EAAMO ’23 at a Glance

General Overview

The ACM Conference on Equity and Access in Algorithms, Mechanisms, and Optimization (EAAMO ‘23) took place October 30 - November 1, 2023 at Boston University in Boston, MA, USA. This was the third iteration of the EAAMO conference series, after the EAAMO'22 first in-person conference at George Mason University, USA, and the virtual launch at EAAMO'21.

The conference program highlighted contributions along the research-to-practice pipeline aimed at improving access to opportunity for historically underserved and disadvantaged communities, as well as mitigating harms concerning inequitable and unsafe outcomes with grounding in the social sciences and humanistic studies.

Sponsors: We extend our heartfelt gratitude to our generous sponsors for their support and commitment to EAAMO'23. The conference is legally and financially sponsored by ACM Special Interest Groups on Artificial Intelligence (ACM SIGAI) and on Economics and Computation (ACM SIGecom) for sponsoring the conference for the third year in a row. In addition, special thanks go to the University of California, Berkeley, Boston University, Rafik B. Hariri Institute for Computing and Computational Science & Engineering, Artificial Intelligence Journal, Schmidt Futures Foundation, Public Interest Technology University Network (PIT-UN), U.S. Consular Services and in particular the U.S. Embassy in CDMX, and the Government of Mexico. Their support has been essential in allocating funds to under-represented groups for participating in the conference. Our funders’ support has been used for travel grants for students, registration fee waivers, and speaker honoraria, which has contributed to a diverse and multi-disciplinary program.

Conference Highlights

Research collaboration with Indigenous communities from Mexico

For a second year in a row, EAAMO showcased the results of the Summer of Science Program , which consisted of research projects conducted by Indigenous women from Mexico. The Summer of Science Program is a collaborative effort between the Mechanism Design for Social Good (MD4SG) research initiative and the National Network of Councils and State Organizations of Science and Technology (REDNACECYT), and is dedicated to empowering female students from Indigenous communities in Mexico. The program provided the students, who are enrolled at various postgraduate education levels, with the opportunity to design and implement research projects that centered their local communities.

This year, the Summer of Science Program has expanded its reach, welcoming a total of 17 female students from various states in Mexico, including Michoacán, Sinaloa, Chihuahua, Estado de México, Veracruz, Puebla, and San Luis Potosí. These students represent 11 indigenous communities, encompassing Cuanajo, Purépecha, Mixteco, Tepehuan, Rarámuri, Mazahua, Zapoteca, Náhuatl, Tének, Mazateca, and Zoque. The projects proposed by the students span a wide array of topics, ranging from improving collective decision-making in indigenous communities to preserving indigenous culture and identity, providing equitable healthcare and housing, and studying local indigenous communities' perceptions of environmental policies. This initiative underscores the commitment to fostering diversity, inclusion, and the application of knowledge to drive positive change in indigenous communities throughout Mexico.

These students were paired with mentors from MD4SG who guided them through their projects during the summer. The culmination of this collaboration was a poster session during the conference.

Some of the REDNACECYT Participants.
Fig. 1 - Some of the REDNACECYT Participants
Fig. 2 - REDNACECYT Posters

We invite you to learn more about our students, their communities and their projects here.

Conference Activities

EAAMO'23 included a varied program, with three keynote presentations, a panel discussion, contributed talks, a poster session, an invited tutorial, and social and mentoring activities.

Keynote talks:

  • Ridhi Kashyap (Professor of Demography and Computational Social Science at the University of Oxford) explored the transformative impact of the rapid digital expansion in low- and middle-income countries, with a focus on various Sustainable Development Goals, particularly on gender equality. The talk introduced ongoing research from the Digital Gender Gaps project, shedding light on how digital technologies have influenced women’s empowerment movement in various countries and the gender disparities in the adoption of internet and mobile technologies.
  • Yeukai Chideya (Clinical Social Worker and Founder of Ruremekedzo Project) highlighted work that underscores the plight of asylum seekers and refugees in the Global South, with a focus on renewing the commitment to aiding those affected by humanitarian crises. The talk emphasized the importance of collective efforts involving individuals, the private sector, non-profit organizations, and governments to aid people in need among asylum seekers and refugees. The talk also delved into the significant role that technology can play in restoring the dignity of people in crisis, particularly in the context of South Africa.
  • Mayank Varia (Associate Professor in the Faculty of Computing & Data Sciences at Boston University) explored the concept of cryptographically protected data science as a means to democratize data analysis with a social impact. The talk outlined the design and deployment of equitable and scalable systems for such purposes, highlighting practical applications in measuring gender and racial wage gaps and facilitating privacy-conscious matching for survivors of sexual assault.


The contributed talks included oral presentations from the accepted papers, spanning a variety of thematically-related and multi-disciplinary topics. The talks highlighted novel and diverse methodologies as well as strong connections to policy and practice. More specifically, the sessions delved into the following topics:

  • Allocating Resources: This session focused on the equitable distribution of resources and examined innovative strategies to ensure that historically marginalized communities have fair access to essential assets and opportunities.
  • Labor & Money: This session focused on labor market dynamics, financial inclusion, and the impact of algorithmic decision-making on income disparities and wealth distribution.
  • Power & Participation: This session explored the role of power dynamics in algorithmic systems and ways to enhance the participation of marginalized communities in decision-making processes.
  • Mechanisms for Correction: This session delved into mechanisms and strategies for identifying and rectifying algorithmic biases and unintended consequences, emphasizing the importance of accountability and transparency.
  • Respecting Preferences: This session covered topics from mechanism design and algorithms for eliciting and accounting for individual preferences, both in a static and dynamic sense in allocating outcomes or opportunities.
  • Demographics & Representation: This session scrutinized the importance of accurate demographic representation in data and algorithms, with a focus on fairness metrics, implementation, and pipeline issues in fair algorithmic design, with a focus on machine learning.
  • Strategic Solutions: The conference concluded with a session on strategic solutions, including interventions for mitigating gaps in access to opportunities, such as fair voting and gerrymandering, testing and education, and social networks dynamics.

In addition, the program included 58 contributed posters, presented over two sessions.

Other events:

For the first time, the program included an invited tutorial on effective, deployed, and thoughtful AI for Social Impact, led by Emily Aiken, Nikhil Garg, Paul Gölz, Sera Linardi, and Lily Xu. The tutorial highlighted a pipeline of research-to-practice design, highlighting the need for a comprehensive approach in applied projects, from project scoping and solution design to implementation and evaluation methods. The tutorial included 3 case studies of research that centered underrepresented communities, namely Wildlife conversation by Lily Xu, Targeting humanitarian aid by Emily Aiken, and Resilient crowdsourcing by Nikhil Garg. In addition, the tutorial included a group activity on stakeholder mapping and brainstorming AI for social impact solutions, and discussion on infrastructure for AI for social impact led by Sera Linardi.

Doctoral consortium: EAAMO'23 included a doctoral consortium organized by Miri Zilka and Juba Ziani, with a focus on research and mentorship. The event included a “How-to” Talk by Augustin Chaintreau (Professor at Columbia University), who presented obstacles and challenges for young scholars in developing and disseminating their research, lightning talks and a poster session by participating students, as well as a mentoring session with assigned faculty mentors.

Finally, EAAMO included a series of social events organized by Jessica Finocchiaro and Lily Xu, promoting diversity, equity, and inclusivity among participants. Events included student groups lunches, a wide variety of discussion tables such as regional based discussion tables, bridging research and practice, affinity groups discussion tables, application areas and research field specific discussion tables.

The panel discussion titled From Theory to Practice: Exploring Academia-Adjacent Partnerships for Change in Mexico features an esteemed group of professionals. Moderated by Francisco Marmolejo Cossío, the panel included Consul Alberto Fierro-Garza, the Consul General of Mexico in Boston, known for his extensive diplomatic career and cultural contributions. Dr. Saiph Savage, Director of the Northeastern Civic A.I. Lab and an impactful AI researcher, who brought a wealth of knowledge in AI and its societal impacts to the discussion. Mtro. Raúl Varela Tena, Director of the Institute of Innovation and Competitiveness of Chihuahua, shared his insights on fostering innovation and technological advancement. Itzé Coronel Salomón, a renowned scholar and legal expert, who added depth with her expertise in international law and human rights. Together, they discussed the role of academia and government in driving social and technological change in Mexico, focusing on collaborative efforts and innovative solutions.

Diversity in Participation

EAAMO'23 was attended by participants spanning diverse regions, backgrounds, and fields of expertise. Registrants spanned 27 different countries, including countries in North America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Oceania. In particular, approximately 15% of participants are from the Global South, underscoring the conference’s commitment to a truly global reach.

World map with countries of registrants highlighted in blue.
Fig. 3 - World map with countries of registrants highlighted in blue

In total, the conference had 304 participants. Among them, 215 attendees joined in person from over 12 countries, while an additional 89 engaged virtually from 21 different nations. Notably, the event attracted a significant contingent of student participants, with approximately 120 students participating and presenting their work in-person and an additional 70 participating through Zoom.

The conference’s success was further underscored by the gender diversity, with approximately 52% of participants identifying as female, 44% as male, and 1.5% as non-binary (Figure 4).

Reported gender breakdown of registrations.
Fig. 4 - Reported gender breakdown of registrations

EAAMO'23 included a wide range of participation from people with diverse demographics, as noted in the figure below. The conference had a substantial presence of attendees from LatinX, Black, Middle Eastern, North African, and indigenous backgrounds. This diverse mix of racial identities injected the conference with a sense of inclusiveness, unity, and diversity.

Reported race breakdown of registrations.
Fig. 5 - Reported race breakdown of registrations

EAAMO strives to foster an environment that not only embraces but prominently centers individuals from marginalized and underrepresented communities. We firmly believe that global reach and diversity of our participants significantly enriches the depth and breadth of the discussions and collaborations. Thus, EAAMO is committed to nurturing a diverse and inclusive academic community.

Financial assistance was provided in the form of: registration waivers (for both in-person and virtual attendance), travel grants and accommodation grants. We received more than 200 applications for need-based assistance and were able to grant over 100 in-person and virtual registration waivers, almost entirely for graduate students and young researchers. Overall, the conference had more than 100 students who were able to participate thanks to the lower registration fees for students, the registration waivers, and the travel grants.

Paper Submissions

A retrospective examination of the submissions over the years (Figure 6) reveals a positive trend in the interest and engagement with EAAMO. The inaugural MD4SG workshop in 2017 garnered 20 submissions and subsequently our endeavor has witnessed a large growth, reaching 140 submissions with the inaugural EAAMO in 2021 (conducted in a virtual format). This year, we are particularly thrilled to have reached 177 submissions, marking a substantial expansion in the scholarly discourse and engagement within the EAAMO community.

Number of submissions over years.
Fig. 6 - Number of submissions over years

Authors from over 20 countries across the globe (Figure 7), spanning various fields such as research, policymaking, and expertise, all shared a common dedication to enhancing equity and addressing issues in diverse application areas like education, labor, environment, healthcare, algorithmic fairness, and digital platforms. The conference, due to its interdisciplinary nature, attracted a large and diverse group of participants with backgrounds in computer science, operations research, economics, public policy, and the humanities. Many papers showcased a fusion of methodologies and insights from multiple domains, highlighting the conference’s holistic approach. All submitted papers underwent rigorous peer review by experts selected from relevant fields closely aligned with the conference’s themes. We extend our gratitude to 80 reviewers and 20 area chairs who ensured the quality of accepted papers.

Countries of EAAMO23 authors.
Fig. 7 - Countries of EAAMO'23 authors

Among the submissions received, a total of 30 were chosen for oral presentations, and an additional 58 were selected for the poster session. Within this selection, 30 papers are included in the third volume of the conference’s archival track within the Proceedings of EAAMO ‘23: Equity and Access in Algorithms, Mechanisms, and Optimization published by the ACM.

We are proud to highlight work where techniques from algorithms, optimization, and mechanism design, along with insights from the social sciences and humanistic studies, can help improve equity and access to opportunity for historically disadvantaged and underserved communities by presenting the following awards:

  • Best Paper Award: “Equal Pay for Similar Work” authored by Diego Gentile, Fuhito Kojima, and Bobby Pakzad-Hurson.
  • Best Student Paper Award: “30 Million Canvas Records Reveal Widespread Sequential Bias and System-design Induced Surname Initial Disparity in Grading” authored by Jiaxin Pei, Zhihan Wang, and Jun Li.
  • New Horizons Award: “Common Voice and Accent Choice” authored by Kathy Reid and Elizabeth T. Williams.
  • New Horizons Honorable Mention: “A Critique of the 2021 National Institute of Justice Recidivism Forecasting Challenge” authored by Tobi Jegede, Marissa Gerchick, Amreeta Mathai, and Aaron Horowitz.
  • Theory Track Paper Award: “Design on Matroids: Diversity vs. Meritocracy” by Isa Hafalir, Fuhito Kojima, M. Bumin Yenmez, and Koji Yokote.
  • AI Track Paper Award: “Setting the Right Expectations: Algorithmic Recourse Over Time” authored by Joao Fonesca, Andrew Bell, Carlo Abrate, Francesco Bonchi, and Julia Stoyanovich.

As we reflect on the success of EAAMO’23, we eagerly anticipate the contributions that will be presented at EAAMO’24 (which will be held in San Luis Potosí, Mexico). It is our sincere hope that the collaborative spirit, fantastic papers & posters, and demonstrations in the previous conferences will inspire a diverse array of researchers, practitioners, and policymakers to submit their work. We look forward to your submissions and to welcoming you to EAAMO’24, where we will continue our commitment to advancing equity and access in the fields of algorithms, mechanisms, and optimization.