Katie Spoon


Pronouns: she/her
Contact: katherine.spoon@colorado.edu
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About Me

I am a 2nd-year PhD student in Computer Science at the University of Colorado, Boulder, co-advised by Aaron Clauset and Dan Larremore. I am also getting a Master’s in Educational Foundations, Policy and Practice, advised by Kevin Welner.

Currently I am working on a project trying to understand why women academics leave their jobs at higher rates than men. I am broadly interested in studying inequality in social systems.

Previously, I did my BS/MS in Computer Science at Indiana University, where my senior thesis was a joint effort between the IU Computer Vision Lab and the Proactive Health Lab to create an early-warning system to detect dyslexia in children’s handwriting.

After graduation I worked full-time at IBM Research on accelerating large deep learning models, specifically for natural language processing. These past experiences caused me to hesitate at the speed in which deep neural networks are deployed and the amount of trust people have in their fairness and accuracy. This is especially concerning when those networks are used in healthcare, policing, education, and other areas that have a direct impact on people’s lives. I decided to pivot to computational social science to focus on more explainable methods.