Continuing Studies Talk Series: Law, Order, and Algorithms with Sharad Goel

Thu May 4th 2017, 7:30pm
Building 200 (History Corner), Room 002
Continuing Studies Talk Series: Law, Order, and Algorithms with Sharad Goel

Law, Order, and Algorithms: Criminal Justice in the Age of Big Data

Data and algorithms are increasingly used in the criminal justice system, from tracking individuals with aerial cameras to deciding which defendants to release on bail. These developments offer the promise of greater efficiency and equity, but also pose significant challenges for traditional notions of privacy and fairness. This talk will describe several recent applications of algorithms in criminal justice, and discuss the subtle technical, ethical, and legal issues such technology raises. 

Sharad Goel, Assistant Professor, Management Science & Engineering, Stanford

Sharad Goel’s research focus is computational social science, with an emphasis on applying modern computational and statistical techniques to design public policy. His recent work includes looking at police discrimination, stop-and-frisk, swing voting, and media bias. He received a PhD in applied mathematics from Cornell.


We are all familiar with the social sciences as an academic category, but we don’t often stop to think about how much is bundled into this modest label: anthropology, economics, law, linguistics, political science, communication, psychology, and sociology, just for a start. Scholars in these fields have a shared goal: to understand how we live together, what works and what doesn’t in our social lives, and how we could do it all better.

In 2004, Stanford established the Institute for Research in the Social Sciences (known colloquially as IRiSS and pronounced like the flower) to give researchers the space and leisure to work on these goals. In this new series, each quarter the Executive Director of IRiSS will invite a colleague for a discussion of the guest’s research and to give you, the audience, ample time to engage in the conversation. We hope you will join us.