Neil S. Gaikwad
Neil S. Gaikwad


Neil Gaikwad

Doctoral Scholar
Human-centered AI and Public Policy for Sustainable Systems
MIT Media Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

नील गायकवाड
mail gaikwad@mit.edu
camera Environmental Arts: CRΞ人TIVΞ PIXΞLS


Research Interests Area: Computational Public Policy and Sustainability
Data Science and HCI Methods: Human-AI interaction; social computing systems; geospatial data science; community-based design of data-intensive algorithmic systems; market mechanism design; mixed methods
Sustainability, Development, and Policy Domains: Climate change adaptation, mitigation, and resilience strategies; food and water security; poverty alleviation; AI innovation and governance policy; digital gig economy; emerging markets

Research Vision My research focuses on the community-based design, engineering, and governance of data-intensive public interest computing to advance equitable public policy interventions underpinning sociotechnical systems to improve the livelihood of historically disadvantaged and under-resourced communities. Over the centuries, sociotechnical systems—markets, food, and urban systems—have been instrumental for sustainability and global development. However, environmental, social, and economic threats (such as drought, market failures, disinformation, information asymmetry, inequities) lead to breakdowns in these systems, endangering marginalized populations worldwide. My research investigates socioeconomic and environmental processes underlying the threats using novel data, design, and computational lenses. In particular, I design public interest computing technologies that harness human and AI collaboration to (1) map, monitor, and model the impact of sustainability risks on vulnerable populations, analyzing large scale data emerging from complex sociotechnical systems and Earth remote sensing satellites; (2) inform and evaluate public policy interventions to improve equity in high-stake decisions for historically disadvantaged communities; (3) develop community-based design theories and governing policies to invent equitable human-centered AI systems for sustainable development and global inclusion. My experiences in academia, the finance industry (Wall Street), and fieldwork with communities inform the vision and applications of my research. These experiences drive my research agenda at the intersection of participatory design, computational thinking, and data-driven policymaking to address overarching sustainability challenges.

Selected Awards & Honors

Research and Innovation
    bookmark_borderMIT William Asbjornsen Albert Memorial Fellowship in Modern Science and Engineering Research, 2021 bookmark_borderRising Stars in Data Science, University of Chicago, 2021 bookmark_borderFacebook Research Fellowship, 2019 bookmark_borderMicrosoft Research Fellowship, Nominee and Finalist 2019 bookmark_borderINK Fellow Emerging Innovator, 2019 bookmark_borderBest Paper Honorable Mention, UIST 2017
Teaching
    bookmark_borderMIT GSC Graduate Teaching Award, 2018 bookmark_borderMIT Kaufman Teaching Certificate, 2017
Leadership
    bookmark_borderKarl Taylor Compton Prize, 2019, MIT's Highest Student Award
Professional Service
    bookmark_borderACM EAAMO 2021, Program Committee Best Reviewers bookmark_borderCHI 2020 Special Recognition, Outstanding Reviews bookmark_borderCHI 2019 Special Recognition, Outstanding Reviews bookmark_borderIJCAI 2018, Distinguished PC Member
Environmental Arts
    bookmark_borderThe MIT Arts Scholars bookmark_borderNational Geographic Photo of the Day

Research

Neil Gaikwad is a doctoral scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, specializing in human-centered AI and public policy for sustainable systems. His current research develops human-AI collaboration systems and policy mechanisms to monitor, estimate, and mitigate the adverse risk of climate extremes on vulnerable farmers, markets, and food systems. Before MIT, Neil had a financial data science and market research career on Wall Street. He joined MIT to invent scientific and community-based solutions to address socioeconomic and environmental challenges that disproportionately impact vulnerable populations worldwide. He is a member of the Space Enabled Research Group and works with Danielle Wood. Neil earned a master's degree from the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University, where he worked in the Graphic Lab at the Robotics Institute. He was also a part of the Complex Systems Summer School at the Santa Fe Institute.

Neil leads the development of Data-driven Humanitarian Mapping, a human-centered data science research initiative that aims to increase equity in sustainable development policymaking and climate resilience planning (Gaikwad et al., 2020, 2021). His research has been published in artificial intelligence and human-computer interaction conferences (AAAI, ACM CSCW, ACM UIST, ACM CHI) and a scientific journal (PNAS), and also featured in the New York Times, Bloomberg, WIRED, and The Wall Street Journal. Neil is one of the principal creators and founding members of Daemo, a self-governed AI data market, and EteRNA, a social+crowd computing system that enables massive scale human and machine collaboration to realize scientific discoveries neither of them can accomplish in isolation. He led the development of Daemo's sociotechnical architecture that demonstrates mechanisms for designing sustainable AI data market systems (Gaikwad et al., 2015, 2016, 2017). His foundational contributions draw on incentive compatible mechanisms from game theory (reputation systems for AI data markets), portfolio management (tranches-based guilds for the future of work), and human-centered design (shared mental model of task composition in AI data markets).

Neil's research has resulted in deployable open-source systems, environmental art exhibitions, and technical talks at global policymaking forums of the United Nations and European Union. His scholarship continues to benefit researchers and practitioners worldwide. Daemo has been cited in the International Labour Organization's (ILO) report on Digital Labour Platforms and the Future of Work and deployed to create SQuAD, Stanford's Natural Language Processing dataset. Besides, Boomerang (Gaikwad et al. 2016) has been a part of the advanced HCI/human-computation course curriculum at leading universities. EteRNA has reached over 250,000 citizen scientists as of 2016; it was also one of the 25 great ideas from CMU's School of Computer Science. Neil's TEDx talk presents his vision for just market institutions in the era of AI.

Neil is committed to increasing diversity and belonging in science, technology, and policy. He was one of the core members of the Stanford Crowd Research Initiative, MIT's Innovating for Billions in Emerging Worlds Leadership Council, and Computational Sustainability Open Graduate Seminar organizers. He has mentored over 20 students, who have gone on to win prestigious awards (e.g., Apple Ph.D. Fellowship), pursue careers in research, and publish influential scholarship that has shifted the discourse on AI fairness. Neil's research, teaching, and professional service have been widely recognized with the Facebook Research Ph.D. Fellowship, William Asbjornsen Albert Memorial Fellowship (awarded to one MIT student conducting research in modern science and engineering), UChicago Rising Stars in Data Science, MIT GSC Graduate Teaching Award (presented annually to one MIT professor or teaching assistant from each school for excellence in teaching a graduate-level course), the Karl Taylor Compton Prize (MIT's highest student award).

Selected News

Publications

[C] Conference [J] Journal [SP] Short Paper [D] Software System [T] Conference Tutorial [BC] Book Chapter [P] Proceedings
Selected publications by subject
Computational Sustainability focused on Humanitarian Systems, Socioeconomic Development, and Climate Change Resilience Policy

[ C+P ]Data-driven Humanitarian Mapping: Harnessing Human-Machine Intelligence for High-Stake Public Policy and Resilience Planning
Gaikwad, S., Iyer, Shankar., Lunga, Dalton., Bondi, Elizabeth.
KDD 2021: ACM SIGKDD Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining. link website
picture_as_pdf paper
picture_as_pdf KDD workshop proceedings 2021

picture_as_pdf KDD workshop proceedings 2020
Computational Sustainability focused on Equitable Designs of Data Markets and Cooperative Ecosystems

[ C ]Boomerang: Rebounding the Consequences of Reputation Feedback on Crowdsourcing Platforms
Gaikwad et al., 2016
UIST 2016: The ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology, (Acceptance rate of 20.6%)
picture_as_pdf paper code open source software system bookmarkgoogle scholar bookmark In the course curriculum of Human Computation and Human-computer Interaction classes at Cornell University (CS 5306/INFO 5306), KAIST (CS492), UW Seattle (CSE590H)
[ D ]The Daemo Crowdsourcing Marketplace
Gaikwad et al., 2017
CSCW 2017: The ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work
picture_as_pdf paper code open source software system bookmarkgoogle scholar
[ C.5 ]VizNet: Towards A Large-Scale Visualization Learning and Benchmarking Repository
Hu, Kevin., Gaikwad, S., Hulsebos, Madelon., Bakker, Michiel., Zgraggen, Emanuel., Hidalgo, Cesar., Kraska, Tim., Li, Guoliang., Satyanarayan, Arvind., Demiralp, Çağatay.
CHI 2019: The ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Acceptance rate of 23.8%) picture_as_pdf paper code open source software system bookmarkgoogle scholar
Computational Sustainability focused on Virtual Democracy (Fairness, Accountability, Transparency, and Ethics in Human-centered AI)

[ SP ]Gobo: A System for Exploring User Control of Invisible Algorithms in Social Media
Bhargava, Rahul*❊ ., Chung, Anna*., Gaikwad, S*❊., Hope, Alexis*., Jen, Dennis*., Rubinovitz, Jasmin*., Saldías-Fuentes, Belén*., Zuckerman, Ethan*❊.
Correspondence authors, *equal Contributions.
CSCW 2019: The ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing
picture_as_pdf paper bookmarkgoogle scholar
[ C ]A Voting-Based System for Ethical Decision Making
Noothigattu, Ritesh., Gaikwad, S., Awad, Edmond., D'Souza, Sohan., Rahwan, Iyad., Ravikumar, Pradeep., Procaccia, Ariel D.
AAAI 2018: Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (Acceptance rate of 24.6%)
picture_as_pdf aaai paper book journal version in R&R state bookmarkgoogle scholar Press: "Social Media Has Failed Its Self-Driving Test"(Bloomberg) open_in_new"Researchers Go After the Biggest Problem with Self-driving Cars"(Axios) open_in_new
Computational Sustainability focused on Ecological Arts and Civic Participation

[ SP ]Beyond Boundaries: Towards Symbiotic Relationship Between Ecological Arts and Computational Thinking for Sustainability
Gaikwad, S.
CSCW 2020: The ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing
picture_as_pdf paper link website bookmark Exhibited in the Ars Electronica 2020 Festival of Arts, Technology, and Society, as a part of the Garden CAMBRIDGE
Computational Sustainability focused on Open Innovation, Equity of Access, and Digital Experimentation in Complex Socio-economic Systems

[ T ]Crowdcomputing and Citizen Science for Large-Scale Experiments
Gaikwad, S., Dsouza, Sohan., Vuculescu, Oana., Mao, Andrew., and Rahwan, Iyad.
IC2S2 2017: International Conference on Computational Social Science
[ C ]Crowd Research: Open and Scalable University Laboratories
Vaish, Rajan., Gaikwad, S., Kovacs, Gezza., Veit, Andreas., Krishna, Ranjay., Ibarra, Imanol., Simoiu, Camelia., Wilber, Michael.,
Belongie, Serge., Goel, Sharad., Davis, James., and Bernstein, Michael.
UIST 2017: ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology, (Acceptance rate of 22.5%)
picture_as_pdf paper link website bookmarkgoogle scholar emoji_events ACM UIST Best Paper Honorable Mention, top 2.5% of the technical paper submissions Press: "A Stanford-led Platform for Crowdsourced Research Gives Experience to Global Participants"(Stanford News) open_in_new
[ J ]RNA Design Rules From a Massive Open Laboratory
Lee, Jeehyung., Kladwang, Wipapat., Lee, Minjae., Cantu, Daniel., Azizyan, Martin., Kim, Hanjoo., Limpaecher, Alex.,
Gaikwad, S., Yoon, Sungroh., Treuille, Adrien., Das, Rhiju., and EteRNA Participants
PNAS 2014: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
picture_as_pdf paper code software system bookmarkgoogle scholar "Videogamers are recruited to fight Tuberculosis and other ills "(Wall Street Journal) open_in_new "RNA game lets players help find a biological prize"(New York Times) open_in_new "How turning science into a game rouses more public interest"(WIRED) open_in_new "Game lets citizen scientists participate in creating large-scale library of synthetic RNA designs"(Scientific American) open_in_new "Why video games are key to modern science "(CNN) open_in_new "Online game helps predict how RNA folds " (New Scientist) open_in_new
Publications by date
2021

[ P ]Data-driven Humanitarian Mapping: Harnessing Human-Machine Intelligence for High-Stake Public Policy and Resilience Planning
Gaikwad, S., Iyer, Shankar., Lunga, Dalton., Bondi, Elizabeth.
KDD 2021: ACM SIGKDD Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining. link website picture_as_pdf paper picture_as_pdf proceedings
2020

[ SP ]Beyond Boundaries: Towards Symbiotic Relationship Between Ecological Arts and Computational Thinking for Sustainability
Gaikwad, S.
CSCW 2020: The ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing
picture_as_pdf paper link website bookmark Exhibited in the Ars Electronica 2020 Festival of Arts, Technology, and Society, as a part of the Garden CAMBRIDGE
[ P ]Humanitarian Mapping: Harnessing Data and Human-Machine Intelligence for Actionable Policy Decisions
Gaikwad, S., Iyer, Shankar., Lin, Yu-Ru., Lunga, Dalton.
KDD 2020: ACM SIGKDD Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining. link website picture_as_pdf paper picture_as_pdf proceedings
2019

[ C ]VizNet: Towards A Large-Scale Visualization Learning and Benchmarking Repository
Hu, Kevin., Gaikwad, S., Hulsebos, Madelon., Bakker, Michiel., Zgraggen, Emanuel., Hidalgo, Cesar., Kraska, Tim., Li, Guoliang., Satyanarayan, Arvind., Demiralp, Çağatay.
CHI 2019: The ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Acceptance rate of 23.8%) picture_as_pdf paper code open source software system bookmarkgoogle scholar
[ SP ]Gobo: A System for Exploring User Control of Invisible Algorithms in Social Media
Bhargava, Rahul*❊ ., Chung, Anna*., Gaikwad, S*❊., Hope, Alexis*., Jen, Dennis*., Rubinovitz, Jasmin*., Saldías-Fuentes, Belén*., Zuckerman, Ethan*❊.
Correspondence authors, *equal Contributions.
CSCW 2019: The ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing
picture_as_pdf paper bookmarkgoogle scholar
[ BC ]Crowd Research: Open and Scalable University Laboratories
Vaish, Rajan., Gaikwad, S., Kovacs, Gezza., Veit, Andreas., Krishna, Ranjay., Ibarra, Imanol., Simoiu, Camelia., Wilber, Michael.,
Belongie, Serge., Goel, Sharad., Davis, James., and Bernstein, Michael.
Design Thinking Research: Looking Further: Design Thinking Beyond Solution-Fixation
Springer Nature 2019
book book chapter bookmarkgoogle scholar
2018

[ C ]A Voting-Based System for Ethical Decision Making
Noothigattu, Ritesh., Gaikwad, S., Awad, Edmond., D'Souza, Sohan., Rahwan, Iyad., Ravikumar, Pradeep., Procaccia, Ariel D.
AAAI 2018: Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (Acceptance rate of 24.6%)
picture_as_pdf aaai paper book journal version in R&R state bookmarkgoogle scholar Press: "Social Media Has Failed Its Self-Driving Test"(Bloomberg) open_in_new"Researchers Go After the Biggest Problem with Self-driving Cars"(Axios) open_in_new
[ T ]Seafloor to Satellites: Crowdcomputing and Data Across Scales
Gaikwad, S., Vilgalys, Max., Stroming, Jeremy., Woodward, Ben, Browder, Rebecca.
All Hands on Deck 2018: National Ocean Exploration Forum, NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research and MIT
picture_as_pdf extended abstract link website
[ SP ]Decoding the Evolution of UN’s Sustainable Development Goals using Bayesian Inference
Gaikwad, S.
Santa Fe Institute, Complex Systems Summer School Proceedings 2018
picture_as_pdf extended abstract
2017

[ C ]Crowd Research: Open and Scalable University Laboratories
Vaish, Rajan., Gaikwad, S., Kovacs, Gezza., Veit, Andreas., Krishna, Ranjay., Ibarra, Imanol., Simoiu, Camelia., Wilber, Michael.,
Belongie, Serge., Goel, Sharad., Davis, James., and Bernstein, Michael.
UIST 2017: ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology, (Acceptance rate of 22.5%)
picture_as_pdf paper link website bookmarkgoogle scholar emoji_events ACM UIST Best Paper Honorable Mention, top 2.5% of the technical paper submissions Press: "A Stanford-led Platform for Crowdsourced Research Gives Experience to Global Participants"(Stanford News) open_in_new
[ C ]Crowd Guilds: Worker-led Reputation and Feedback on Crowdsourcing Platforms
Whiting, Gamage, Gaikwad et al., 2017
CSCW 2017: The ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (Acceptance rate of 25%) picture_as_pdf paper bookmarkgoogle scholar
[ T ]Crowdcomputing and Citizen Science for Large-Scale Experiments
Gaikwad, S., Dsouza, Sohan., Vuculescu, Oana., Mao, Andrew., and Rahwan, Iyad.
IC2S2 2017: International Conference on Computational Social Science
[ D ]The Daemo Crowdsourcing Marketplace
Gaikwad et al., 2017
CSCW 2017: The ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work
picture_as_pdf paper code open source software system bookmarkgoogle scholar
[ SP ]Prototype Tasks: Improving Crowdsourcing Results through Rapid, Iterative Task Design
Gaikwad et al., 2017
AAAI HCOMP 2017: AAAI Conference on Human Computation
picture_as_pdf paper code open source software system bookmarkgoogle scholar
[ SP ]Designing a Constitution for a Self-Governing Crowdsourcing Marketplace
Gaikwad, S. with Crowd Research Collective Members.
Collective Intelligence 2017: ACM Collective Intelligence Conference
picture_as_pdf paper code open source software system bookmarkgoogle scholar
2016

[ C ]Boomerang: Rebounding the Consequences of Reputation Feedback on Crowdsourcing Platforms
Gaikwad et al., 2016
UIST 2016: The ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology, (Acceptance rate of 20.6%)
bookmark In the course curriculum of Human Computation and Human-computer Interaction classes at Cornell University (CS 5306/INFO 5306), KAIST (CS492), UW Seattle (CSE590H)
picture_as_pdf paper code open source software system bookmarkgoogle scholar
[ SP ]Crowd Research: Research At Scale
Vaish, Rajan., Gaikwad, S., Ginzberg, Adam., Ibarra, Imanol., Kovacs, Geza., Krishna, Ranjay., Morina, Durim., Mullings, Catherine.,
Simoiu, Camelia., Veit, Andreas., Wilber, Michael., Zhou, Sharon., Belongie, Serge., Goel, Sharad., Davis, James., Bernstein, Michael.
Stanford HCI Design Open House 2016 picture_as_pdf poster
2015

[ SP ]Daemo: A Self-Governed Crowdsourcing Marketplace
Gaikwad et al., 2015
UIST 2015: The ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology
picture_as_pdf paper picture_as_pdf poster code open source software system bookmarkgoogle scholar Press: "The future of work the peoples uber"(Pacific Standard) open_in_new
2014

[ J ]RNA Design Rules From a Massive Open Laboratory
Lee, Jeehyung., Kladwang, Wipapat., Lee, Minjae., Cantu, Daniel., Azizyan, Martin., Kim, Hanjoo., Limpaecher, Alex.,
Gaikwad, S., Yoon, Sungroh., Treuille, Adrien., Das, Rhiju., and EteRNA Participants
PNAS 2014: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
picture_as_pdf paper code software system bookmarkgoogle scholar "Videogamers are recruited to fight Tuberculosis and other ills "(Wall Street Journal) open_in_new "RNA game lets players help find a biological prize"(New York Times) open_in_new "How turning science into a game rouses more public interest"(WIRED) open_in_new "Game lets citizen scientists participate in creating large-scale library of synthetic RNA designs"(Scientific American) open_in_new "Why video games are key to modern science "(CNN) open_in_new "Online game helps predict how RNA folds " (New Scientist) open_in_new
Interesting papers with research acknowledgments Woolley, Anita., Chabris, Christopher., Pentland, Alex., Hashmi, Nada., and Malone, Thomas., "Evidence For a Collective Intelligence Factor in the Performance of Human Groups"
Science 2010

Teaching

Teaching Topics: Computational Social Science, Research Methods in Data Science, and ML for Sustainable Development
MIT MAS.S61: Computational/Quantitative Social Science Research Methods, MIT Media Lab, Fall 2017
subjectTeaching Assistant and Statistical Programming Lab Instructor and Designer
emoji_events MIT GSC Graduate Teaching Award (presented annually to one MIT professor or teaching assistant from each school for excellence in teaching a graduate-level course)
IC2S2 Conference Tutorial: Crowdcomputing and Citizen Science for Large-Scale Experiments, 2017
subjectLead Instructor and Course Designer
Carnegie Mellon 15 − 859 (B): Machine Learning Theory, Computer Science Department, Spring 2010
subjectCourse Grader Volunteer
MIT Emerging Worlds: Introductory Seminar Course on Machine Learning for Development, 2017-2018
subjectInstructor, Innovation Mentor, and Semianr Designer
Teaching Topics: Entrepreneurial Management, Design Strategy, and Base-of-the-Pyramid Innovation
Carnegie Mellon 45 − 881: Entrepreneurial Thought & Action, Tepper School of Business, Spring 2009
subject Teaching Assistant MIT 15.376/MAS.664: AI for Impact: Towards Solving Societal-Scale Problems, MIT Media Lab+MIT Sloan School of Management Course, Spring 2020
subject Course Project Mentor MIT 15.226 Modern Business in India: MIT Sloan School of Management Course, 2019
subjectGuest Lecture: Human-centered Machine Learning for Socioeconomic Development
MIT Emerging Worlds: Design Thinking and Innovation Workshop for Women Entrepreneurs, 2018
subject Lead instructor for the workshop MIT Emerging Worlds: Design Thinking and Innovation Workshop for Executive Program in General Management Course at MIT Sloan School of Management, 2017
subject Lead instructor for the workshop
Teaching and Outreach for Increasing Diversity, Belonging, and Equity in Science and Technology
MIT EECS 6.S899 Special Subject Computer Science, 2020
subject Teaching Fellow, MIT EECS Communication Lab
Navjyoti India Foundation, India Remedial Education Program, 2018
subject Guest Lecture for class 10th remedial education students
100 Robots for 100 Kids, 2010
subject Robotics Teacher Volunteer for a grass roots project to inspire Pittsburgh's at-risk children about computing and robotics
Andrew’s Leap, a Summer Enrichment Program for High School Students, the Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science, 2010
subject Co-instructor for the Game Play session of EteRNA

Professional Service and Leadership

Conference Program Committee/Co-chair/Reviewer
Human-computer Interaction and Social Computing
subject ACM COMPASS [2021]: ACM Conference on Computing and Sustainable Societies
subject ACM CHI [2020 military_tech , 2019 military_tech ]: ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
subject ACM CSCW [2020 LBW, 2019, 2018]: ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing
subject WWW [2017]: International World Wide Web Conference

Data Science and Machine Learning
subject ACM EAAMO [2021 military_tech]: ACM Conference on Equity and Access in Algorithms, Mechanisms, and Optimization
subject IC2S2 [2021]: International Conference on Computational Social Science
subject SIGKDD DHM [2021, 2020]: Data-driven Humanitarian Mapping Workshop
subject AAAI [2020]: Conference on Artificial Intelligence
subject NeurIPS ML4D [2021, 2020, 2019]: Machine Learning for Development (ML4D) Workshop
subject IJCAI [2018 military_tech]: International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence

University and Department Service

Committees
subject MIT Media Lab, Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity Committee, Since 2020
subject Co-chair, MIT SP Committee on Scholarly Interactions,(CoSI), a graduate student organization dedicated to stimulate and foster intellectual exchanges among the MIT community (2016-2020)
subject Co-Chair, MIT India Conference
subject Leadership Council, MIT Innovating for Billions Initiative
subject Media Lab Design Rep, GradRat Ring
subject Reviewer Committee, MIT Graduate Student Council Travel Grant
subject Co-organizer, EteRNA sessions for Leap@CMU Summer enrichment program for high school students

Research Initiatives and Educational Programs Founded
subject Lead & co-founder, Data-driven Humanitarian Mapping: Data to Global Policy Research Initiative
subject Lead and co-founder, MIT Graduate Student Symposium Series
subject Founder Undergraduate Research Mentoring Initiative, a bridge between the MIT UROP program and postdoc, graduate, and undergraduate communities
subject Lead Founder Science, Technology, and Social Justice Speaker Series, MIT SP Committee on Scholarly Interactions

Organizations
subject Program Committee and co-organizer Computational Sustainability Open Graduate Seminar, (with doctoral students from Cornell, Harvard, GeorgiaTech, CMU, USC, and UMass Amherst)
subject Program Committee & co-organizer The Harvard Center for Research on Computation and Society, Global Workshop on AI for Social Impact open_in_new
subject MIT Sidney Pacific House Government (2016-2020)
subject 100 Robots for 100 Kids, a grass roots project to inspire Pittsburgh's at-risk children (at Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute)

Invited Research Talks, Demo, & Panels

Topics Human-centered machine learning, sustainable development, and market design with a focus on capabilities and non-idealistic approaches

subjectGlobal FOOD+2021 Research Symposium, Harvard Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, 2021
Increasing Equity in Agricultural Markets Under Climate Stress Through Human-centered AI and Participatory Policy
subjectKDD Data-driven Humanitarian Mapping Workshop, 2021
Data-driven Humanitarian Mapping Research Initiative: Harnessing Human-Machine Intelligence for High-Stake Public Policy and Resilience Planning subjectAI for Social Good, Center for Research on Computation and Society, Harvard University, 2020
Human-centered AI for Socioeconomic Development, Joint talk with Danielle Wood subjectKDD Data-driven Humanitarian Mapping Workshop, 2020
Data-driven Humanitarian Mapping Research Initiative: Vision for Research to Policy Engagements subjectUnited Nations AI for Good Summit, Geneva, 2019
Designing Human-centered AI for Socioeconomic Development subjectOak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee, 2019
Human-centered Machine Learning for Socioeconomic Development
subjectMIT Sloan School of Management, Modern Business in India, India Lab Class, Cambridge, 2019
Human-centered AI: Societal and Economic Implications of AI for Development subject PopTech and RISD, Providence, 2019
The Future of Food Exploratory subjectDell EMC, Massachusetts, 2019
Challenges and Opportunities in Designing Human-centered Artificial Intelligence subjectWadhwani Institute for AI, Mumbai, 2018
Artificial Intelligence and Society subjectEthics and Governance of AI, Harvard Berkman Klein Center and Media Lab, Cambridge, 2018
Human-AI Collaboration for Sustainable Market Design: A Capability-Based Realization Focus Perspective subjectA European Dialog on the Platform Economy, European Trade Union Institute and Partners, Brussels, 2018
Daemo, A Self Governing Crowdsourcing Market subjectMIT Science Communication IAP Workshop, Cambridge, 2018
Science and Research Communication through TED Talks subjectAAAI Human Computation and Crowdsourcing (HCOMP), Québec City, 2017
Industry Panel on Crowdsourcing. Declined to increase the panel’s gender diversity. subjectTEDx, BeaconStreet, Boston, 2017
The Future of Markets in the Era of Artificial Intelligence Link subjectThe HPI-Stanford summit, Potsdam, Germany, 2017 (Virtual)
Design Thinking and Crowd Research subjectEmerging Worlds Initiative, Cambridge, 2017
Computing and Sustainable Development subjectColloquium on the Human Brain, Providence College, 2017
Human Machine Symbiosis subjectInternational Conference on Computational Economics, Germany, 2017
Crowdcomputing and Citizen Science for Large-Scale Experiments subjectACM UIST, Tokyo, Japan, 2016
Boomerang: an Incentive Compatible Reputation System subjectXerox Research, Webster, NY, 2014 The Science of Human Computation

AI/ML Research Demos

subject Demo to A. R. Rahman, Grammy and Academy Award Winning Musician
Human-centered AI for Music and Immersive Experience subject Demo to Sanjiv Mehta, Chairman Managing Director of Hindustan Unilever
Human-centered AI and Sustainable Supply Chain subject Demo to Shekhar Kapur, an international film director, actor, and producer
Human-centered AI and Storytelling

Panel Moderator

subject Panel on AI Fairness, Societal Impact, and Governance at the CRCS Rising Stars Workshop on AI for Social Impact, Cambridge, 2020
Panelists: Cynthia Dwork, Milind Tambe, Jonathan Zittrain

Student Supervision & Mentoring

MIT+Harvard Undergraduate Students
subject Nikhil Behari (Harvard CS), Summer+Fall 2021
subject Yodahe Alemu (MIT EECS), Spring/IAP 2020
subject Kealani Finegan (MAS, Wellesley College), Fall 2018
subject Sourav Das (MIT EECS), Spring 2018
subject Alice Jin (MIT EECS), Co-supervised. Fall 2017

MIT SM Students
subject Ankur Podder (MIT SM, School of Architecture and Planning), Spring 2018
subject Xuenan Ni (MIT SM, Department of Urban Studies and Planning), Fall 2018 and Spring 2019

MIT Ph.D. students mentored as a teaching assistant and/or a colleague
Specific research papers and fellowship applications mentored are listed below
subject Joy Buolamwini
[Joy Buolamwini, Timnit Gebru, "Gender Shades: Intersectional Accuracy Disparities in Commercial Gender Classification", ACM FAT* Conference on Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency (FAT), 2018 open_in_new]
subject Ishwarya Ananthabhotla
[Awarded Apple Scholars Ph.D. Fellowship]
[Ishwarya Ananthabhotla, Alexandra Rieger, Dan Greenberg, Rosalind Picard., "MIT Community Challenge: Designing a Platform to Promote Kindness and Prosocial Behavior", ACM CHI 2017 open_in_new]
subject Ziv Epstein
[Ziv Epstein, Gordon Pennycook, David Rand, "Will the crowd game the algorithm? Using layperson judgments to combat misinformation on social media by downranking distrusted sources", ACM CHI 2019 open_in_new]

Selected undergraduate and high school students with academic positions or scholarships they received
Directly supervised and mentored during open source research projects
subject Aditi Mithal (Awarded Google Venkat Panchapakesan Memorial Scholarship, CS grad program at UCLA)
subject Aditi Nath (CS grad program at Arizona State University)
subject Ankita Sastry (Info Security grad program Carnegie Mellon)
subject Gabriela Noemi Gongora (Engineering Management grad program Stevens Institute of Technology)
subject Karan Rajpal (CS grad program at Cornell University)
subject Nalin Chhibber (Mathematics grad program at the University of Waterloo)
subject Prastut Kumar (The Google Summer of Code Berkman Klein Center Harvard University)
subject Prithvi Raj (Siemens Research and Development, Bangalore)
subject Rahul Sheth (Undergraduate program at the University of California, Los Angeles)
subject Radhika Bhanu K (CS grad program at Cornell University)
subject Vibhor Sehgal (iSchool Grad program at the University of California, Berkeley)
subject William Dai (Undergraduate program at the University of California, Berkeley)

Arts Initiatives Mentoring
subject Mentor, MIT Hacking Arts 2019, MIT’s annual event celebrating the intersection of entrepreneurship, technology, and creative industries. Guided teams of creative technologists and artists to design human-centered machine learning to enhance artistic processes.

Environmental Arts

Neil is an environmental photographer and an MIT arts scholar. His environmental artwork inspires his scientific endeavors in AI and sustainable development. His exhibition Beyond Boundaries captures the complexities of our planet, including 3,000 years old glacier landscapes, the Western Ghats (Sahyadri) of India, cultures, and pressing societal challenges such as climate change. Neil's photography work has been published in National Geographic. For more information, please visit CRΞ人TIVΞ PIXΞLS on Instagram or Explore the Planet Earth on Facebook.

The Game of Cricket

Neil’s research draws inspiration from sports and team dynamics. He was a former cricket player— opening batter and leg spinner. In the US leagues, he kept wickets (similar to being a catcher in Baseball) for Jermaine Lawson, former international cricketer, and Harshal Patel, Royal Challengers Bangalore's fast-bowler in the IPL.

Some of the archived man of the match scorecards:
sports_cricket [146 not out]
sports_cricket [71 not out]

Sports Quote: "and so you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high" -- Ayrton Senna.

Where The Mind is Without Fear

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high

Where knowledge is free

Where the world has not been broken up into fragments

By narrow domestic walls

Where words come out from the depth of truth

Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection

Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way

Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit

Where the mind is led forward by thee

Into ever-widening thought and action

Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore

The Impossible Dream (The Quest)

To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go

To right the unrightable wrong | To love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary | To reach the unreachable star

This is my quest | To follow that star
No matter how hopeless | No matter how far

To fight for the right | Without question or pause
To be willing to march into Hell | For a heavenly cause

And I know if I'll only be true | To this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm | When I'm laid to my rest

And the world will be better for this
That one man, scorned and covered with scars
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To reach the unreachable star!

Joe Darion (From The Man of La Mancha)