Future Leaders Summit 2024

April 8-10, 2024
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

The annual Future Leaders Summit offers outstanding graduate students, postdocs, and early-career faculty from around the US the opportunity to engage in research discussions with peers and with research leaders, and receive career mentoring, as they grow to become leaders in data science and artificial intelligence (AI) research.

Theme: "Responsible Data Science and AI"

Data science and AI are having a significant impact on society in uncountable ways, leading to huge benefits in many cases. Yet, increasingly complex analytical pipelines working with poorly understood heterogeneous data sets can give rise to harms in many ways. Furthermore, there could be deleterious systemic effects such as the magnification of disinformation or surveillance capitalism. There has been tremendous recent interest in understanding and managing these concerns. The Summit will explore in-depth topics in this broad area, including, but not limited to:

  • Equity and fairness, particularly in automated decision making
  • Explainability of analytical results
  • Reproducibility and replication of scientific results
  • Systemic issues, particularly those impacting marginalized populations 
  • Responsible AI in science and engineering. Established in 2022, MIDAS is home to the Eric and Wendy Schmidt AI in Science Postdoctoral Fellowship. With this, we are dedicated to promoting responsible data science and AI for natural sciences and engineering.

Summit Activites

  • Attending the annual Ethical AI symposium, and presenting a poster on your research – April 8.
  • Research discussion sessions with fellow FLS attendees and faculty mentors – April 9 – 10.
  • Career mentoring sessions: preparing for job interviews; career opportunities in academia, industry, and other organizations; negotiating job offers; setting up for success as a junior faculty member – April 9 – 10.
  • Networking sessions with FLS attendees – April 9 – 10.
  • Research connection sessions with University of Michigan faculty members and postdocs – April 9 – 10.

Summit Attendees

Maryam Berijanian

Michigan State University

Isabela Bertolini Coelho

University of Maryland

Brooks Butler

Purdue University

Lucius Bynum

New York University

César Claros

University of Delaware

Anja Conev

Rice University, Ken Kennedy Institute

Diamond Cunningham

Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine

Matthew DeVerna

Indiana University Bloomington

Majid Farhadloo

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

Emily Fletcher

Purdue University

Neil Gaikwad

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Katherine Rose Garcia

Rice University, Ken Kennedy Institute

Ryan Gifford

The Ohio State University

Bhanu Gullapalli

University of California, San Diego

Yifei Huang

University of Illinois at Chicago

Zachary Jacokes

University of Virginia

Lavender Jiang

New York University

Wenxin Jiang

Purdue University

Ðorđe Klisura

University of Texas at San Antonio

Olivia Krebs

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Jessica Leivesley

University of Toronto

Yaqi Li

University of Oklahoma, Health Science Center

Tony Liu

University of Pennsylvania

Stephanie Milani

Carnegie Mellon University

Bernardo Modenesi

University of Michigan

Nasim Sonboli

Brown University

Harsh Parikh

Johns Hopkins University

Rahul Ramesh

University of Pennsylvania

Ransalu Senanayake

Arizona State University

Subhasree Sengupta

Clemson University

Ryan Standfield

Jackson State University

Tiffany Tang

University of Michigan

Shantanu Vyas

Texas A&M, College Station

Guanchu Wang

Rice University

Haoyu Wang

Purdue University

Galen Weld

University of Washington

Siyu Wu

Pennsylvania State University

Yuchen Zeng

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Career Mentors

Brittany Aguilar, Science Associate, Schmidt Sciences


 Brittany Aguilar is a Science Associate at Schmidt Sciences. In her role, she works to manage and support scientific programs. She is a leader on the Eric & Wendy Schmidt AI in Science Postdoctoral Fellowship team and helps to support the Science Communication Award. Beyond her pivotal role in these programs, Brittany contributes her expertise to diverse projects encompassing science communication, higher ed training, and a suite of critical skills vital for the intersection of philanthropy and cutting-edge research. Before Schmidt Sciences, Brittany was a Senior Program Manager at the New York Academy of Sciences, where she co-managed three large, international awards programs, and one postdoctoral fellowship program. She has expertise in scientific education and advocacy. She earned a PhD in behavioral neuroscience from Georgetown University and a bachelors in biology from University of California, Irvine.

Elizabeth Bondi-Kelly

Elizabeth Bondi-Kelly, Visiting Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, College of Engineering, University of Michigan


Elizabeth Bondi-Kelly’s interests lie broadly in the area of artificial intelligence (AI) for social impact, particularly spanning the fields of multi-agent systems and data science for conservation and public health.

Bill Currie, Associate Dean, Research and Engagment, Professor of Environment and Sustainability, School for Environment and Sustainability and Professor of Environment, Program in the Environment, School for Environment and Sustainability and College of Literature, Science, and the Arts


Bill Currie studies how physical, chemical, and ecological processes work together in the functioning of ecosystems such as forests and wetlands. He studies how human impacts and management alter key ecosystem responses including nutrient retention, carbon storage, plant species interactions, and plant productivity. Dr. Currie uses computer models of ecosystems, including models in which he leads the development team, to explore ecosystem function across the spectrum from wildland to heavily human-impacted systems. He often works in collaborative groups where a model is used to provide synthesis. He is committed to the idea that researchers must work together across traditional fields to address the complex environmental and sustainability issues of the 21st century. He collaborates with field ecologists, geographers, remote sensing scientists, hydrologists, and land management professionals.

Jamal El-Hindi, Clifford Chance; Former U.S. Treasury Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) Deputy Director


Jamal El-Hindi is a former U.S. Treasury Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) Deputy Director, having previously served as the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Associate Director for Program Policy and Implementation. Jamal was also Treasury’s inaugural Chief Data Officer, with responsibility for enhancing management and use of all Treasury data. At FiCEN, Jamal led the operational, policy, and strategic planning aspects of the bureau, overseeing rulemaking, guidance and interpretation efforts, and counselling on enforcement, regulatory analysis, and industry outreach. Jamal has demonstrated experience with respect to new payment methods, including prepaid access and virtual currency. In his role at OFAC, Jamal led Treasury engagements with industry and other stakeholders regarding compliance with OFAC sanctions, rulemaking and licensing.

Arya Farahi, Assistant Professor, Dept of Statistics and Data Science, University of Texas, Austin


Arya Farahi joined The University of Texas at Austin in 2021 as an assistant professor. Previously he was a Data Science Fellow at the Michigan Institute for Data and AI in Society at the University of Michigan. His research contributes to the fields of astroinformatics and urban informatics; and is focused on understanding and mitigating the unexpected and not-well understood consequences of AI models, including algorithmic bias and uncertainty quantification, in real-world settings. He was a Schmidt Science Fellow finalist, recipient of the best student paper award in KDD’18, an awardee of the Michigan Institute for Computational Discovery and Engineering (MICDE) fellowship, and recipient of >$400k grant funding. He is an active member of several international projects and collaborations, including the Dark Energy Survey (DES), the COsmostatistics INitiative (COIN), and XMM-XXL Consortium, among others. He is also a Statistics Without Borders volunteer.

Kent Foster, Director, Innovation + Society, Microsoft


Kent Foster is a seasoned professional with a rich history in the software industry, currently serving as the Microsoft Director of Innovation & Society at Microsoft. With a focus on responsible AI research and advancing translational technology solutions, Kent has been instrumental in fostering partnerships with key universities to address systemic inequities and benefit society. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Kent holds an MPP from the Ford School of Public Policy and holds an undergraduate degree in Far Eastern Languages and Literature (Mandarin Chinese). Kent has a commitment to innovation, education, and societal impact working through university research collaboration including the upcoming MIDAS call for proposals with a major focus is “responsible AI and AI policy”, in collaboration with Microsoft.

R. Stuart Geiger, Assistant Professor, Dept of Communication and the Halıcıoğlu Data Science Institute, Affiliate Faculty, Institute for Practical Ethics, Computer Science & Engineering, and Computational Social Science, University of California, San Diego


Geiger studies the relationships between science, technology, and society — not only how science and technology have substantial impacts on society, but also how they are social institutions in themselves. Much of his work focuses on machine learning, particularly in how user generated platforms like Twitter and Wikipedia are moderated. He has examined how values and biases are embedded in these technologies and how communities make decisions about how to use or not use them. He is a methodological pluralist and specializes in mixed methods, such as combining the rich and thick descriptions of cultural context that come from qualitative methods with large-scale quantitative and computational methods from Natural Language Processing. Geiger also studies the development of data science itself as an academic and professional field. He earned his Ph.D in 2015 at the UC Berkeley School of Information and the Berkeley Center for New Media, then was the staff ethnographer at the UC Berkeley Institute for Data Science. He joined UCSD in 2020, jointly appointed as faculty in the Department of Communication.

Min Kyung Lee, Assistant Professor, School of Information, University of Texas, Austin


Min Kyung Lee is an assistant professor in the School of Information at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Lee has conducted some of the first studies that empirically examine the social implications of algorithms’ emerging roles in management and governance in society, looking at the impacts of algorithmic management on workers as well as public perceptions of algorithmic fairness. She has proposed a participatory framework that empowers community members to design matching algorithms for their own communities. Her current research on human-centered AI is inspired by and complements her previous work on social robots for long-term interaction, seamless human-robot handovers, and telepresence robots. Dr. Lee is a Siebel Scholar and has received the Allen Newell Award for Research Excellence, research grants from NSF and Uptake, and five best paper awards or honorable mentions in venues such as CHI, CSCW, DIS and HRI. She is an associate editor of the ACM Transactions on Human-Robot Interaction. Her work has been featured in media outlets such as the New York Times, New Scientist, Washington Post, MIT Technology Review and CBS. She received a PhD in Human-Computer Interaction and an MDes in Interaction Design from Carnegie Mellon University.

Michael Tjalve

Michael TjalveChief AI Architect, Tech for Social Impact at Microsoft Philanthropies; Assistant Professor, Linguistics, University of Washington


Michael Tjalve is Chief AI Architect on the Tech for Social Impact team in Microsoft Philanthropies where he works with nonprofits and humanitarian organizations around the world on building technology solutions that help them amplify their impact and address some of today’s biggest societal challenges. He’s Assistant Professor at University of Washington where he teaches AI in the humanitarian sector and ethical innovation and he serves as tech advisor to Spreeha Foundation and World Humanitarian Forum.

Elizabeth Yakel

Elizabeth Yakel, C Olivia Frost Collegiate Professor of Information, School of Information; Faculty Associate, Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan


Elizabeth Yakel, PhD, is C. Olivia Frost Collegiate Professor of Information at the University of Michigan School of Information. Her research interests include digital archives and curation specifically data reuse; teaching with primary sources; and the development of standardized metrics to enhance repository processes and the user experience. Professor Yakel is currently a co-PI on two research projects. The first, “Measuring and Improving the Efficacy of Curation Activities in Data Archives,” funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services, investigates how curatorial actions impact the reuse of digital collection. The second, “Developing Evidence-based Data Sharing and Archiving Policies,” funded by the National Science Foundation, answers three key questions: How can data repositories best allocate their limited resources for different aspects of data archiving and processing? What is the most effective way of making data usable by the broadest audience? What data sharing policies most effectively achieve stakeholders’ transparency and innovation goals?

Sponsors of the 2024 Future Leaders Summit

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