GSPIA’s 412Connect project honored at conference

This year’s inaugural Conference on Equity and Access in Algorithms, Mechanisms and Optimization by the Association of Computing Machinery awarded one of two New Horizon Awards to the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs’ Sera Linardi and her colleagues, Alex DiChristofano, Michael Hamilton and Mara McCloud for their project, 412Connect: Bridging Students and Communities. The distinction recognizes those who successfully bridge research and practice. 

The 412Connect project is committed to building and leveraging online platforms to increase the visibility of Black-owned businesses in Pittsburgh and with local universities. According to 412Connect’s website, the team is “composed of Pittsburgh community activists, Pitt alumni, faculty and staff, and students across schools and degree programs in and outside of Pitt, united in our conviction of universities’ public service role.”

The conference is a product of the Mechanism Design for Social Good initiative and was held virtually in October. The event highlighted work that increases equity and access for historically disadvantaged and underserved communities through algorithms, optimization and mechanism design techniques.