Maria Y. Rodriguez, PhD, MSW
Maria Y. Rodriguez, PhD, MSW, joined the University at Buffalo in 2020. Her research is at the intersection of applied demography, computational social science, and social policy. The first line of research examines the ethical implications of algorithmic decision-making in human services, child welfare in particular. The second line of research looks at the lived experience of marginalized communities as described on social media. The through line between the two concerns the methods involved: she identifies as a methodologist in social work spaces, in as far as her substantive focus is on how computational methods can support using large, unstructured data to scale social work interventions. For that reason, Rodriguez founded the caretLAB, the first lab housed in a school of social work to her knowledge dedicated to computational research methods in the public interest. Her lab works with technologists across fields of inquiry to leverage cutting edge, innovative technologies to develop, implement, and evaluate scaled interventions.