Sexual Assault And Tinder: Building A Risk Assessment Model

Dolan, Stephen, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Foley, Rider, University of Virginia

The expansion of remote work has changed the modern workforce to be more accessible and diverse, but remote work can only be implemented if companies have trust in remote work software. During my internship at Slack, I developed a more updated and intuitive version of the “mentions” tab in the iOS app by showing any updates to the screen without a manual refresh, improving trust in remote work applications. The human and social dimensions of this technology are crucial because the benefits of remote work can only be realized if users properly adopt the intended features. Too often large software companies suffer from the theory of technological determinism by thinking that their technology will change the world. Remote work software, much like other software, is shaped by both the user base and the technology itself. While my capstone project focuses on improving remote work with Slack, my STS research centers around building a sexual assault risk assessment model for dating applications. Due to the sensitive nature of the topic, I will use literature review of natural language processing research and case studies of sexual violence related to matchmaking software. I expect to conclude both that a risk assessment model should be built using natural language processing of dating app messages and that sexual assault victim resources must be reformed to increase reporting and conviction rates. Although my capstone project and STS research are largely unrelated, on a basic level they both show how important it is to consider your user base when building a technology: remote work relies on user knowledge of remote work applications and risk assessment models rely on there being enough reports to build a dataset.

BS (Bachelor of Science)

School of Engineering and Applied Science
Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
Technical Advisor: Rosanne Vrugtman
STS Advisor: Rider Foley
Technical Team Members: Stephen Dolan

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