Cynthia D. Rudin

Earl D. McLean, Jr. Professor

Cynthia Rudin is a professor of computer science, electrical and computer engineering, statistical science, and biostatistics & bioinformatics at Duke University, and directs the Interpretable Machine Learning Lab. Previously, Prof. Rudin held positions at MIT, Columbia, and NYU. She holds an undergraduate degree from the University at Buffalo, and a PhD from Princeton University. She is the recipient of the 2022 Squirrel AI Award for Artificial Intelligence for the Benefit of Humanity from the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI). This award, similar only to world-renowned recognitions, such as the Nobel Prize and the Turing Award, carries a monetary reward at the million-dollar level. She is also a three-time winner of the INFORMS Innovative Applications in Analytics Award, was named as one of the "Top 40 Under 40" by Poets and Quants in 2015, and was named by as one of the 12 most impressive professors at MIT in 2015. She is a fellow of the American Statistical Association and a fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics.

She is past chair of both the INFORMS Data Mining Section and the Statistical Learning and Data Science Section of the American Statistical Association. She has also served on committees for DARPA, the National Institute of Justice, AAAI, and ACM SIGKDD. She has served on three committees for the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, including the Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics, the Committee on Law and Justice, and the Committee on Analytic Research Foundations for the Next-Generation Electric Grid. She has given keynote/invited talks at several conferences including KDD (twice), AISTATS, CODE, Machine Learning in Healthcare (MLHC), Fairness, Accountability and Transparency in Machine Learning (FAT-ML), ECML-PKDD, and the Nobel Conference. Her work has been featured in news outlets including the NY Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, the Boston Globe, Businessweek, and NPR.

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Earl D. McLean, Jr. Professor
  • Professor of Computer Science
  • Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Professor of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics
  • Professor of Statistical Science

Contact Information

  • Office Location: LSRC D342, Durham, NC 27708
  • Office Phone: (919) 660-6555
  • Websites:


  • Ph.D. Princeton University, 2004

Courses Taught

  • COMPSCI 391: Independent Study
  • COMPSCI 393: Research Independent Study
  • COMPSCI 394: Research Independent Study
  • COMPSCI 474: Data Science Competition
  • COMPSCI 671D: Theory and Algorithms for Machine Learning
  • ECE 687D: Theory and Algorithms for Machine Learning
  • ISS 396T: Bass Connections Information, Society & Culture Research Team
  • ISS 796T: Bass Connections Information, Society & Culture Research Team
  • ME 555: Advanced Topics in Mechanical Engineering
  • STA 493: Research Independent Study
  • STA 671D: Theory and Algorithms for Machine Learning
  • STA 693: Research Independent Study

In the News

Representative Publications

  • Wang, C., B. Han, B. Patel, and C. Rudin. “In Pursuit of Interpretable, Fair and Accurate Machine Learning for Criminal Recidivism Prediction.” Journal of Quantitative Criminology 39, no. 2 (June 1, 2023): 519–81.
  • Garrett, Brandon L., and Cynthia Rudin. “The Right to a Glass Box: Rethinking the Use of Artificial Intelligence in Criminal Justice (Accepted).” Cornell Law Review, 2023.
  • Rudin, C. “Why black box machine learning should be avoided for high-stakes decisions, in brief.” Nature Reviews Methods Primers 2, no. 1 (December 1, 2022).
  • Chen, Z., A. Ogren, C. Daraio, L. C. Brinson, and C. Rudin. “How to see hidden patterns in metamaterials with interpretable machine learning.” Extreme Mechanics Letters 57 (November 1, 2022).
  • Behrouz, Ali, Mathias Lécuyer, Cynthia Rudin, and Margo Seltzer. “Fast Optimization of Weighted Sparse Decision Trees for use in Optimal Treatment Regimes and Optimal Policy Design.” In Ceur Workshop Proceedings, 3318:26, 2022.