Two Data Science Faculty Members Awarded DCADS Research Fellowships

December 5, 2023
2023 DCADS Research Fellows
Tom Hartvigsen and Mona Sloane, recipients of 2023 DCADS research fellowships

The University of Virginia’s Darden-Data Science Collaboratory for Applied Data Science (DCADS) is pleased to announce that Tom Hartvigsen and Mona Sloane, both assistant professors of data science at UVA, have been awarded 2023 research fellowships to examine the intersection of business and data science.  

Sloane and Hartvigsen will each receive up to $100,000 -- $75,000 of which must be used for student-focused expenses -- for a period of 12 to 24 months to support their research efforts. Their winning research proposals were selected from among a group of 16 submissions. Funding for the fellowships is provided by research funds from UVA’s School of Data Science that were given by foundation and corporate supporters.  

Hartvigsen’s project will focus on how to detect implicit bias in natural language with large language models. Working with Steven Johnson, an assistant professor at UVA’s McIntire School of Commerce, and Maarten Sap of Carnegie Mellon University, Hartvigsen’s team will monitor and categorize how large language models are representing linguistic biases, including racial, gender, and ethnic stereotypes, then develop methods to continually updates these models as biases evolve. Successfully developing models that can quickly and efficiently flag toxic and biased language could provide countless benefits for users, advertisers, and industry.  

Sloane, who holds a dual appointment with UVA’s Department of Media Studies, will work with Roshni Raveendhran, an assistant professor of business administration with UVA’s Darden School of Business, and Sarah Lebovitz, an assistant professor at the McIntire School, to explore the use of artificial intelligence in recruiting.  

The project, which will be based at Sloane Lab, will employ a variety of methods, including qualitative, experimental, and database development. Among the key research areas the team will investigate are the ways in which AI is being integrated into contemporary recruitment practices, how managers think about AI tools and their implications for biases, as well as the existing landscape of AI recruitment tools.  

Mona Sloane awarded DCADS research fellowship.
From left: Phil Bourne, dean of the School of Data Science; Mona Sloane, assistant professor of data science; Yael Grushka-Cockayne, professor of business administration; and Marc Ruggiano, director of DCADS. 

Marc Ruggiano, who serves as director of the DCADS collaboration between the Darden School and the School of Data Science, announced the winners at this week’s UVA Conference on Leadership in Business, Data, and Intelligence in Arlington, Virginia. During his remarks, he praised the partnership between the two schools.  

“The collaboration between the School of Data Science and the Darden School has been wonderfully productive in just our first couple of years piloting working closely together,” he said.  

Yael Grushka-Cockayne, a professor of business administration at Darden and professor of data science by courtesy, joined Ruggiano for the announcement and expressed her hopes for what the quality of the submissions for the fellowships signaled about future research.

“I think the proposals that we've got across the board were a great example of great interdisciplinary work that is happening,” she said. “And while we can only award two, I'm excited about what's going to happen next.”