My research interests are in artificial intelligence and machine learning and their applications in computational systems biology, neuroscience of human learning, assessments of hurricane risks, network analysis of power grids, mortality prediction in cardiology, conflict forecasting and analysis of terrorist networks, and analysis of unstructured text data. Click here for recent papers.
I am passionate about computer science education at the freshman level and spent 2008-2012 developing and fielding a new course on computational thinking at Rice. Here is a 5 minute video presentation of the course given at the Scientia Power of Ideas series of lectures. A short essay, which is a transcript of the video is here. On April 5, 2014 I gave a keynote lecture at the NCWIT Awards Ceremony in Houston.
My student, Josue Salazar, won the National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship in 2013. Congratulations, Josue!
My student, Mitchell Koch, was the runner-up for the CRA Undergraduate Research Award for 2010-2011. Mitchell also won the National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship in 2011. Congratulations, Mitchell!
My past projects include: designing an adaptive outdoor tour guide for the Rice campus (funded by Rice Engineering), reinforcement learning for non-stationary environments and applications to network routing (funded by Southwestern Bell), designing adaptive control systems for the Mars Bioplex (funded by NASA), designing experimentation strategies for protein crystallography (funded by NIH), adaptive compilers for power-sensitive applications (funded by Darpa and the Texas Advanced Technology Program), automating the conceptual design of opto-mechanical systems from specifications of behavior (funded by NSF), and dynamically learning models of humans acquiring a complex visualmotor task (funded by ONR).
I served as co-Program Chair for AAAI in 1999, and on the IJCAI Advisory Board in 2001. I served on the Microsoft ERP Advisory Board from 2006 to 2009. I have given many invited lectures on my work --- the Lucent/CRAW Lecture at the University of Washington in 2002 on my work in learning models of conflict from political events data, the ONR Invited Lecture in 2001 on my work in tracking human learning, and an invited lecture at IJCAI in 1993 on my work on opto-mechanical design, and in 2007 on my work in conflict forecasting and human learning. I served on the Editorial Board of the Journal of AI Research from 1997 to 2001. I have won several teaching awards at Stanford (George Forsythe teaching Prize), at Cornell (two Merrill Presidential Awards), and at Rice (Julia Miles Chance Prize).