ACM Conference on Equity and Access in Algorithms, Mechanisms, and Optimization 2023

EAAMO 2023 - October 30 - November 1, 2023, Boston, US

Image credit: EAAMO 23

I was thinking for a good half an hour on how to start writing this post. I should promote (yet another) conference on my personal website, but this one is a special one. I’m a Registration and Travel grants co-chair at EAAMO'23, but taking part in organization of this conference brings joy to my academic life.

As I reflect on the path that led me to this position, I can undoubtedly attribute it to an unexpected discovery. During the pandemic, I stumbled upon a paper Bridging Machine Learning and Mechanism Design towards Algorithmic Fairness. As I engaged with the paper, I was not only impressed by the content, but also by the extensive acknowledgments section. Amidst the numerous acknowledgments, one acknowledgment in particular piqued my curiosity “This project has been part of the MD4SG working group on Bias, Discrimination, and Fairness.” A quick search revealed me one fascinating initiative.


The Mechanism Design for Social Good (MD4SG) is a multi-institutional initiative, where a diverse group of individuals, including researchers, policy-makers, and practitioners from various organizations and industries collaborate with a collective mission to establish research and practice pipelines aimed at addressing critical social issues and improving access to opportunities for historically disadvantaged communities.

I can’t help but be simply grateful for the intellectual adventure that paper has sparked. I always felt that I miss an intellectual challenge, and MD4SG responsed to this yearning. MD4SG allowed me to engage with individuals from diverse backgrounds, discussing topics like machine learning systems, their social impact, bias and fairness considerations, their effects on human decision-making, and the long-term consequences of such systems.

What makes MD4SG truly remarkable, however, is not just the wealth of knowledge it offers but the incredible people who are part of this community. Although I have rarely had the chance to meet any of them in person (except for three of them - Michele, Lily, and Edwin), I can genuinely say that I consider many of them friends. It’s the kind of place where you can strike up a conversation about anything, from the latest developments in machine learning to the profound questions of philosophy of science, ethics and social justice.


To return to the intended contect of the post… EAAMO'23 is an ACM conference that aims to highlight work where computer science, social sciences, and humanistic studies meet to provide solutions that can help improve equity and access to opportunity for historically disadvantaged and underserved communities. The conference will take place on October 30 - November 1, 2023, in-person, at Boston University, and virtually, on Zoom.

The registration site is open, so please check the rates and register at the following link: Early registration is open by October 9, 2023.

The conference will provide an international forum for presenting research papers, problem pitches, survey and position papers, new datasets, and software demonstrations towards the goal of bridging research and practice. The conference will feature keynote talks, panels, and contributed presentations across numerous fields. In line with the MD4SG core values of bridging research and practice, the conference will bring together researchers, policy-makers, and practitioners in various government and non-government organizations, community organizations, and industry to build multi-disciplinary pipelines.

In addition, the conference will host some fantastic and rarely seen events in other conferences. The first day of EAAMO 2023 will feature a doctoral consortium that will allow students to meet other students (and a bit older colleagues), learn about related career paths, have an opportunity to present their work, participate in dedicated skills sessions, and have meetings with faculty mentors.

EAAMO will be one event that I have never heard about at other conferences! There will be a Faculty Network event where the idea is to meet, discuss, and share best practices about challenges such as how to recruit a diverse group of students interested in this work, advance both basic research and translational work or find researcher and practitioner collaborators. This event will bridge the gap between research and practitioners by fostering meaningful collaborations between academics, nonprofit organizations, and policy-makers.

Knowing Lily and Jessie, I’m certain EAAMO'23 will host fantastic social events. In previous years, EAAMO hosted Regional and Affinity Groups discussion tables, thematic discussion tables centered around critical application areas, such as healthcare, housing, education, environment, civic participation, algorithmic bias, as well as research fields like computer science theory and computer science fairness, law and public policy, economics, and operations research.

I would like to conclude this post by sharing a quote from the renowned novelist Ivo Andrić that aptly portrays my viewpoints on EAAMO and MD4SG.

Of everything that man erects and builds in his urge for living nothing is in my eyes better and more valuable than bridges. They are more important than houses, more sacred than shrines. Belonging to everyone and being equal to everyone, useful, always built with a sense, on the spot where most human needs are crossing, they are more durable than other buildings and they do not serve for anything secret or bad.

All of them are essentially one and equally worthy of our attention, because they show the place where a person encountered an obstacle and did not stop before it, but overcame it as best they could, according to their understanding, taste, and the circumstances they were surrounded by.

Thus, everywhere in the world, wherever my thought moves or stops, it encounters faithful and silent bridges, like the eternal and eternally insatiable human desire to connect, reconcile and unite everything that arises before our spirit, eyes, and feet, so that there will be no division, opposition, or parting.

Everything that this life of ours says - our thoughts, efforts, looks, smiles, words, and sighs - all of them tend toward the other side to which it goes as if towards a goal, and only then it gets its true meaning. All of that has something to overcome: disorder, death, or meaningless. Because, everything is a transition, a bridge whose ends are lost in infinity, and according to which all earthly bridges are just children’s toys, a pale symbols. And, all our hope is on the other side.

Ivo Andrić - Bridges