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Fall 2021 GRASP SFI: Danaë Metaxa, Stanford University, “Studying Bias and Representation in Sociotechnical Systems”

November 3, 2021 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

*This was a HYBRID Event with in-person attendance in Levine 307 and Virtual attendance via Zoom


Algorithms play a central role in our lives today, mediating our access to civic engagement, social connections, employment opportunities, news media and more. While the sociotechnical systems deploying these algorithms—search engines, social networking sites, and others—have the potential to dramatically improve human life, they also run the risk of reproducing or intensifying social inequities and tensions. In my research, I ask whether and how these systems are biased and how those biases impact users, towards the aim of building better ones. In this talk, I will describe my work conducting algorithm audits and randomized controlled user experiments to study representation and bias, touching on examples including my recent audits of gender and racial representation in image search results and partisan political media in web search. I will conclude by discussing my most recent work building tools to extend such audits into new domains and make them more accessible and sustainable for researchers.


Dr. Danaë Metaxa (they/them) is an incoming Assistant Professor of Computer and Information Science at the University of Pennsylvania, with a secondary appointment in Penn’s Annenberg School for Communication. Dr. Metaxa received their PhD in Computer Science from Stanford University in 2021, and is currently a Postdoctoral Researcher at Stanford’s Center for Philanthropy and Civil Society, mentored by Dr. Nathaniel Persily, and working on the Program for Democracy and the Internet. Previously, Danaë received dual undergraduate BA degrees from Brown University in Computer Science and Science & Society. During their academic career they have had the honor of being recognized by several awards including an NSF Graduate Fellowship and an Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship from Google. Their research has been published and awarded at top computer science conference venues including CHI and CSCW.


November 3, 2021
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Category:


Levine Hall Conference Room 307
3330 Walnut Street
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