You may also want to check out our shiny group website.  Also, this website continues to lack older things from my PhD; that is on my old website.


I head the Data to Actionable Knowledge (DtAK) group at Harvard Computer Science.  We use probabilistic methods to address many decision-making scenarios, with a focus on applications related to healthcare.  Our work falls into three major areas:

  • Probabilistic modeling and inference (especially Bayesian models): How can we characterize the uncertainty in large, heterogeneous data?  How can we fit models that will be useful for downstream decision-making?  How can we build models and inference techniques that will behave in expected and desired ways?

  • Decision-making under uncertainty (especially sequential decision-making): How can we optimize policies given batches of heterogeneous data?  How can we provide useful information, even if we can't solve for a policy?  How can we characterize the limits of our ability to provide decision support?

  • Interpretability and Statistical methods for validation: How can we estimate the quality of a policy from batch data?  How can we expose key elements of a model or policy for expert inspection? 

Short Bio

Finale Doshi-Velez is a John L. Loeb associate professor in Computer Science at the Harvard Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.  She completed her MSc from the University of Cambridge as a Marshall Scholar, her PhD from MIT, and her postdoc at Harvard Medical School.  Her interests lie at the intersection of machine learning, healthcare, and interpretability.
Selected Additional Shinies: AFOSR YIP and NSF CAREER recipient; Sloan Fellow; IEEE AI Top 10 to Watch 

Getting in touch

In person: My office hours are generally 3:30-4:30 on MONDAYS; 3-4:30 in the spring term while CS181 is in session.  When I have my office hour, please come in (don't wait outside!!) even if other people are inside.  I will ask everyone about what they want to discuss, and discuss similar topics together.  I usually give class-related questions first priority, then switch over to general topics and then back again.  If you have a form that needs signing, just interrupt.  I will continue holding office hours via zoom.  Link: https://harvard.zoom.us/j/768366874, code 112358.  In general, I will prioritize undergrad research outside of term and classes during term.  Sometimes there are very few/no people, sometimes there are many.  Especially if there are many, it helps if you can think of ways to succinctly share thoughts/questions to enable everyone to have a chance.  I welcome people waiting to provide thoughtful input on whatever is being discussed; if you don't want others hearing, please request a break-out.  No OH on 10/26, 11/30, 12/7

Email: I get a lot of email, and my inbox is generally an absolute disaster.  Unfortunately, many times I don't even have a chance to read all my email.  Please help me by reading my website first, having an informative subject line, and pinging again if you feel like I might have lost your mail.  Office hours don't require an email first, and are a great time to also catch me in person.

Phone: I don't have an office phone any more.  Please email or stop by in person.

Scheduling a qual, mini-qual, PhD defense, Master's defense, etc.

I get a lot of requests, and I am both eager to be part of this important milestone and also going crazy with scheduling.  Thus, I am now offering to be part your qual, mini-qual, PhD defense, Master's defense, or similar type of event at three sets of dates each year, roughly fall, winter, and spring. 
For 2018-2019, these will be: September 17 and 18; January 21 and 22, and May 20 and 21.  The Monday slots will be 11-1, 1-3, and 3-4:30; the Tuesday slots will be 8-10, 10-12, 12-2, and 2-4.  [January 21 3-4:30 , January 22 8-10, 10-12 , May 21 10-12, 12-2, 2-4 May 20 11-1, 1-3, 3-4:30 is taken.]
For 2019-2020, I will use the same time slots as before.  The dates will be: September 9 and 10 [Sep. 9 11-1 is taken. Sept. 10 2-4pm is taken.].  January 27 and 28 [January 27 11-1pm, 1-3pm, 3pm-4:30pm* is taken, January 28 3-4:30 is taken].  May 4 and 5 [May 4 9:30-11, 11-1, 1-3,* 3-4:30 is taken; May 5 11-1, 1-3, 3-4:30 is taken]
Dates for 2020-2021 are still being decided.  Time are 9-11,11-1,1-3,3-4:30.  I will likely have a day in later fall and two days in May in addition to the January day [please write me if you want me to center around specific dates].  January 15: 11-1; Feb. 3 1-3pm;  May 3: 3-4:30; May 7 9-11 is taken.

Recommendation Letters

Here's my process.  FIRST, be in touch with me (email, office hours, etc.) to confirm that I can write you a letter.  THEN, if I've agreed ALSO fill out this google form: https://forms.gle/k7nKHwQHoZBxwnRP7 ... I'm trying this out so that I don't forget anyone.  Please plan to give me at least 5-6 weeks advance notice.