Ro Encarnación

tech policy + HCI researcher, technologist, hobby collector


Where I’m at – I am a PhD student in the Penn HCI lab and am fortunate to be advised by Dr. Metaxa. I am broadly interested in transdisciplinary research at the intersection of algorithmic justice, technology policy, and society. In particular, I am interested in examining unobservable and complex bias and inequity in sociotechnical systems to understand and address the immediate and delayed impacts of consequential decision-making algorithms on historically excluded communities. My ultimate goal is to bridge community-centered, -informed, and -guided sociotechnical action research with practical technology policy and regulation.

Where I’ve been – My research journey began in the DS3 program at Microsoft Research NYC (I recommend all interested undergrads to apply!). Before Penn, I had the privilege and opportunity to serve as a TechCongress Congressional Innovation Fellow in the office of Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke. I’ve also worked as a software engineer at the Stanford Computational Policy Lab, Capital One, and as a Civic Technology Fellow at Microsoft Cities.

Where my roots are – I was born, raised, and educated in the Bronx and am a proud NYC public school system and CUNY grad. I hold a B.A. in Computer Science from CUNY Lehman College.

latest news

May 2024 Princess Sampson, Hita, Lena, and myself in the Penn HCI lab are NSF GRFP awardees! Tweet
Apr 2024 I was recently profiled on Penn Engineering’s blog. Thank you to the writing team for featuring my work.
May 2023 I am excited to be joining the IBM Responsive and Inclusive Technologies team as a Research Scientist intern this summer.
Apr 2023 “Representation, Self-Determination, and Refusal: Queer People’s Experiences with Targeted Advertising” was accepted to ACM FAccT 2023!