New Undergraduate Cornell Clinic Researches Automated Scoring Systems

When typing a simple Google search on the Internet, a vast array of systems have the power to decide which links or topics occupy the coveted top results page. However, automated scoring systems may contain unconscious bias due to a variety of factors — system designers may bring their personal bias when designing algorithms or the data sets used for machine learning may already contain bias. The proliferation of rating or ranking systems in everyday life often leads to complaints of online misrepresentation. Cornell’s Due Process Clinic, an undergraduate “clinical” course designed to understand automated scoring systems such as credit scores and search engine rankings, started sending student researchers to collect qualitative data and build their own case studies on these systems.

Clinic director, Prof. Malte Ziewitz, science and technology studies, founded the clinic because he wanted to use legal frameworks to research non-legal situations. The clinic tries to assess how someone who would not have access to a public relations expert could deal with online backlash or poor reviews, hoping to understand the consequences of those who have been misrepresented or ranked improperly.

Cornell Research Group Explores Potential of Machine Learning in Medicine

Medicine and artificial intelligence are ever-evolving fields at the forefront of scientific discovery. A new Cornell research group — Machine Learning in Medicine — aims to coalesce the two, with the goal of improving methods for disease detection and diagnosis. This endeavor is a collaboration between faculty at Cornell Tech and Weill Cornell Medicine, bringing together “researchers with common interests and complementary expertise.” MLIM’s work is primarily an interdisciplinary dialogue, bridging campuses and research fields. 

“The idea was to link people with a machine learning background in Ithaca to [people working with] clinical data and hypotheses at Weill,” said Prof. Amy Kuceyeski, mathematics and radiology, one of the organizing members of the group. While Kuceyeski’s background is in mathematics, she started learning methods for modeling biological systems as a postdoctoral researcher at Weill. Seeing this as an area for innovation, Kuceyeski helped establish MLIM in 2018.