Swati Gupta, Assistant Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Georgia Tech


New Perspectives to Tackle Contextual Biases Across Domains

Optimization and statistical models based on historical and socio-economic data that do not incorporate fairness desiderata can lead to unfair, discriminatory, or biased outcomes. New ideas are needed to ensure that the developed systems are accountable under uncertainty and reduce a deeper propagation of biases in multi-level decisions. They further need to adhere to various domain-dependent constraints. In this talk, I will highlight our recent work on
(i) hiring: how to hire talented individuals without violating anti-discrimination laws when evaluation data embed contextual biases, (ii) admissions: how to reduce segregation in schools using implementable policies despite inherent biases in student data, and (iii) healthcare: how to detect critical conditions using errored electronic medical records. The challenges in each domain are different due to interaction with the law, policy, public perception, and accountability to domain experts, but the solutions exploit the same theoretical principles.  


Dr. Swati Gupta currently holds a Fouts Family Early Career Professorship and is an Assistant Professor in the Stewart School of Industrial & Systems Engineering at Georgia Tech. She also serves as the lead of Ethical AI in the multi-institution NSF AI Institute on Advances in Optimization (ai4opt.org) awarded in 2021. She received a Ph.D. in Operations Research from MIT in 2017. Her research interests include optimization, machine learning, and algorithmic fairness, spanning various domains such as e-commerce, quantum optimization, and energy. She received the Class of 1934 Student Recognition of Excellence in Teaching in 2021 and 2022 at Georgia Tech, the JP Morgan Early Career Faculty Award in 2021, the NSF CISE Research Initiation Initiative Award in 2019, the Simons-Berkeley Research Fellowship in 2017-2018, and the Google Women in Engineering Award (India) in 2011. Her research and students have received recognition at venues like INFORMS Doing Good with OR 2022, INFORMS Undergraduate Operations Research 2018, INFORMS Computing Society 2016, and INFORMS Service Science Student Paper 2016. Dr. Gupta’s work is partially funded by the NSF and DARPA.