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Diversity and inclusion

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Fast Company

Fast Company reporter KC Ifeanyi writes about “Coded Bias,” which explores how graduate student Joy Buolamwini’s “groundbreaking discovery and subsequent studies on the biases in facial recognition software against darker-skinned individuals and women led to some of the biggest companies including Amazon and IBM rethinking their practices.”

New York Times

New York Times reporter Devika Girish reviews “Coded Bias,” a new documentary that chronicles graduate student Joy Buolamwini’s work uncovering how many AI systems can perpetuate race and gender-based inequities. “When you think of A.I., it’s forward-looking,” says Buolamwini. “But A.I. is based on data, and data is a reflection of our history.”

The Kelly Clarkson Show

Danielle Geathers, president of the MIT Undergraduate Association, joins Kelly Clarkson to discuss her goals for her presidency. Geathers highlights the Talented Ten Mentorship program, which aims to help increase matriculation of Black women by pairing “Black women in high school with Black women at MIT.” Clarkson applauded her work, noting “that’s amazing mentorship…You can dream big when you see that someone has made it there.”

WUNC

Melissa Nobles, dean of the MIT School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, speaks with Leoneda Inge of WUNC about the issue of racial categorization with the census. “The census itself is an incredibly important instrument for government to do good,” says Nobles.

Axios

Axios reporter Erica Pandey writes that a new working paper by MIT researchers explores the potential pitfalls posed by using algorithms to aid the hiring process. "Lots of companies have taken interest in using AI tools in the recruiting process," explains Prof. Danielle Li. "In that world, algorithms stand to have a big impact."


 

New York Times

New York Times reporter Steve Lohr highlights the technology startup Ultranauts, which was founded by two MIT graduates and follows a “distinctive set of policies and practices to promote diversity and inclusion among employees.”

NBC News

NBC News reporters Lindsay Hoffman and Caroline Kim spotlight graduate student Joy Buolamwini’s work uncovering racial and gender bias in AI systems in a piece highlighting women who are “shattering ceilings, making groundbreaking discoveries, and spreading public awareness during the global pandemic.” Hoffman and Kim note that Buolamwini’s research "helped persuade these companies to put a hold on facial recognition technology until federal regulations were passed.”

CNN

A new study by MIT researchers finds that Black Americans pay more than any other group to own a home, reports Anna Bahney for CNN. "The small differences compounding over the life of the mortgage and during home ownership can add up," explains Senior Lecturer Edward Golding. "Even if it is a few hundred dollars a year here and there, it can amount to another year's salary families would otherwise have."

Wired

Engine CEO Katie Rae speaks with Arielle Pardes of Wired about the need to invest in companies that are tackling the world’s most urgent problems. “We back transformational technology that could shape a market and solve a huge world problem all in a go,” says Rae. “But it requires patience, it requires capital and it requires imagination on how to get these types of companies to market.”

ESPN

Graduate student John Urschel speaks with Jamison Hensley of ESPN about his efforts aimed at empowering and encouraging more Black students to pursue careers in STEM fields. “Now more than ever, it’s really important that we highlight some of the diverse areas of mathematics that don’t typically get seen every day,” says Urschel.

Inside Higher Ed

In an article for Inside Higher Ed, Prof. Kerstin M. Perez writes about the importance of fostering a sense of belonging in the STEM fields.

Stat

Emily Calandrelli SM ’13 speaks with STAT reporter Pratibha Gopalakrishna about her work aimed at getting children interested in science, the importance of representation in the STEM fields, and her new Netflix show. “I don’t shy away from the science because I think kids are very clever and know way more than a lot of people give them credit for,” says Calandrelli.

Forbes

Prof. Daniela Rus, director of CSAIL, speaks with Forbes contributor Nancy Wang about how to encourage more girls to pursue careers in STEM. “We need to educate all students – male and female – equally on the opportunities available in these fields, give them the chance to shine, and ensure that we’re creating inclusive environments for them to work in,” says Rus.

Time Magazine

Danielle Geathers, president of the Undergraduate Association (UA), writes for Time about how her childhood helped inspire her to desire to advocate for change. “My activism was nurtured by my mother’s emphasis on cultural education,” writes Geathers. “I had early exposure to Alex Haley’s Kunta Kinte, Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Du Bois and Maya Angelou. I was planted in solid ground with roots that stretched back generations.”

Mashable

Prof. Nergis Mavalvala has been named the new Dean of MIT’s School of Science, reports Zara Khan for Mashable. Khan notes that Mavalvala “is known for her pioneering work in gravitational wave detection,” and will be the first woman to serve as Dean of the School of Science.