New Directions in Social Choice: Deliberation, Representation, and Complexity


Event details

Date 16.05.2024
Hour 16:1517:15
Speaker Prof. Ashish Goel -- Stanford University
Category Conferences - Seminars
Event Language English

In this talk, we will touch upon three aspects of social choice that have gained additional salience in the digital age: deliberation, representation, and voting in complex domains.

We will first describe the Stanford Online Deliberation platform, which is a video-conferencing platform for civic deliberations that incorporates an automated moderator. We will provide empirical results from this deliberation platform. We will also formally describe a sequential negotiation process that has provably good properties, and outline new research directions.

We will then illustrate the difficulty of running a civic feedback process that is representative of the underlying population using a budgetary feedback process that we ran with the city of Austin as an example. This feedback process saw dramatic changes in the number of participants and how they voted over its lifetime. Our experience leads to both theoretical and normative questions regarding sortition as well demographic reweighting. We will provide preliminary progress towards some of the theoretical questions and leave the normative questions for general discussion.

Time permitting, we will motivate the design of more complex menus for Participatory Budgeting, and describe some recent results and open problems.

Ashish Goel is a Professor of Management Science and Engineering and (by courtesy) Computer Science at Stanford University, and a member of Stanford's Institute for Computational and Mathematical Engineering. He received his PhD in Computer Science from Stanford in 1999, and was an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southern California from 1999 to 2002. His research interests lie in the design, analysis, and applications of algorithms; current application areas of interest include social networks, participatory democracy, Internet commerce, and large scale data processing. Professor Goel is a recipient of an Alfred P. Sloan faculty fellowship (2004-06), a Terman faculty fellowship from Stanford, an NSF Career Award (2002-07), and a Rajeev Motwani mentorship award (2010). He was a co-author on the paper that won the best paper award at WWW 2009, an Edelman Laureate in 2014, and a co-winner of the SigEcom Test of Time Award in 2018.

Professor Goel was a research fellow and technical advisor at Twitter, Inc. from July 2009 to Aug 2014.


Practical information

  • Informed public
  • Free


  • Prof. Michael Kapralov


  • Pauline Raffestin

Event broadcasted in