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  • CS Colloquium: Bistra Dilkina (Georgia Tech) -Challenges in Computational Sustainability

    Wed, Mar 01, 2017 @ 11:00 AM - 12:20 PM

    Thomas Lord Department of Computer Science

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars

    Speaker: Bistra Dilkina, Georgia Tech

    Talk Title: Challenges in Computational Sustainability

    Series: CS Colloquium

    Abstract: This lecture satisfies requirements for CSCI 591: Computer Science Research Colloquium.

    Computational sustainability is a new interdisciplinary research focused on computational problems that arise in the quest for sustainable development. The goal of sustainable development is to balance environmental, economic, and societal factors to "meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." In this talk, I will provide a sample of computational sustainability problems, from the areas of biodiversity conservation, energy, climate and environment monitoring. I will describe, for example, network design problems motivated by challenging planning problems in wildlife conservation. In this context, I will present a network design optimization framework for stochastic diffusion processes, such as species dispersal, fire spread, information propagation, and disease outbreak. I will also emphasize the unique opportunities for scalable constraint reasoning and optimization techniques to contribute to the new research
    area of computational sustainability and describe our recent advances in improving the state-of-the-art in large-scale optimization by leveraging machine learning techniques to inform the design of combinatorial search algorithms.

    Biography: Bistra Dilkina is an assistant professor in the College of Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Fellow at the Brook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems. She received her PhD from Cornell University in 2012, and was a Post-Doctoral associate at the Institute for Computational Sustainability until 2013. Her research focuses on advancing the state of the art in combinatorial optimization techniques for solving real-world large-scale problems, particularly ones that arise in sustainability areas such as biodiversity conservation planning and urban planning. Her work spans discrete optimization, network design, stochastic optimization, and machine learning. She is also the co-director of the Data Science for Social Good (DSSG) Atlanta summer program, which partners student teams with government and nonprofit organizations to help solve some of their most difficult problems using analytics, modeling, prediction and visualization. Bistra has (co-)authored over 30 publications, and has won several awards, including Best Student Paper runner up at KDD 2016, Best Paper of the INFORMS ENRE Section, Lockheed Inspirational Young Faculty Award, Raytheon Faculty Fellowship, and Georgia Power Professor of Excellence Award.

    Host: CS Department

    Location: Ronald Tutor Hall of Engineering (RTH) - 217

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Assistant to CS chair

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