Robbert van der Pluijm (Head of Bibblio Labs, Bibblio): “Scaling a recommendation service – a threefold story” wrote a small blog post about it, check it out here: Meetup: het succes van algoritmen en systemen voor personalisatie en aanbevelingen

Featured in FD on the value of (personal) data

In today’s edition of Het Financieele Dagblad, I am quoted in an article on the value of (personal) data titled “Wanneer je gegevens geld waard zijn”;

De kennis die met die cookies wordt verzameld, wordt vervolgens verkocht aan nog eens tientallen bedrijven die daarmee hun reclameboodschappen gericht kunnen afvuren. ‘Waar je ook komt op het web, je laat altijd digitale sporen na’, zegt David Graus, die twee weken geleden promoveerde op dit onderwerp aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam. ‘Uit al die sporen voorspellen de bedrijven je gedrag en op basis daarvan plaatsen ze een advertentie.’ […]

De mogelijkheden met data gaan verder, stelt Graus. Stel dat op basis van gedrag van vrienden, familieleden, likes, posts en zoekopdrachten wordt geconcludeerd dat je rookt. Terwijl je dat zelf nooit hebt aangegeven. ‘Daarmee geef je privacy weg’, aldus Graus.

Read the full article here.

Debate at De Balie: ‘The power of algorithms, how algorithms shape our lives’

Update: see the opening talk I gave on what algorithms are, here: Mini-college “Hoe algoritmen ons leven vormgeven”

On Sunday, June 18th I will participate in a debate at De Balie on the power of algorithms, along with (a very nice lineup:) Wouter van Noort, Naomi Jacobs, Marjolein Lanzing, Rutger Rienks, and Hans de Zwart.

For more information (and tickets), see: De macht van data, De Balie.

My PhD Thesis “Entities of Interest — Discovery in Digital Traces” is online!

My PhD thesis, Entities of Interest — Discovery in Digital Traces is now available for download. Click on the cover below to head to and grab your electronic copy of the little booklet that took me 4+ years to write!

Panel discussion on Data & Democracy

On Tuesday May 9th I will participate in a panel discussion on Data & Democracy, which will revolve around the impact of (big) data (mining), profiling, and political micro-targeting on politics and campaigning of the future. Data & Democracy is organized by the Personalised Communication group (a joint effort between UvA’s Communication Science & Information Law groups). See this article (in Dutch) and the flyer (below) for more information!

Keynote on Big Data, Machine Learning, and Algorithmic Bias at the Royal Marechaussee


I was invited to give the opening keynote at the Intelligence Day of the Koninklijke Marechaussee (Military Police) on Big Data and Machine Learning, with the aim to explain the audience what ML and Big Data is.

I spent a disproportionate amount of time on Algorithmic Bias, because I think this is a hugely important topic — in particular for this audience! See the slides of my talk (in Dutch) below, or on slideshare:

Interview in Tekstblad: “Searching for truth in 11.5M documents”

Tekstblad (a magazine for text professionals) contains an interview with Hans Henseler and myself, on the “Semantic Search for E-Discovery” project I have been involved with during my PhD. The title loosely translates to “Searching for truth in 11.5M documents.” (click the image for the PDF).

Click for the PDF
Click for the PDF