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Featured Researcher: Aria Khademi

Posted on February 12, 2021

Get to know Aria Khademi. Aria is a doctoral candidate in informatics and is pursuing a graduate minor in statistics and a master’s degree in information sciences and technology. Advised by Vasant Honavar (IST/ICDS) and Aleksandra Slavkovic (Statistics), Aria researches ways to use artificial intelligence to make the world more equitable and fair.

 How did you get into this research field?

I observed that the world is an unjust place, so I decided to pursue a path to making a fairer world. I used my own knowledge and expertise in machine learning and artificial intelligence to contribute to ensuring fairness in decision making systems. That’s why I’m working on fair machine learning. 

What do you hope to accomplish with your research? 

I hope to provide tools that detect and mitigate unfair discrimination against individuals. 

What is your academic background? 

I have a B.S. degree in Computer Software Engineering; two M.S. degrees, one in Artificial Intelligence and the other in Information Sciences and Technology; a Ph.D. Minor in Statistics; and am pursuing a Ph.D. in Informatics.  

What’s the elevator pitch for your research?  

I make models that detect discrimination on the basis of race, gender, etc., in any given decision making system. 

What important advances do you think we’ll see in your field in five years? Ten? Twenty?  

You’ll hear more about the term “Causal inference in machine learning”. I believe that at the moment, causality is the future of machine learning research. 

What’s your favorite sound?   

The sound of a guitar. 

If you were a computer part, what part would you be, and why?     

The CPU, I’m the thinker! 

What’s your advice for would-be scientists?      

Giving up is not an option. 

What profession other than your own would you enjoy?       

Musician. 

Favorite hobbies/pastimes that have nothing to do with your professional work?        

Playing and composing music, reading non-academic books, watching movies, exercising.

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