Humboldt Research Fellowship for Alessandro Fabris

Postdoc Alessandro Fabris wins renowned fellowship of Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

October 12, 2023

By providing funding for international researchers to conduct their projects in Germany, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation intends to facilitate a network of ambassadors to promote Germany as a centre of science. Alessandro Fabris, postdoc and member of Asia Biega's Responsible Computing research group at Max Planck Institute for Security and Privacy (MPI-SP), Bochum, is now part of this global community.

About Alessandro Fabris' Research

This project lies at the intersection between algorithmic fairness and privacy, addressing an inescapable tension between the two. Algorithmic fairness seeks to avoid undesirable discrimination, such as algorithms systematically putting certain vulnerable groups at a disadvantage. Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence for artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms driven by data which mirrors a historically imbalanced society. To measure algorithmic discrimination, we need to evaluate algorithms for different groups of people and to obtain some information about sensitive attributes of individuals, such as their gender identity or disability status. In turn, this can pose a risk for individual privacy: the collection and handling of sensitive attributes is tightly regulated by data protection law, with good reason. The focus of the project is to develop methods to measure and improve algorithmic fairness, while respecting data protection law and maintaining strong guarantees for individual privacy.

About the Humboldt Research Fellowship

The Humboldt Research Fellowship is one of the sponsorship programmes of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and financed by Germany's Federal Foreign Office and its Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The fellowship is aimed at postdocs and experienced researchers from abroad who are planning a research stay in Germany with a funding period between six to 24 months.

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in its present form was founded in 1953 by the Federal Republic of Germany. Its aim is to provide international scientists with financial support for their research projects in Germany, thus making them ambassadors for Germany as a centre of science and research. The resulting network now comprises more than 30,000 scientists in over 140 countries worldwide. Both the foundation and the research fellowship are named after Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859), German researcher and explorer.


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