Maria Smith

Sociology Department

About Maria:  

Maria Smith (she/her) is a fourth-year doctoral student in the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley, and a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellow. She researches the way in which people deploy social and technical structures and techniques to make visible and actionable human differences. Primarily, her research aims to conceptualize and investigate the uses and social consequences of artificial intelligence and data surveillance in the criminal justice system. As a Graduate Student Researcher and Instructor on the Human Context & Ethics (HCE) team, she teaches and mentors students on the importance of historical contexts, social structures of information, and the disparate uses of data in our everyday lives. Maria is also a co-founder of the Data for Black Lives (D4BL) Hub in the Bay Area and mentors previously incarcerated, system impacted, and first-generation students.

Recent Accolades:

Maria's research paper on prison tablets and data surveillance was recently accepted to the Liminality panel of the Critical Borders: Radical (Re)visions of AI conference at the University of Cambridge (UK)

  • Lead Instructor, CS Scholars Program 
  • Graduate Research Assistant, Human Contexts & Ethics of Data

"...we should acknowledge that most people are forced to live inside someone else’s imagination. And one of the things we have to come to grips with is how the nightmares that many people are forced to endure are the underside of an elite fantasy about efficiency, profit, and social control."- Ruha Benjamin