Motahhare Eslami
meslami[at]andrew.cmu.edu

My name is Motahhare Eslami, officially Motahareh EslamiMehdiabadi (I know, it's long!). I am an Assistant Professor at Carnegie Mellon University in the School of Computer Science, Human-Computer Interaction Institute. I am also an Academic Researcher at Facebook UX research.

My research is broadly in human-computer interaction, social computing, and data mining. I received my PhD in Computer Science from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where I was advised by Professor Karrie Karahalios. In my research, I have developed techniques to investigate users’ behavior around opaque algorithmic systems, redesign these systems to communicate opaque algorithmic processes to users and provide them with a more informed, satisfying, and engaging interaction. My research has been discussed in the popular press, including Time, The Washington Post, HuffingtonPost, the BBC, CBC Radio, Fortune, Quartz, International Business Times, New Scientist, and MIT Technology Review. My research is supported by NSF (Fairness in AI, NSF AI Institute), Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Cisco.


I am looking for graduate students to join my new lab. If you are interested, please reach out.

Selected Publications

  • H. Shen∗ and A. DeVos∗, M. Eslami+ and K. Holstein+. Everyday Algorithm Auditing: Understanding the Power of Everyday Users in Surfacing Harmful Algorithmic Behaviors. To appear in Proceedings of ACM in Human Computer Interaction (CSCW), 2021.

  • N. Karizat, D. Delmonaco, M. Eslami, N. Andalibi. Algorithmic Folk Theories and Identity: How TikTok Users Engage in Algorithmic Resistance and Identity Co-Production. Proceedings of ACM in Human Computer Interaction (CSCW), 2021.[pdf]

  • J. Asplund, M. Eslami, H. Sundaram, C. Sandvig, K. Karahalios. Auditing Race and Gender Discrimination in Online Housing Markets. Proceedings of the Fourteenth International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media (ICWSM), 2020. [pdf]

  • J. Salminen, J. M. Santos, S. Jung, M. Eslami, and B. J. Jansen. Persona Transparency: Analyzing theImpact of Explanations on Perceptions of Data-Driven Personas, Internationl Journal of Human-ComputerInteraction, 2019.[pdf]

  • M. Eslami, K. Vaccaro, M. K. Lee, A. Elazari, E. Gilbert, and K. Karahalios. User Attitudes towards Algorithmic Opacity and Transparency in Online Reviewing Platforms. Human Factors in Computing Systems Conference (CHI), 2019.[pdf]

  • J. Kulshrestha, M. Eslami, J. Messias, M. B. Zafar, S. Ghosh, K. P. Gummadi, and K Karahalios.Search bias quantification: investigating political bias in social media and web search. Information Retrieval Journal, 1-40, 2018.[pdf]

  • M. Eslami, S. R. Krishna Kumaran, C. Sandvig, K. Karahalios. Communicating Algorithmic Process in Online Behavioral Advertising. Human Factors in Computing Systems Conference (CHI), 2018.[pdf]

  • K. Vaccaro, D. Huang, M. Eslami, C. Sandvig, K. Hamilton, and K. Karahalios. The Illusion of Control: Placebo Effects of Control Settings. Human Factors in Computing Systems Conference (CHI), 2018.[pdf]

  • M. Eslami, K. Vaccaro, K. Karahalios, and K. Hamilton. "Be careful; things can be worse than they appear": Understanding Biased Algorithms and Users' Behavior around Them in Rating Platforms. The International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media (ICWSM), 2017.[pdf]

  • J. Kulshrestha, M. Eslami, J. Messias, M. B. Zafar, S. Ghosh, K. Gummadi, and K. Karahalios. Quantifying Search Bias: Investigating Sources of Bias for Political Searches in Social Media. Computer- Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW), 2017.[pdf]

  • M. Eslami, K. Karahalios, C. Sandvig, K. Vaccaro, A. Rickman, K. Hamilton, and A. Kirlik. First I "like" it, then I hide it: Folk Theories of Social Feeds. Human Factors in Computing Systems Conference (CHI), 2016.[pdf]

  • M. Eslami, A. Rickman, K. Vaccaro, A. Aleyasen, A. Vuong, K. Karahalios, K. Hamilton, and C. Sandvig.  'I always assumed that I wasn't really that close to [her]': Reasoning about invisible algorithms in the news feed. Human Factors in Computing Systems Conference (CHI), 2015.[pdf] Best Paper Award

  • M. Eslami, A. Aleyasen, R. Zilouchian Moghadam and K. Karahalios.  Friend Grouping Algorithms for Online Social Networks: preference, bias, and implications. The 6th International Conference on Social Informatics (SocInfo), 2014. [pdf]

  • K. Hamilton, K. Karahalios, C. Sandvig, and M. Eslami. A Path to Understanding the Effects of Algorithm Awareness. alt.CHI 2014. [pdf]

  • ​E. S. Hosseini, V. Esmaeelzadeh, and M. Eslami, A Hierarchical Sub-Chromosome Genetic Algorithm (HSC-GA) to Optimize Power Consumption and Data Communications Reliability in Wireless Sensor Networks, Wireless Personal Communications (Springer), vol. 80, no. 4, pp. 1579-1605, Oct. 2014.

  • M. Eslami, H. R. Rabiee, and M. Salehi. Sampling from Diffusion Networks. ASE/ IEEE International Conference on Social Informatics, 2012. [pdf]

  • P. Siyari, H. R. Rabiee, M. Salehi, and M. Eslami. Network Reconstruction under Compressive Sensing. ASE Human Journal, vol.1, issue 3, pp. 130-143, 2012. [pdf]

  • P. Siyari, H. R. Rabiee, M. Salehi and M. Eslami. Network Reconstruction under Compressive Sensing. ASE/ IEEE International Conference on Social Informatics, 2012. [pdf]

  • M. Eslami, H. R. Rabiee, and M. Salehi. Diffusion-Aware Sampling and Estimation in Information Diffusion Networks. The Fourth IEEE International Conference on Social Computing, 2012. [pdf]

  • M. Eslami, H. R. Rabiee, and M. Salehi. DNE: A Method for Extracting Cascaded Diffusion Networks from Social Networks. The Third IEEE International Conference on Social Computing, 2011. [pdf]


Honors & Awards

2018
ICWSM Best Reviewer Award (awarded to the top 20 reviewers)

2018
Heidelberg Laureate Forum Young Researcher

2017-2019
Google PhD Fellowship

2017
C.W. Gear Outstanding Graduate Student Award, UIUC

2017
Adobe PhD Fellowship Finalist

2016
Saburo Muroga Endowed Fellowship, UIUC

2016
Feng Chen Memorial Award, UIUC

2016
Facebook PhD Fellowship Finalist

2015, 2016
Selected for Rising Stars in EECS Workshop

2015
Best Paper Award, ACM CHI

2014
CS Grace Hopper Conference Scholarship

2013
Honorable Mention in Facebook Midwest Regional Hackathon

2011
Exceptional Talent Award, M.Sc., Computer Engineering (IT), Sharif University of Technology

2011
3rd Rank in GPA, M.Sc., Computer Engineering (IT), Sharif University of Technology

2009
Exceptional Talent Award, B.Sc., Computer Engineering (IT), Sharif University of Technology

2009
1st rank in GPA, B.Sc., Computer Engineering (IT), Sharif University of Technology

Research Interests

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Social Computing
  • Data Mining
CV | Google Scholar | DBLP
Recent News
  • I’m thrilled to be a part of the $20M, 5-year NSF award (with Amazon and Google as industry partners) on “The AI Institute for Collaborative Assistance and Responsive Interaction for Networked Groups (AI-CARING)”. This is a large multi-institute collaborative effort between Georgia Tech, Carnegie Mellon University, Oregon State University, the University of Massachusetts Lowell, and Oregon Health & Science University. [Award News, AI-CARING]
    Aug 2021
  • Our paper on everyday algorithm auditing is accepted to CSCW21.
    Aug 2021
  • I’m honored to be one of the keynote speakers at L@S this year.
    May 2021
  • Our paper algorithmic folk theories and identity is accepted to CSCW21.
    Mar 2021
  • Our $1M, 3-year NSF award (with Amazon as the industry partner) on “Organizing Crowd Audits to Detect Bias in Machine Learning” has been funded. [Award Abstract]
    Jan 2021
  • Our paper on auditing housing algorithms is accepted to ICWSM 2020.
    July 2019
  • Defended my thesis, yayyyy!
    April 2019
  • Our paper on opacity and transparency in biased algorithmic systems is accepted at CHI 2019.
    Jan 2019
  • I'm thrilled to receive the ICWSM Best Reviewer Award (awarded to the top 20 reviewers).
    June 2018
  • I'm happy to be selected as a Heidelberg Laureate Forum Young Researcher.
    April 2018
  • Our journal paper on search bias is accepted at Information Retrieval Journal, Springer.
    Feb 2018
  • Our paper on algorithmic transparency in online behavioral advertising is accepted to CHI 2018.
    Jan 2018
  • Our paper on the placebo effects on control panel in social media is accepted to CHI 2018.
    Jan 2018
  • I am beyond thrilled to be awarded Google PhD Fellowship. Thanks Google :)
    April 2017
  • Our algorithmic bias paper on rating platforms is accepted to ICWSM 2017.
    Feb 2017
  • I'm happy to be selected as an Adobe PhD Fellowship Finalist.
    Nov 2016
  • Our Search Bias paper is accepted to CSCW 2017.
    Sep 2016
  • ​I'm selected (again!) to participate at Rising Stars in EECS, an Academic Career Workshop for nearly 60 top EECS women scholars.
    Sep 2016
  • ​I'm offered a Saburo Muroga Endowed Fellowship, a fellowship awarded to outstanding graduate students in computer science at UIUC.
    Jun 2016
  • ​I've won Feng Chen Memorial Award, an award established to recognize students who are first authors on a paper that has won a best paper award at computer science department at UIUC.
    Apr 2016
  • I'm happy to be selected as a Facebook PhD Fellowship Finalist.
    Jan 2016
  • Our folk theories paper got accepted at CHI'16.
    Nov 2015
  • ​I'm selected to participate at MIT Rising Stars in EECS, an Academic Career Workshop for nearly 60 top EECS women scholars.
    July 2015
  • I am so happy to announce that our paper received Best Paper Award in CHI'15.
    March 2015
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