Data4Justice Conference 2022

April 22, 2022, 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. ET US

Our annual data for justice conference this spring of 2022 was hosted on April 22nd over zoom, with internationally renowned guest speakers across a wide spectrum of issues related to data and social justice. The conference brought together a wide range of researchers and scholars in data science, social science, the humanities, and other disciplines, as well as activists and social justice advocates with the intention of inspiring, probing, and the sharing of current work in making the world more equitable, inclusive, and just. All recorded talks can be found below, and on our YouTube account under the Data4justice Conference playlist.

Keynote Speaker: Danielle Wood, Ph.D.

Danielle Wood, Ph.D., M.I.T. Media Lab

As humankind continues to make giants leaps in technological advancements used in space, development scholar Danielle Wood explores the terrestrial implications of new, cutting-edge tech. A renowned space engineer and director of the MIT Media Lab’s Space Enabled program, Danielle utilizes revolutionary cosmic technology to tackle complex social issues like tracking dangerous weather patterns, improving relied upon water sources, and expanding sustainable development for generations to come. Showing you how a satellite can be an instrument of social justice, Danielle’s talks are inspirational and aspirational with equal measure—explaining how to use innovative out-of-this-world tools to build a better future for everyone here on Earth.


Keisha Knight, Executive Director, Sentient.Art.Film

Talk Title: Relational Data

Keisha Knight is an ex-dancer, film programmer/moving image curator, and interrogator of visual culture. She has a BA in Comparative Religion from Barnard College, an MA in Media Studies from Pratt Institute, and is a doctoral candidate in Film and Visual Studies at Harvard University where her research focuses on visual archeologies of Blackness in the 19th century. Knight’s teaching interests include Media Infrastructures, Continental Philosophy, Film Studies, Black Studies, and Critical Media Practice. She is the co-founder and Artistic Director of Sentient.Art.Film. Knight is a visiting faculty member at Bennington for the 2021-2022 academic year and has recently been appointed as Director of Funds & Enterprise Program at the International Documentary Association.

Anna Haensch, Ph.D., Senior Data Scientist, Tufts University

Talk Title: How to Hang Art: Recommender Systems for Equitable Public Art Installation

Dr. Anna Haensch is a Senior Data Scientist in the Tufts University Data Intensive Studies Center with a secondary appointment (Associate Professor) in the Department of Mathematics. Dr. Haensch has a Ph.D. in mathematics from Wesleyan University. Dr. Haensch’s research are in computational number theory, specifically in using modern computational tools and capabilities to answer longstanding, previously intractable, open problems. When not exploring ways data science can be used as tools to make a safer and more equitable world, Haensch can be found making art.

Research Focus: CRIMINAL Justice

Ames Grawert, Senior Counsel and Quantitative Research Team Lead, Brennan Center for Justice
Talk Title: Mass Incarceration & Poverty: Using Economics to Define the Problem and Chart Solutions

Ames Grawert is senior counsel and John L. Neu Justice Counsel in the Brennan Center’s Justice Program. He leads the program’s quantitative research team, focusing on trends in crime and policing and the collateral costs of mass incarceration. Additionally, he advocates for criminal justice reform policies at the federal level.

Previously, Grawert served as an assistant district attorney in the Appeals Bureau of the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office, where he reviewed and litigated claims of actual innocence in addition to his appellate work. Before entering public service, he was an associate at Mayer Brown LLP, where he represented criminal defendants pro bono in post-conviction litigation.

Laurel Eckhouse, Code for America
Talk Title: Everyday Risk: Understanding the Causes of Racial Inequality in Police Violence

Laurel Eckhouse is a quantitative social scientist focused on racial inequality and the criminal legal system. She is interested in complicated concepts, messy data, and using research to address injustice. Laurel has a PhD in political science from UC Berkeley and has been a faculty member at the University of Denver and the Prison University Project.

Manuchehr Aminian, Ph.D, Assistant Professor, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
Talk Title: The Role of QSIDE’s SToPA (Small Town Policing Accountability) Research Lab in the field of Criminal Justice

Dr. Manuchehr Aminian is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Manuchehr’s research interests include early detection of viral infection with machine learning, mathematical methods in data science, and passive tracer problems. Manuchehr currently serves as the co-director for QSIDE’s SToPA (Small Town Policing Accountability) Research Lab and is on the planning committee for the STAMP research lab at QSIDE.

Ariana Mendible, Ph.D, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Seattle University
Talk Title: The Role of QSIDE’s SToPA (Small Town Policing Accountability) Research Lab in the field of Criminal Justice

Dr. Ariana Mendible is currently an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Seattle
University. Her engineering background focused on developing data-driven methods
to improve reduced-order models for fluid systems with underlying symmetry. She is
currently applying her data science and modeling knowledge to applications of social
justice as a co-director of the QSIDE Institute’s SToPA Research Lab.

Diego Alcala, LL.M, Defensoría Legal, Puerto Rico Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys
Talk Title: Using criminal data to advocate on behalf of your clients

Diego Alcala is an attorney with Defensoría Legal, and also with Puerto Rico Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys. He is committed to social justice and equity, and has led efforts to use data to strengthen amicus briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court regarding inequitable policing in housing projects in San Juan.

Victor Piercey, Ph.D. Professor in the mathematics department and the Director of General Education at Ferris State University
Talk Title: JUSTFAIR: A Methodology to Assess Fairness in Criminal Sentencing

Dr. Victor Piercey is a professor in the mathematics department and the Director of General Education at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan. He leads an interdisciplinary team in the development of a quantitative reasoning course integrating social justice, health, and business with mathematics. He also led the development of Ferris’ actuarial science program and has written an active learning textbook on financial mathematics that includes case studies applying ethical reasoning to social justice issues. He is currently working on integrating ethics with mathematics, serves as a Co-Director of QSIDE’s JUSTFAIR Lab, and serves as a co-organizer of ICERM’s Data Science and Social Justice program. Dr. Piercey is also very active in the MAA.

Victor Piercey has a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Arizona in 2012. In his spare time, he serves as the treasurer for the Big Rapids local homeless shelter and he reads books on history written for a general audience.


Jo Boaler, Ph.D., Stanford University
Talk Title: Modernizing Mathematics with Data Science – The Pitfalls and the Progress towards Equitable Outcomes.

Dr. Boaler is a professor of education at Stanford University, co-founder of, and one of the co-authors of the proposed P-12 mathematics reform guidelines for the State of California. Mathematics teaching and learning – in particular, how different teaching approaches impact students’ learning, how to teach mathematics for a “growth mindset”, and how equity is promoted in mathematics classrooms. The role of groupwork and mathematical discussions in the development of understanding. The ways teachers may be supported in moving towards equitable and effective teaching environments. The importance of data science and ways to integrate data science into all subjects in school.

Kendrick B. Davis, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Chief Research Officer – USC Race and Equity Center – University of Southern California
Talk Title: Confronting the Complexities of a Computational World: Equity-Minded Questions in a Data-Driven World.

Kendrick B. Davis, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor and Chief Research Officer at the USC Race & Equity Center at the University of Southern California. A mechanical engineer and roboticist by training, his research interrogates the intersections of education, science, and policy and has been funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the US Department of Defense (Army Educational Outreach Program), Walmart, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Prior to USC, Dr. Davis was an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Congressional Fellow in the United State Senate. Additionally, Dr. Davis has been an education and science policy advisor for local, state, and national governments.

Elizabeth Ayisi, Ph.D., Ohio University
Talk Title: Sociocultural Teaching and Learning: Implementing Equitable Transition from High School to College

Dr. Elizabeth Ayisi has a Doctorate from the Patton College of Education at Ohio University where she specialized in Mathematics Education, and Educational Research and Evaluation. Dr. Ayisi holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mathematics from the College of Wooster and a Master of Science in Mathematics from John Carroll University. Dr. Ayisi’s expertise includes complex analysis, differential geometry, functional analysis, statistics, and the use of quantitative statistical analysis techniques (e.g., analysis of variance, linear regression, Monte Carlo simulation, structural equation modeling, research methodologies, among others).
Dr. Ayisi’s dissertation study examined high achieving Black college students in STEM fields enrolled in higher level mathematics courses such as, precalculus, calculus I and II, differential equations, linear algebra, and applied linear algebra courses. She used a narrative inquiry approach to explore student experiences through the lens of Critical Race Theory (CRT), with the goal of grounding the academic underpinning of the study. To construct stories for their academic success, the interview addressed students’ home and school experiences during the mathematics transition from grade K-12 to college. Elizabeth Ayisi currently serves as an advisor to first-year multicultural students at the Office of Multicultural Success and Retention at Ohio University.

Research Focus: Environmental Justice

Michelle Bell, Ph.D., Yale University
Talk Title: Environmental health disparities: Research successes and challenges using data to study disproportionate environmental health burdens

Dr. Michelle Bell is the Mary E. Pinchot Professor of Environmental Health at the Yale University School of the Environment, with secondary appointments at the Yale School of Public Health, Environmental Health Sciences Division and the Yale School of Engineering and Applied Science, Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering.  Her research investigates how human health is affected by environmental conditions, including air pollution and weather. Dr. Bell’s other research interests include the health impacts of climate change and environmental justice based in epidemiology, biostatistics, and environmental engineering. In addition to these, she currently serves as the Director of the EPA-funded Solutions to Energy, Air, Climate, and Health (SEARCH) Center.

Research Focus: health carE EQUITY AND Justice

Karmen Williams, Ph.D., CUNY Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy
Talk Title: Diversifying Health Equity through Participation in Community Science

Dr. Karmen S. Williams is an Assistant Professor in Online Masters of Science in Population Health Informatics program and Health Policy and Management department at City University of New York. She completed a post-doctorate fellowship in public and population health informatics at Indiana University and Regenstrief Institute. Her research focused on systemic informatics integration projects such as Patient Centered Data Homes and dental and medical record integration. Dr. Williams is also actively involved in the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA), where she is the Director of ‘For Your Informatics’, a podcast that explores the limitless world of medical informatics. This podcast is led by the Women in AMIA, and showcases people in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and informatics, and discusses topics relevant to success in these fields. Dr. Williams is passionate about increasing representation in STEM at the system level in all areas of informatics.

Event Schedule

Open and Welcome: QSIDE Staff10:00 am – 10:05 am
Opening Plenary: Danielle Wood, Ph.D.10:05 am – 11:00 am
Talk 1: Michelle Bell, Ph.D.11:00 am – 11:30 am
Talk 2: Jo Boaler, Ph.D.11:30 am – 12:00 pm
Talk 3: Keisha Knight, Executive Director, Sentient.Art.Film12:00 pm – 12:30 pm
Talk 4: Laurel Eckhouse, Ph.D. 12:30 pm – 1:00 pm
Lunch Break1:00pm – 2:00 pm
Talk 5: Manucher Aminian, Ph.D., and Ariana Mendible, Ph.D.2:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Talk 6: Diego Alcala, LL.M.2:30 pm – 3:00 pm
Talk 7: Ames Grawert, Director of Research, Brennan Center for Justice3:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Talk 8: Anna Haensch, Ph.D.3:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Talk 9: Kendrick Davis, Ph.D.4:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Talk 10: Elizabeth Ayisi, Ph.D.4:30 pm – 5:00 pm
Talk 11: Karmen Williams, Ph.D.5:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Talk 12: Victor Piercey, Ph.D.5:30 pm – 6:00 pm
*Times are in Eastern Standard Time

Registration Schedule and Fees:

Please note: scholarships are available for anyone unable to pay registration fees. Please email us for more information.

Registration PeriodConsortium
AffiliatesGeneral Public
Early Bird Registration
January 25 – February 28
Individuals: Donation-only
Departments: 5 Included Registrations, $80 for faculty, $40 for students thereafter
Institution: 30 Included Registrations, $80 for faculty, $40 for students thereafter
Faculty, staff, and activists: $75

Students: $40
Individuals: $100
February 29 – April 21
Individuals: Donation-only
Departments: 5 Included Registrations, $80 for faculty, $40 for students thereafter
Institution: 30 Included Registrations, $80 for faculty, $40 for students thereafter
Faculty, staff, and activists: $100

Students: $50
Individuals: $150

Students: $100