Fall 2016 - present
In 2015, 13 percent of American households were food insecure, and 1 in 7 households rely on local food pantries to help feed their families. As part of my work with Project Socius under Min Kyung Lee at the Center for Machine Learning and Health, I am working with 412 Food Rescue, investigating data from their existing mobile app that serves as a way for the public to learn where they can pitch in and help the food insecure. This data analysis will then be to further understand existing patterns of altruism and human behavior seen through volunteers participating in 'food rescues.'
This project features the development and implementations of a human-centered approach to algorithmic services to fairly allocate volunteers between donations to non-profit organizations (see CHI '17 paper). My goal is to focus on rethinking how the app and algorithm can be designed not only to inform volunteers on the impact they can make in their communities through donating their time or food, but to motivate individuals to continue sustained altruistic behaviors through their experience in and outside the application.
This project is in progress. To learn more, feel free to contact me and see what I'm up to!

Meanwhile, here's a small graphic illustrating part of what I've been working on:

© Hilary Lai, 2017