I am a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows and an incoming Assistant Professor at UC Berkeley EECS. 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 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 algorithms and AI, with a focus on equity and justice concerns. My work has provided new mathematical and computational frameworks for problems related to poverty and inequality. Specifically, I design and analyze algorithmic, data-driven, discrete optimization, and network-based techniques to improve access to opportunity for historically disadvantaged communities.
As part of this research mission, I co-founded and co-organize Mechanism Design for Social Good (MD4SG), an interdisciplinary, multi-institutional research initiative. My work is informed by collaborations with researchers in disciplines including economics, sociology, and social work 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 recommendations were approved by the ACD to be enacted by the NIH. (See Report.)
Spring/Summer News and Presentations
I was born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia -- a country known for being home to Dinkinesh (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 co-founded and serve on the Board of Directors for Black in AI, a transcontinental network of Black researchers and practitioners the field. Read this Forbes piece I wrote on representation, inclusion, and belonging issues on AI.