Coding, Coded & Counting: A Bias Continuum

Lecture / Panel
Open to the Public

Geometric abstract image of brain

Part of the Special ECE Seminar Series 

Modern Artificial Intelligence


Coding, Coded & Counting: A Bias Continuum


Fay Cobb Payton


This presentation will review my research trajectory starting from earlier publications to works in progress.  My earlier research examined information sharing and the impacts on health organizations and patients given the increased needs to share clinical information.  I have continued this research with the expansion into social media, human computer interaction, content design as well as health disparities via comorbid conditions (including breast cancer, mental health, HIV) and data modeling.  A central theme of my research is leveraging, creating and using data to assess society (community) needs and the intersection of disparities which exist as along an “implications” continuum.  While much of the data created and used is a direct result of embedded notions of “systems” informing a direct outcome the coding, coded and counting (Web of Cs) does not exist in a vacuum.  Rather, the coding and coded influence a counting of decisions used that impact lived experiences.  For Black and Brown communities, this web of Cs informed algorithmic bias while overlooking factors including context, place and space.



Faye Cobb

Dr. Fay Cobb Payton is a Full Professor (with Tenure) of Information Technology/Analytics at North Carolina State University and was named a University Faculty Scholar for her leadership in turning research into solutions to society’s most pressing issues.  She is on rotation as a Program Director at the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the Division of Computer and Network Systems.  At the NSF, she works with the CISE Minority-Serving Institutions Research Expansion Program (CISE-MSI Program),  Smart Health and Biomedical Research in the Era of Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Data Science (SCH),  AI-FEAT, Computing In Undergraduate Education, Broadening Participating Alliances in Computing and a number of other cross-directorate programs (INCLUDES, ADVANCE, HBCU Excellence in Research and NSF Research Traineeship).  She (along with a group of colleagues) received the 2020 NSF Director’s Award.

She is a full member of Sigma Xi,  and serves in the following capacities:

  1. Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) Education Advisory and co-chair of its Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee
  2. American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Science and Technology Fellows Selection Committee
  3. Institute of Industrial & Systems Engineers, Health Systems and Diversity-Equity-Inclusion Committees

Dr. Payton has received the North Carolina Technology Association Tech Educator of the Year, PhD Project Hall of Fame and National Coalition of Women in Information Technology Undergraduate Mentoring Awards.  She is a named SAS Institute Fellow for her work in analytics and teaching in the IT classroom, and as received two NC State University Alumni Extension Awards.  She is a National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Fellow where she worked on data management, technology and communications strategies for a health disparities study. As an American Council on Education Fellow, she worked on issues of academic review, interdisciplinary graduate research and education, and institutional economic and community impact.

Her research interests include healthcare IT/informatics/disparities; data quality; bias in AI/information seeking/HCI; access and participation in computing/STEM and entrepreneurship pathways. She has published over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles, conference publications and book chapters.  Her research has been published and/or forthcoming in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, Issues in Science and Technology, Communications of the ACM, European Journal of Information Systems, Journal of Medical Internet Research, IIE Transactions on Healthcare Systems Engineering, Information Systems Journal, Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, Health Care Management Science, Telemedicine and eHealth, just to name a few.  The National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, AT&T, Kenan Institute and others have supported Dr. Payton’s research and teaching.

She serves on several local and national boards and has been recognized in NC State and other media outlets for research and mentoring work.  She has presented her research at national and international conferences and symposia in China, Nigeria, Netherlands, Canada, Germany, Greece, Ireland, UK, Ghana, just to name a few.  Dr. Payton has worked in an advisory and/or volunteer capacity with the PhD Project Information Systems Doctoral Student Association, YMCA, Wake County Public School Systems and the City of Raleigh.  She is often the speaker or panelist for corporate career development and leadership programs, and serves as a consultant for leadership development programs for current mid-level corporate African Americans in IT careers.