Helen S. Zeng
Helen is a PhD candidate in Information Systems & Management in Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU).
She is advised by Prof. Michael D. Smith.
She is on the academic job market for 2023-2024!
Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo Credit: Julie Xia
Helen's research lies in the intersection of digital economics, technology and policy. Her research vision is to bridge technology and policy, by engaging firms, institutions and regulators in understanding how to create and deliver “virtuous" digital products for business and society. Her research aims to understand the role for stakeholder accountability in new digital marketplace. In particular, her research endeavors to answer three main questions: 1) "what" are the societal impacts of technological innovation and new technology; 2) "why" businesses and other relevant institutions should invest in responsible innovation and engage early in regulatory considerations; 3) "how" entrepreneurs and regulators should adapt to technological progress in guards against potential harms and puts technology to work to benefit all.
During her PhD, she has conducted studies that examine how digitization and Information Technology (IT) implementation could lead to catastrophic societal outcomes when implemented without proper regulatory safeguards. Specifically, her doctoral dissertation centers on addressing a critical and heartrending problem brought by the use of IT: the widespread availability of child sexual abuse materials (CSAM) and human trafficking (especially the trafficking of minors) on digital platforms. Her research aims to answer a key question: how institutions and firms should identify and respond to societal harms occurring in digital markets. She uses mixed methods in her research, including econometrics, structural models and causal inference with machine learning.
Helen is a member of Global Association of Human Trafficking Scholars (GAHTS), K & L Gates Presidential Fellow in Ethics and Computational Technologies. Her research won the 2022 George Duncan Award for Excellence in Doctoral Studies for the Second Research Paper and 2020 Suresh Konda Best First Student Research Paper Award from the Heinz College. Prior to PhD, she completed her Bachelor of Science in Statistics & Math from the University of Hong Kong, and Master of Arts in Quantitative Methods in Social Sciences from Columbia University.