Who to Watch at Chicago Ideas Week 2012: Deb Roy

There's a lot to wrap your mind around with the approaching Chicago Ideas Week, the weeklong invasion of super-smart and super-influential folks taking place at venues all over town from Oct. 8 to 14.

We're helping with a series of speaker profiles designed to highlight the speakers who will benefit you, the sexy Chicago entrepreneur. There are just over 100-plus speakers announced so far, and more to come.

In this profile: Deb Roy.

Accolades: The co-founder and CEO of Bluefin Labs has a PhD in cognitive science from MIT and has, in MIT's words, "pioneered pioneered new data-driven methods for analyzing and modeling human linguistic and social behavior." His research has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Wired, the BBC, NPR and many, many outlets. He's also a tenured professor at MIT.

Why you should care: With Twitter, Facebook and the countless other social media channels and platforms readily available and just as quickly disappearing today, it's more important than ever to be able to say what you want to say as succinctly as possible. Attention spans are shrinking, and the way in which we receive and process information is changing subtly, whether we realize it or not. Roy's company, Bluefin Labs, is developing products and services to "help brands, agencies and media companies optimize their mass media performance by integrating real time insights mined from social media and other sources of audience response." You know, so, if you care about how your message is being received, you might want to come listen to Roy speak.

When you can see him: Oct. 9, 4:30 p.m.-6 p.m., Albert Theatre at Goodman Theatre

Read more here.

David Wolinsky is a freelance writer and a lifelong Chicagoan. In addition to currently serving as an interviewer-writer for Adult Swim, he's also a comedy-writing instructor for Second City. He was the Chicago city editor for The Onion A.V. Club where he provided in-depth daily coverage of this city's bustling arts/entertainment scene for half a decade. When not playing video games for work he's thinking of dashing out to Chicago Diner, Pizano's, or Yummy Yummy. His first career aspirations were to be a game-show host.

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