Professor, Department of Industrial & Operations Engineering
Human trafficking is a relatively new area of research for me. I had been conducting research on natural hazards, community resilience, infrastructure, and issues of inequities in urban spaces. As I learned more about human trafficking, particularly sex trafficking, and the relative paucity of quantitative analysis in this area I realized that this was both a tremendous problem in the U.S. and one in which many of my data analytic techniques could potentially be helpful for. But this is not an area someone like me – an engineer and data scientist with no formal training in addressing trafficking – can successfully work in without a very strong interdisciplinary team with team members that have deep domain knowledge and experience. I’m happy to play a small role in helping to better understand and address human trafficking.