Attaining tenured status at a major university is often the culmination of an academic’s career; giving it up is unthinkable for most.
But after 10 years at UCLA, Jennifer Chayes was offered a job at Microsoft. The offer, she says, “scared me to death,” but she took the job and is now managing director for Microsoft Research in New England, New York and Montreal. “There are brass rings that come along, and they look really scary, but I believe that we should grab them,” Chayes says on this episode of the Women in Data Science podcast.
Chayes advocates for strong data ethics. She believes that data scientists have “the opportunity to build algorithms with fairness, accountability, transparency and ethics, or FATE.” FATE became the name of a group that formed in one of her labs. This group is devoted to auditing and recognizing bias in data and algorithms and also to developing tactics and strategies to remove existing biases.