Dr. Kevin Mills
Kevin Mills joined MIT as a postdoctoral associate in 2021 and began his appointment in SERC in 2023. He was previously a postdoctoral fellow at Northeastern University (2019-2021), and received his PhD from Indiana University Bloomington (2019). His two broad areas of research are metaethics and technology ethics. In metaethics, his research explores the prospects for interdisciplinary work in ethics, especially collaborative ventures between scientists and philosophers. To shed light on this, he looks at the roles empirical knowledge can and cannot play in normative reasoning. In technology ethics, he is particularly interested in how the internet and artificial intelligence are transforming our society, and the many ethical challenges this raises. At MIT, he works primarily on issues surrounding privacy, data collection, misinformation, and online manipulation.
Dr. Karim Nader
Karim Nader is a postdoctoral associate in SERC and in the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy at MIT. His research focuses on the ways in which technology reflects and affects human values. He is usually thinking about ethics, aesthetics, and epistemology. He received his PhD from the University of Texas at Austin in 2023. His dissertation was on the ethics of virtual actions. He argued that virtual reality and the things we do therein are only fictional, meaning that we only imagine that they are real. Karim has written about the matchmaking algorithm behind dating apps and the biases that emerge from it. He’s interested in the norms of online discourse and the ways we can be responsible epistemic agents on the internet. Furthermore, he is interested in further issues at the intersection of ethics and aesthetics, the ethics of information and technology, algorithmic bias, and algorithmic decision-making.
Dr. Anastasia K. Ostrowski
Anastasia K. Ostrowski is a postdoctoral associate in SERC and in the MIT Media Lab where she is also a design researcher. Her work explores equitable design of robots, AI systems, and design education through co-design, participatory design, and design justice approaches, working with roboticists, co-designers, and policy thinkers. Anastasia received her PhD in media arts and sciences from MIT, focused on equitable technology design, and received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biomedical engineering from the University of Michigan, focused on engineering design processes and idea generation. In August 2024, Anastasia will be starting as an assistant professor at Purdue University.
Dr. Chris Rabe
Chris Rabe is a postdoctoral associate in SERC and in the MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative (ESI). His projects and research are broadly focused on better understanding and expanding climate justice and sustainability education across disciplines. At ESI, Chris is leading a curriculum development project called the Climate Justice Instructional Toolkit, which provides faculty and instructors across disciplines with adaptable climate justice teaching modules and support.
In addition, Chris leads the Climate, Environment, and Sustainability Infusion Fellowship, a project designed to support faculty and instructional staff in integrating climate and sustainability content into their teaching. Chris’ research also explores the intersection of emotional well-being and climate change in educational settings, as well as how climate justice teaching can overlap with inclusive and anti-racist practices.
As a SERC postdoc, Chris plans to continue better understanding how different disciplines, such as computing, can better address climate justice within the curriculum by co-creating educational modules with SERC Scholars. Chris earned his PhD at UMass Boston in higher education, and spent more than a decade as an ESL and composition instructor in a variety of contexts.
Dr. Michelle Spektor
Michelle Spektor is the MIT-IBM Postdoctoral Fellow in Computing and Society at SERC. As a historian of technology, she studies the past as a source of insight into the social, political, and ethical implications of surveillance technologies in the present. Her research examines why states are increasingly using biometric systems to identify their own citizens, and how these systems shape state-citizen relationships and politics of national belonging. Her current book project pursues these questions by tracing the transnational history of British and Israeli biometric infrastructures since 1904.
Before joining SERC, Michelle was a lecturer in the Science, Technology, and Society Program at Tufts University, where she taught courses on the history and social dimensions of surveillance, state governance, and the life sciences. She has a PhD in History, Anthropology, and Science, Technology, and Society from MIT, and previously held fellowships at the Center for International Security and Cooperation, and the Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence, at Stanford University.