Technology is a lot of power. When our kids look at how we used it, we should not say “oops! We didn’t know any better at the time.”

I’m a PhD student in the Clinical Decision Making Group (MEDG) at MIT CSAIL. I’m supported by an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. I’m actively finishing up my PhD thesis about what it means for computer scientists to “do” AI Ethics. I’m very interested in whether we are actually helping people, because although good intentions are important… they’re not sufficient.

I’m currently on the job market. I want to work in Public Interest Technology! If there’s an overly burdensome signup form for access to welfare benefits, I want to help simplify it. If there’s a backlog of would-be foster parents that are burning out trying to navigate all of licensing and registration requirements, I want to help them get through the process. The case studies in the book Power to the Public are so inspiring, and I want to do things like that. Making government work better is good both because it directly benefits the people who need a helping hand and also because it restores people’s in government to see things working the way they are supposed to!

In 2020, I worked with fellow graduate students to co-author a petition demanding our department do a lot more to address systemic racism. We have done a lot of organizing since then, achieving department-level wins (e.g. a full-time Diversity Officer for EECS, more student involvement in faculty hiring, transparency in admission stats shared with the community, regular town halls and progress reports, etc) and institute-wide (transitional funding for graduate students in unhealthy advising situations).

Community organizing has helped me appreciate the difference between policy “on the books” (e.g. I am eligible for covered therapy sessions) and policy “on the ground” (e.g. it doesn’t really matter what I’m “eligible” for, because I called the front desk and they were too understaffed to help me).

Last summer, I interned at the ACLU of Massachusetts’s Tech for Liberty program, working on police surveillance (we don’t like it), increasing access to public meetings (we do like it), and other projects. Previous internships have included also:

Something I could be doing better at? Is it too awkward to mention to me in-person? Let me know anonymously!

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