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From Dreamer to Innovator: The Inspiring Journey of Data Scientist Akshata and Her Quest for Transparent, Safe, and Accountable AI

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From Dreamer to Innovator: The Inspiring Journey of Data Scientist Akshata and Her Quest for Transparent, Safe, and Accountable AI
Akshata Kishore Moharir

Akshata Kishore Moharir’s journey to the forefront of the machine learning field is a story of passion, perseverance, and purpose. As a first-generation student from a middle-class family in India, her pursuit of her Masters in the United States was a dream come true. Her passion for AI led her to focus on two critical areas: explainable AI and human centered machine learning. Through her groundbreaking research, she is paving the way for a future where AI is not only accurate and efficient, but also transparent, safe, and accountable. Her achievements in the field are already noteworthy. In this article, we will explore her journey, her contributions to the field, and the vision that drives her to make a positive impact in the world of machine learning. With over 12 years of experience in predictive modeling, Explainable AI, and fraud detection across various industries such as Retail, aviation, education, and transportation, she has established herself as a sought-after expert in the field.

Her passion for data science and machine learning began when she completed her undergraduate degree in Computer Science from Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU), India. She recognized her potential and pursued her graduate studies in machine learning at the University of Maryland College Park (UMCP). During her time at UMCP, she got an opportunity to contribute to crop prediction project using machine learning at SMaRS lab under the guidance of Professor Varaprasad Bandaru.

Throughout her career, she has contributed significantly to the field of Airplane health management, Human interpretable ML, fraud detection, safety, and privacy in machine learning. She has been granted seven US patents in the field of interpretable and interactive machine learning and AI. Her work has leveraged machine learning to reduce aircraft delays and cancellations and to also make flying safer.

With her expertise and dedication, she is sure to continue making significant contributions to the field of data science and machine learning for years to come. She is an inspiration to women in technology and is committed to building a more inclusive work culture. Her vision is to continue contributing to groundbreaking research through advanced data integration, analytics, and AI/ML efforts while actively participating in conferences and competitions to connect with other professionals and enthusiasts in the field.

Her dedication and hard work have made her a sought-after mentor and expert in the field. Recently, a few of her mentees published their work at a premier conference – NeurIPS. She is also an active member of the Women in Data Science community, where she works towards creating awareness and uplifting women in underprivileged sections of society.

As a Lead Data Scientist at Microsoft, she has been dedicated to addressing some of the most pressing challenges in the gaming industry. She has been instrumental in developing predictive models and Explainable AI solutions to identify fraudulent activity and maintain safety in the online gaming environment.

Her background in teaching platforms for Big Data Processing has also been invaluable in her work as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She brings a blend of industry and academic perspectives to the table, which has helped her to develop innovative solutions and contribute to groundbreaking research in the field. She is also mentoring high schoolers to explore careers in data science and get engaged to work on real-world problems.

In addition to her work in the industry, she is also passionate about giving back to the community. She has served as a volunteer mentor at Women in Science, Oregon Chapter; MIT Deep Learning Mentor for Summer 2022; and, as a STEM Course Instructor at Children’s Home in India. She is an inspiration to women in technology and is committed to building a more inclusive work culture.

In summary, Akshata is a trailblazing data scientist who has made significant contributions to the field of data science and machine learning. Her dedication, hard work, and passion for the field have taken her to great heights, making her a role model for women in technology. Her achievements, expertise, and commitment to community service and mentorship make her an inspiration to all who aspire to make a difference in the world of Artificial Intelligence and machine learning.

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