Woman Crush Wednesday (WCW): Rediet Abebe

by Duke Magazine

Rediet Abebe is an Ethiopian computer scientist and social entrepreneur. She is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the University of California with research majors in algorithms and artificial intelligence focusing on equity and justice concerns.

Born in 1991, Abebe is a co-founder and co-organizer of the multi-institutional, interdisciplinary research initiative Mechanism Design for Social Good (MD4SG). Her dissertation received the 2020 ACM SIGKDD Dissertation Award for offering the foundations of this emerging research area. Abebe’s work has informed policy and practice at the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the Ethiopian Ministry of Education. She has been honored in the MIT Technology Reviews’ 35 Innovators Under 35 and the Bloomberg 50 list as a one to watch.

Abebe also co-founded Black in AI, a non-profit organization tackling representation issues in AI. Her research is influenced by her upbringing in her hometown of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Abebe holds a Ph.D. in computer science, a feat that made her the first Black woman to receive a doctorate from Cornell University. She had her graduate degrees in mathematics from Harvard University and the University of Cambridge.

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