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June 16, 2016

Personal Mention

Sridhar TayurSridhar Tayur, the Ford Distinguished Chair and professor of operations management at the Tepper School of Business, participated in an Organ Summit hosted by the White House this past Monday (June 13) in Washington, D.C. The summit was attended by senior Obama administration officials and representatives from companies, foundations, universities, hostpitals and patient advocacy organizations working to increase access to organ transplants and reduce the organ transplant waiting list. Tayur is the founder of OrganJet, which provides timely and affordable transportation for organ transplant patients, enabling patients to be listed at multiple transplant centers. Find out more about OrganJet.

Jane BernsteinEnglish Professor Jane Bernstein wrote an essay for Broadly arguing against the proposed closure of “sheltered workshops” for individuals with disabilities. Though government officials view separate worksites as a civil rights violation under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Bernstein believes her daughter has gained fulfillment and a sense of purpose from her job. Read "Why Are People Trying to Take My Disabled Daughter's Job Away?”

Anupam DatttaA team of CMU researchers led by Anupam Datta has developed new measurement methods that provide important insight into how machine-learning algorithms make decisions about things like credit applications, job opportunities and medical diagnoses. Was it a person's age, gender or education level that had the most influence on a decision? Was it a particular combination of factors? CMU's Quantitative Input Influence (QII) measures can provide the relative weight of each factor in the final decision, said Datta, an associate professor of computer science and electrical and computer engineering. "Demands for algorithmic transparency are increasing as the use of algorithmic decision-making systems grows and as people realize the potential of these systems to introduce or perpetuate racial or sex discrimination or other social harms," Datta said. "Some companies are already beginning to provide transparency reports, but work on the computational foundations for these reports has been limited," he continued. "Our goal was to develop measures of the degree of influence of each factor considered by a system, which could be used to generate transparency reports." Find out more.

George LoewensteinSoda drinks are under attack in the U.S. and the U.K., but the weapons employed on the two fronts are different. In an opinion piece for “The Conversation,” CMU’s George Loewenstein and the London School of Economics’ Matteo M. Galizzi examine why the UK’s approach to soda taxes may have a better chance in achieving the intended goal of reducing obesity. Loewenstein is the Herbert A. Simon University Professor of Economics and Psychology in the Dietrich College. Read "In obesity fight, UK’s heavy-handed soda tax beats US' watered-down warning.”