Snehalkumar ‘Neil’ S. Gaikwad

Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Neil Gaikwad is a doctoral student in the MIT Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He specializes in human-centered machine learning and public policy with a focus on sustainable development. He received a Master’s degree from the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University.

Neil develops data-driven human-AI collaboration algorithms and social computing systems, with a focus on increasing fairness and transparency in high-stakes policy decisions, analyzing large-scale datasets emerging from Earth remote sensing satellites and socio-economic processes. His doctoral dissertation commences an informed research agenda at the boundaries of computational, design, and socioeconomic thinking to address wicked problems in sustainable development.

Neil’s research harnesses human-centered machine learning, participatory design, and evidence-based policymaking. His current work focuses on enhancing fairness and transparency in policy decision making in global food and humanitarian systems. He is developing human-centered machine learning for decoding the adverse impact of underlying physical and socio-economic processes on global food security under climate extremes. Drawing upon this understanding, he is designing equitable market mechanisms and policies to support vulnerable farmers and decision-makers to mitigate the consequence of meteorological disasters and socio-economic breakdowns. His research and its practical relevance are informed by human-centered ML and policy research in academia, quantitative finance market research on Wall Street, and field research with vulnerable communities across the world.

Neil is one of the founders and chairs of the SIGKDD workshop on Humanitarian Mapping, and co-organizer of the Computational Sustainability Open Graduate Seminars. His TEDx talk presents the vision for just markets in the era of artificial intelligence. His honors include the Facebook Research Fellowship, an MIT Arts Scholar, the MIT Graduate Teaching award, and the Karl Taylor Compton Prize, the highest student award presented by MIT in recognition of excellent achievements in citizenship and devotion to the welfare of MIT.

For more information about Neil Gaikwad’s research, publications, and art exhibitions, please visit his webpage.