2021 Fall Seminar Events

CRCS AI for Social Impact Seminar Series CRCS hosts the CRCS Seminar Series  from 11 AM – 12 noon Eastern on Mondays during the academic year. CRCS fellows, faculty and friends are encouraged to join us. See here for information about past seminars.

September 13, 2021

HOW MUCH EVIDENCE DO YOU NEED?
Data Science to Inform Environmental Policy During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Location: Zoom conference - Register at https://forms.gle/UFenSy4JarrhTJEr6


Professor Francesca Dominici
Co-Director of the Harvard Data Science Initiative, Harvard University,
Clarence James Gamble Professor of Biostatistics, Population and Data Science at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

In this talk, Dr. Dominici will provide an overview of data science methods, including methods for causal inference and machine learning, to inform environmental policy. This is based on her work analyzing a data platform of unprecedented size and representativeness. The platform includes more than 500 million observations on the health experience of over 95% of the US population older than 65 years old linked to air pollution exposure and several confounders. Finally, she will provide an overview of her studies on air pollution exposure, environmental racism, wildfires, and how they also can exacerbate the vulnerability to COVID-19.

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About the Speaker

Francesca Dominici, PhD is the co-Director of the Harvard Data Science Initiative, at Harvard University and the Clarence James Gamble Professor of Biostatistics, Population and Data Science at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and of the International Society of Mathematical Statistics. She leads an interdisciplinary group of scientists to address important questions in environmental health science, climate change, and health policy. Her contributions to the field have been remarkable including more than 250 peer-reviewed published articles, and has provided her knowledge on the topics on joint panels with New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, and European Commission).

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September 27, 2021

F-AI-REST OF THEM ALL

Location: Zoom conference - Register at https://forms.gle/UFenSy4JarrhTJEr6


Professor Marzyeh Ghassemi
Assistant Professor
MIT in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Institute for Medical Engineering & Science

While clinical AI and medical risk scores have received much attention for their potential to achieve above-human performance, there are many concerns about their ability to mimic societal bias. In this talk, Dr. Ghassemi explores the difficulty of making state-of-the-art machine learning models behave as we say, not as we do, and how technical choices that seems natural in other settings may not work well in health.

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About the Speaker
Dr. Marzyeh Ghassemi is an Assistant Professor at MIT in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) and Institute for Medical Engineering & Science (IMES), and a Vector Institute faculty member holding a Canadian CIFAR AI Chair and Canada Research Chair. She holds a Herman L. F. von Helmholtz Career Development Professorship, and was also named one of MIT Tech Review’s 35 Innovators Under 35. Previously, she was a Visiting Researcher with Alphabet’s Verily and an Assistant Professor at University of Toronto. Prior to her PhD in Computer Science at MIT, she received an MSc. degree in biomedical engineering from Oxford University as a Marshall Scholar, and B.S. degrees in computer science and electrical engineering as a Goldwater Scholar at New Mexico State University.

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October 4, 2021

INTERDISCIPLINARY INTELLIGENCE MAPPING OF ILLICIT GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE

Location: Zoom conference - Register at https://forms.gle/UFenSy4JarrhTJEr6

Photo of Meredith Gore
Professor Meredith L. Gore
Associate Professor of Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change,
Department of Geographical Sciences at University of Maryland

A scientific understanding of human behavior is critical for improving humans’ ability to predict and adapt to global environmental change. The type of behavior that society defines or perceives as driving illicit global environmental change can be omnipresent, but we have mostly lacked an effective mechanism for thinking and talking about, and addressing, the problem. The emerging field of conservation criminology offers a model for understanding the types of illicit human behavior and the emotions, cognitions, and institutions that are a cause and a consequence of illicit global environmental change. I will introduce key dimensions of conservation criminology and provide three widely different examples of how interdisciplinary intelligence mapping can

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About the Speaker
Meredith L. Gore is an Associate Professor of Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change in the Department of Geographical Sciences at University of Maryland, College Park. Her research uses risk concepts to build new understanding of human-environment relationships and is designed to build scientific evidence for action. The majority of her activities can be described as convergence research on conservation issues such as wildlife trafficking, illegal logging, fishing and mining. Meredith has conducted research in collaboration with local communities in 15 countries on 5 continents with funding from the National Science Foundation, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, DEFRA, Global Wildlife Conservation and others.

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October 25, 2021

CO-DESIGNING TOOLS TO COUNTER STRUCTURAL OPPRESSION

Location: Zoom conference - Register at https://forms.gle/UFenSy4JarrhTJEr6


Professor Sheena Erete

Associate Professor
College of Computing and Digital Media, DePaul University

There has been a recent push in technology design to consider social implications of technology design — both historical, current, and future. In resource-constrained communities, there have been historical policies and practices (e.g., redlining, overpolicing) that have created concentrated poverty, increased unemployment, and lack of adequate and equitable educational, housing, and health opportunities. However, several local community-based organizations have taken the initiative to address their communities’ challenges regarding issues such as safety and education. In this talk, I will discuss two projects that illustrate how we design technologies, practices, and programs with community residents and organizations to support their efforts to counter social issues that are a result of long-term structural oppression. Specifically, I describe (1) our co-design and evaluation process of a mobile application to support violence prevention efforts by street outreach workers and (2) the evolution of Digital Youth Divas, our program that encourages middle school Black and Latina girls to engage and participate in STEAM experiences.

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About the Speaker
Dr. Sheena Erete is an associate professor in the College of Computing and Digital Media at DePaul University in Chicago, IL where she also co-directs the Technology for Social Good Research and Design Lab. Her research focuses on designing technologies that are informed by social, cultural, and economic contexts to address a wide variety of social issues such as violence, education, political efficacy, and economic development. Ultimately, her research focuses on co-designing socio-cultural appropriate technologies with community residents to amplify their local efforts, resulting in more just and equitable outcomes for those who have historically and who currently face structural oppression.

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November 15, 2021

INFORMING ANTI-HUMAN TRAFFICKING EFFORTS WITH OPERATIONS RESEARCH MODELS

Location: Zoom conference - Register at https://forms.gle/UFenSy4JarrhTJEr6


Professor Kayse Lee Maass
Assistant Professor​
Dept. of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
Northeastern University,
Research Collaborator
Department of Health Sciences Research
Information and Decision Engineering Program
Mayo Clinic

Human trafficking is a prevalent and malicious global human rights issue, with an estimated 24 million victims exploited worldwide. A major challenge to its disruption is the fact that human trafficking is a complex system interwoven with other illegal and legal networks, both cyber and physical. Efforts to disrupt human trafficking must understand these complexities and the ways in which a disruption to one portion of the network affects other network components. As such, operations research models are uniquely positioned to address the challenges facing anti-human trafficking efforts. This presentation will discuss ongoing interdisciplinary anti-human trafficking efforts focused on prevention, network disruption, and survivor empowerment related to effectively allocating limited resources to disrupt human trafficking networks, increasing survivors’ access to services, and assessing the efficacy of coordination among anti-human trafficking stakeholders. We will discuss how a variety of operations research methodologies can be used in such contexts, with a particular focus on the types of adaptions that are necessary for network interdiction models to adequately represent the nuances of human trafficking.

 

About the Speaker

Dr. Kayse Lee Maass is an Assistant Professor of Industrial Engineering and leads the Operations Research and Social Justice Lab at Northeastern University. Her research focuses on the application of operations research methodology to social justice, access, and equity issues within human trafficking, mental health, housing, and food justice contexts. Dr. Maass’s research is supported by multiple federal grants, centers interdisciplinary survivor-informed expertise, and has informed local, national, and international policy and operational decisions.

Dr. Maass earned a PhD in Industrial and Operations Engineering (IOE) from the University of Michigan and completed her postdoctoral studies in the Department of Health Sciences Research at the Mayo Clinic. She is a recipient of multiple awards, including the INFORMS Judith Liebman Award, Industrial Engineering Professor of the Year at Northeastern University, and being named a ‘Rising Star’ among INFORMS’ Powerful, Pragmatic Pioneers.  Dr. Maass currently serves on the INFORMS Subdivision Council, as INFORMS Section on Location Analysis Secretary, and is part of the U.N. University Delta 8.7 Markets Working Group.

 

 
 

December 6, 2021

TITLE OF TALK TO COME

Location: Zoom conference - Register at https://forms.gle/UFenSy4JarrhTJEr6


Dr. Andrew Plumptre
Head KBA Secretariat
BirdLife International & IUCN

More information to come.

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About the Speaker
Andrew Plumptre is based at the Cambridge Conservation Initiative in the Zoology Department. He aims to link field programmes to researchers in Cambridge University and elsewhere. Plumptre is a tropical conservation scientist who has been working for the past 25 years in the Albertine Rift Region of Africa, one of the most biodiverse parts of the continent. His work has focused on many different issues related to the conservation of the Albertine Rift Region of Africa including developing new methods for surveying primates in forests, improving ranger patrolling in protected areas, conservation planning for the Albertine Rift, building national capacity to undertake monitoring and research, supporting transboundary conservation, and establishing new protected areas. More information on Dr. Plumptre to come.

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