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W&L Student Attends Association for Computing Machinery Web Conference in Austin, Texas Katie Yurechko ’24 presented on how algorithm awareness impacts algospeak use on TikTok.

WebConference-scaled-600x400 W&L Student Attends Association for Computing Machinery Web Conference in Austin, TexasElla Steen (Gordon College) and Katie Yurechko ’24

Washington and Lee student Katie Yurechko ’24 presented at the 2023 Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Web Conference held at the AT&T Hotel and Conference Center at the University of Texas at Austin on April 30-May 4.

The event, held annually since 1994, is an international academic conference focusing on the future direction of the World Wide Web. The conference has been the premier venue to present and discuss progress in research, development, standards and applications of the topics related to the web. The conference assembles scholars, researchers, policymakers, practitioners and end-users with one unifying goal: to envision and create the future of the web.

A computer science and philosophy double-major with a minor in poverty and human capability, Yurechko is committed to supporting marginalized communities and promoting diversity in computing. The Johnson Scholar from Havre de Grace, Maryland presented on the practices of marginalized communities on TikTok, research that she conducted with Carnegie Mellon University’s Software and Societal Systems Department this past summer. The findings on “How Algorithm Awareness Impacts Algospeak Use on TikTok” was presented in conjunction with her partners, Carnegie Mellon professor Daniel Klug and student Ella Steen of Gordon College.

“Meeting graduate students, postdocs and professors from across the globe introduced me to the deeply supportive and encouraging spirit spread throughout the computing research community,” said Yurechko. “At a very technical conference, presentations on attempts to mitigate the harms posed by artificial intelligence also highlighted the importance of my liberal arts education. Computer science is not solely about creating technical advances; it is also about critically analyzing those advances from interdisciplinary perspectives. I plan to carry this understanding into my future computer science courses and use it to further efforts with my advisor, Professor (Sara) Sprenkle, to integrate more cross-disciplinary and ethics-based readings into W&L’s computer science curriculum.”

Yurechko participated in the Google Computer Science Research Mentorship Program and she is a member of the University of Washington’s AccessComputing team. On campus, she serves as president of Nabors Service League, co-president of the Volunteer Venture Program, and vice president of The Campus Kitchen.

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