I am a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows. I completed my Ph.D. in Computer Science at Cornell University, where I was advised by Jon Kleinberg. I also hold an M.S. in computer science from Cornell University, an M.S. in applied mathematics from Harvard SEAS, an M.A. in mathematics from the University of Cambridge, and a B.A. in mathematics from Harvard University.
My research broadly falls in the fields of AI and algorithms, with a focus on equity and social good concerns. I design and analyze algorithmic, discrete optimization, and network-based techniques that can inform interventions to improve access to opportunity for historically underserved communities. Specifically, I focus on two types of interventions: one in the form of allocating societal resources and another in the form of improving access to information. My research tackles algorithmic challenges that arise due to, e.g., hidden or unmodelled interactions, resource scarcity, limited infrastructure, varying need and receptiveness to resources/information, unclear ground truth, and data sparsity. My work has provided new mathematical and computational frameworks for a range of problems including modeling and analyzing susceptibility to income shocks and poverty, segregation in networks, and disparities in access to health information.As part of this research mission, I co-founded and co-organize Mechanism Design for Social Good (MD4SG), an interdisciplinary, multi-institutional research initiative and workshop series. My work is informed by collaborations with researchers in related disciplines and domain experts from various government and non-government organizations. Throughout 2019, I served on the NIH Advisory Committee to the Director (ACD) Working Group on AI. Our report and recommendations were approved by the ACD to be enacted by the NIH.
December & January News
I was born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia -- home to Lucy, a more sensible time convention, its own alphabet, the birthplace of coffee, and 13 months of sunshine. I am a proud graduate of the Ethiopian National Curriculum. I am passionate about increasing representation, inclusion, and belonging of marginalized communities in computing. I co-founded and serve on the Board of Directors for Black in AI.