More and more, society is augmenting and even replacing human decision-making with software. Often, the decisions that these software systems make are provided by machine learning models that have been integrated into the software. Despite the widespread use of these technologies, there Is still much we don’t understand about guaranteeing equitable, safe outcomes in practice. This is supported by numerous real-world examples that display the potential of these systems to behave in unexpected, undesirable ways that have negative impacts on society. To prevent these behaviors, we need support for improving how we design, build, analyze, and validate data-driven software with potential fairness or ethical concerns. In this talk, I will present recent research efforts in supporting the development of fair, ethically-sound data-driven software. I will also describe open problems in supporting ethical software development practices and ways we can potentially fill these gaps in practice. Overall, I will argue that enabling and ensuring software ethics requires an interdisciplinary approach to solving research challenges across computer science and throughout the data-driven software development pipeline.
I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at George Mason University. I am currently recruiting students to work in my lab!
I received my Ph.D. in Computer Science from North Carolina State University (2017), after getting my B.A. in Computer Science from the College of Charleston (2011). My research focuses on improving developer productivity and satisfaction through evaluating and improving the tools and processes they use to develop software. My current focus is on software fairness and ethical software engineering practices. My research is interdisciplinary, cross-cutting with research in software engineering, human-computer interaction, and machine learning.
Outside of work, I enjoy doing anything that allows me to be creative. From painting on canvas to painting my nails, I love to express myself! I also have a passion for mentoring and encouraging others to reach for the stars (while never forgetting who you are or where you started).