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Recent News

CICS-Led Team Designs New Machine Learning Algorithms to Offer Safety and Fairness Guarantees

Seventy years ago, science fiction writer Isaac Asimov imagined a world where robots would serve humans in countless ways, and he equipped them with built-in safeguards ­now known as Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics, to prevent them, among other goals, from ever harming a person.
Guaranteeing safe and fair machine behavior is still an issue today, says machine learning researcher and lead author Philip Thomas at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Read more …

CICS Professor Erik Learned-Miller Wins Computer-Vision Award

College of Information and Computer Sciences (CICS) Professor Erik Learned-Miller, along with CICS alumnus Gary Huang, and Facebook research scientist Tamara Berg, have received the Mark Everingham Award from the International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV), sponsored by the Institute of Electrical Engineers (IEEE). Read more …

Event Showcases Data Science for the Common Good

On October 21, UMass Amherst Vice Chancellor of Research and Engagement Michael Malone addressed a room of 65 people who had gathered to hear about Data Science for the Common Good (DS4CG), a summer program administered by the Center for Data Science. He shared the second goal in the university’s  strategic plan: Establish UMass Amherst as a partner of choice in advancing and applying knowledge and innovation for the betterment of society. “There is no more fitting example of this than Data Science for the Common Good,” Malone said. Read more …

Special Issue of IEEE Data Engineering on EQUATE Topics

The latest issue of IEEE Data Engineering is a special issue on “Fairness, Diversity, and Transparency in Data Systems.” Alexandra Meliou, CICS professor and Special Issue Editor, writes, “In this issue, we bring together an exciting collection of recent and ongoing work that focuses on the problems of fairness, diversity, and transparency in data-driven systems. This collection highlights the central role that the data management research community can play in detecting, informing, and mitigating the effects of bias, skew, and misuse of data, and aims to create bridges with work in related communities.” Read more …

10 Methods of Inclusive Machine Learning

HackHer413 founder Katie House writes about how to make machine learning work fro good, not for evil. Read more …

Erik Learned-Miller helped create one of the most important face datasets in the world. Now he wants to regulate his creation.

Erik Learned-Miller is one reason we talk about facial recognition at all.
In 2007, years before the current A.I. boom made “deep learning” and “neural networks” common phrases in Silicon Valley, Learned-Miller and three colleagues at the University of Massachusetts Amherst released a dataset of faces titled Labelled Faces in the Wild. Read more …

Doctoral Student Emma Strubell’s Research on AI’s Carbon Footprint Highlighted

CICS doctoral student Emma Strubell’s paper, Energy and Policy Considerations for Deep Learning in NLP, will be presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Computer Linguistics in Florence, Italy in July. Her work was recently highlighted in New Scientist and Popular Mechanics.

Brun and Meliou Receive Gift from Oracle to Detect Software Bias

UMass College of Information and Computer Sciences (CICS) professors Yuriy Brun and Alexandra Meliou have received a $100,000 gift from Oracle Labs to support their work on software fairness, focusing on testing software for bias using an automated test generation technique. Read more …

Doctoral Student Rico Angell Granted NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

College of Information and Computer Sciences (CICS) doctoral student Rico Angell has recently been selected to receive a Graduate Research Fellowship by the National Science Foundation. “Modern software, especially software that learns from data, often exhibit biases,” says CICS Associate Professor Yuriy Brun, Angell’s doctoral advisor. “Rico’s research focuses on understanding when and why such software exhibits bias.” Read more …

UMass Amherst Computer Scientists Receive Grant to Improve Software Fairness

Computer science researchers Alexandra Meliou and Yuriy Brun at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have received a four-year, $1.05 million grant from the National Science Foundation to study how software systems can exhibit bias and how software engineers can develop fairer, more equitable systems. Read more …