Jack Bandy

Assistant Professor of Computer Science

“I believe the real value of a classroom is not in the one-way transmission of knowledge — which is available for free at local libraries — but rather the opportunity to bring knowledge to life.”

Jack Bandy works hard to promote communal engagement in his classes — even in a discipline known for its emphasis on technical skills. “A student’s learning environment can be a make-or-break factor when honing a technical skill like computer programming,” Bandy said, adding that Transylvania’s supportive community, small class sizes, and easy access to professors give its students a distinct advantage over those at larger institutions.  

The skills fostered by a liberal arts education — public speaking, creative storytelling, active listening, conflict management and more — also give Transy students a leg up in graduate programs and the workplace. These relational and communication skills “help prepare students for a wide range of vocational opportunities in a rapidly changing discipline,” Bandy added. “Thanks to unique opportunities in interdisciplinary learning, community service and extracurricular engagement, liberal arts graduates who study computer science can make positive social and technical contributions in their post-graduate lives.”

Bandy, who considers himself to be a lifelong learner, enjoys seeing his students become self-actualized learners, a process that goes far beyond the “lightbulb” moments that occur when a student grasps a new concept or skill. “I especially enjoy when a student realizes how much they are capable of learning on their own, and they really decide to go for it,” he said, comparing this process to a gardener who decides to grow their own seeds instead of buying seedlings. “I really enjoy seeing students start to design and plant their own gardens from scratch.”

To that end, he encourages computer science students to seek research experience where they can begin to see themselves as creators of knowledge, not merely consumers. Bandy believes that students are especially well-suited to contribute creative research questions to the field of human-computer interaction while developing their own research skill set — and he believes that a liberal arts education promotes thinking carefully about the social and technical success of systems, as opposed to “moving fast and breaking things.” 

“When an organization or a company only thinks about the technical success of their systems, the public often ends up with disasters,” he said, noting that the holistic thinking fostered by a liberal arts education can help institutions sidestep these disasters. 

When he’s not learning alongside his students, Bandy — a Kentucky native and proud graduate of West Jessamine High School, as well as the Kentucky Governor’s Scholars Program — can be found gardening, running and biking around Lexington, and hiking at the Red River Gorge and other Kentucky trails. He also enjoys carpentry and daydreams often about the possibilities for passenger rail transportation in his home state.

Academic History

  • Ph.D., Northwestern University, 2023
  • M.S., University of Kentucky, 2018
  • B.S., Wheaton College, 2016

Courses Taught at Transy

  • Foundations of Computer Science
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Algorithmic Bias and Fairness
  • Social and Ethical Issues in Computing
  • Special Topics

Areas of Research and Specialization

  • Social media
  • Human-computer interaction
  • Algorithm auditing
  • Dataset auditing
  • Ethics of artificial intelligence
  • Computational journalism

Recent Publications

“Facebook’s News Feed Algorithm and the 2020 U.S. Election,” Social Media + Society, 2023.

“Exposure to Marginally Abusive Content on Twitter,” AAAI Web and Social Media (ICWSM), 2023.

“All the News That’s Fit to Tweet: Sociotechnical Local News Distribution from The New York Times to Twitter,” News Quality in the Digital Age (Routledge), 2022.

“Addressing ‘Documentation Debt’ in Machine Learning Research: A Retrospective Datasheet for BookCorpus,” NeurIPS Datasets and Benchmarks, 2021.

“Problematic Machine Behavior: A Systematic Literature Review of Algorithm Audits,” ACM Human‑Computer Interaction, CSCW 2021.

“#TulsaFlop: A Case Study of Algorithmically-Influenced Collective Action on TikTok,” RecSys Responsible Recommendation Workshop, 2020.

“Auditing News Curation Systems: A Case Study Examining Algorithmic and Editorial Logic in Apple News,” AAAI Web and Social Media (ICWSM), 2020.