66 results for author: Christine Grillo

Welcoming Our New Data Scientist

We're thrilled to announce that Tarak Shah has joined our team as our new data scientist.

Open Source Summit 2018

On October 23, 2018, Patrick Ball keynoted at the Open Source Summit in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Disrupt San Francisco TechCrunch 2018

On September 7, 2018, Kristian Lum and Patrick Ball participated in a panel at Disrupt San Francisco by TechCrunch. The talk was titled "Dismantling Algorithmic Bias." Brian Brackeen of Kairos was part of the panel as well, and the talk was moderated by TechCrunch reporter Megan Rose Dickey. From the TechCrunch website, "Disrupt is a 3-day conference focused on breaking technology news and developments with big-name thought leaders who are making waves in the industry." Video of the talk is available here, and Megan Rose Dickey's coverage is here.

Kristian Lum in Bloomberg

The interview poses questions about Lum's focus on artificial intelligence and its impact on predictive policing and sentencing programs.

Skoll World Forum 2018

Illuminating Data's Dark Side: Big data create conveniences, but we must consider who designs these tools, who benefits from them, and who is left out of the equation.

Data Science Symposium at Vanderbilt

Patrick Ball keynoted the Data Science Symposium at Vanderbilt University.

New publication in BIOMETRIKA

New paper in Biometrika, co-authored by HRDAG's Kristian Lum and James Johndrow: Theoretical limits of microclustering in record linkage.

HRDAG Testimony in Guatemala Retrials

HRDAG analysis presented by Patrick found that 5 percent of the indigenous Maya Ixil population was killed in a 15-month period.

FAT* Conference 2018

Kristian Lum spoke about "Understanding the Context and Consequences of Pre-Trial Detention" at the Conference on Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency (FAT*).

Reflections: Minding the Gap

How might we learn what we don’t know? HRDAG associate Christine Grillo hits the wayback machine and recalls her first exposure to People Against Bad Things, ideas about bias and correlation versus causation, and truth.

Locating Hidden Graves in Mexico

For more than 10 years, and with regularity, Mexican authorities have been discovering mass graves, known as fosas clandestinas, in which hundreds of bodies and piles of bones have been found. The casualties are attributed broadly to the country’s “drug war,” although the motivations and perpetrators behind the mass murders are often unknown. Recently, HRDAG collaborated with two partners in Mexico—Data Cívica and Programa de Derechos Humanos of the Universidad Iberoamericana—to model the probability of identifying a hidden grave in each county (municipio). The model uses an set of independent variables and data about graves from 2013 ...

Stephen Fienberg 1942-2016

We are saddened by the passing of Steve Fienberg yesterday in Pittsburgh, at the age of 74. He is perhaps best known around the world for bringing statistics to science and public policy and was a beloved professor at Carnegie Mellon University. At HRDAG we are in awe of and grateful for the work Steve did formalizing multiple systems estimation. His work on that front blazed a trail and essentially enabled all of our most important analytical work at the intersection of human rights and statistical science. If we are to reduce the amount of human violence in the world, the first task is to determine the scope of the violence, to know how much of ...

HRDAG – 25 Years and Counting

Today is a very special day for all of us at HRDAG. This is, of course, the 68th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights—but this day also marks our 25th year of using statistical science to support the advancement of human rights. It started 25 years ago, in December 1991, in San Salvador, when Patrick Ball was invited to work with the Salvadoran Lutheran Church to design a database to keep track of human rights abuses committed by the military in El Salvador. That work soon migrated to the NGO Human Rights Commission (CDHES). Fueled by thin beer and pupusas, Patrick dove into the deep world of data from human rights testimonies, ...

HRDAG Names New Board Members Julie Broome and Frank Schulenburg

We are pleased to announce that HRDAG will be supported by two additions to our Advisory Board, Julie Broome and Frank Schulenburg. We’ve worked with Julie for many years, getting to know her when she was Director of Programmes at The Sigrid Rausing Trust. She is now the Director of London-based Ariadne, a network of European funders and philanthropists. She worked at the Trust for seven years, most notably Head of Human Rights, before becoming Director of Programmes in 2014. Before joining the Trust she was Programme Director at the CEELI Institute in Prague, where she was responsible for conducting rule of law-related trainings for judges and ...

Judges in Habré Trial Cite HRDAG Analysis

Three months after the announcement of the momentous verdict finding former Chadian president Hissène Habré guilty of crimes against humanity, the presiding judges have released the full, written 681-page judgment of the court. Testimony given by HRDAG’s director of research, Patrick Ball, is mentioned at three points in the verdict. The judges included in their written judgment the HRDAG analysis that the mortality rate in Habré prisons was staggeringly high—much higher than the mortality rate among the population as a whole. Here’s an excerpt from the judgment, page 358 (translated by Google): The statistical expert, Patrick Ball, ...

HRDAG and Amnesty International: Prison Mortality in Syria

Today Amnesty International released “‘It breaks the human’: Torture, disease and death in Syria’s prisons ,” a report detailing the conditions and mortality in Syrian prisons from 2011 to 2015, including data analysis conducted by HRDAG. The report provides harrowing accounts of ill treatment of detainees in Syrian prisons since the conflict erupted in March 2011, and publishes HRDAG’s estimate of the number of killings that occurred inside the prisons. To accompany the report, HRDAG has released a technical memo that explains the methodology, sources, and implications of the findings. The HRDAG team used data from four ...

HRDAG and AHPN Launch Book Detailing Collaboration

Earlier this month, HRDAG and the Historic Archive of the National Police (AHPN) of Guatemala launched a book that represents a long-time collaboration between the two organizations. The book, “Una mirada al AHPN a partir de un studio de cuantitativo,” is, as the title states, a look at the Archive’s datasets via a quantitative study. Book authors are HRDAG executive director Megan Price and AHPN colleague Carolina López, with translations by Beatriz Vejarano. The book is available in Spanish and forthcoming in English. The book explains how HRDAG and the Archive worked together over a decade to gain insight into the police activities that ...

Megan Price Elected Board Member of Tor Project

Today The Tor Project announced that it has elected a new Board of Directors, and among them is HRDAG executive director Megan Price. The Tor Project is a nonprofit advocacy group that promotes online privacy and provides software that helps users opt out of online tracking. Megan and Patrick have long maintained that encryption and privacy are essential for enabling human rights work. Patrick's ideas are described in Monday's FedScoop story about encryption, human rights, and the U.S. State Department. “Human rights groups depend on strong cryptography in order to hold governments accountable," says Patrick. "HRDAG depends on local human ...

Momentous Verdict against Hissène Habré

Today we’re very pleased to hear of the verdict finding Hissène Habré guilty of crimes against humanity. Habré, president of Chad from 1982 to 1990, has been sentenced to life in prison in Dakar, Senegal, where he was tried. He is the first former head of state to be tried and found guilty of crimes against humanity in one country (Chad) by the courts of another country (Senegal).  Here’s more on the verdict from The Guardian. The verdict resonates especially with HRDAG because of our role in the trial. In September 2015, director of research Patrick Ball testified as an expert witness about the very high rates of prison mortality in ...

Welcoming a New Board Member

As we get ready to begin our fourth year as an independent nonprofit, we are, as always, indebted to our Advisory Board and to our funders for their support and vision. We’re finishing up a busy year that took us to Dakar (for the trial of former Chadian dictator Hissène Habré), Pristina (for the release of the Kosovo Memory Book), Colombia (for work on a book about the Guatemalan Police Archives), and kept us busy here at home working on police violence statistics. But one of our biggest victories has been to score a new, talented, wise Advisory Board member—Michael Bear Kleinman, whom we first met when he was working with Humanity United. ...

Our work has been used by truth commissions, international criminal tribunals, and non-governmental human rights organizations. We have worked with partners on projects on five continents.