Science News magazine has selected Rice University computer scientist Anshumali Shrivastava for 2018 SN 10, its prestigious annual list of top young scientists who are on their way to widespread acclaim for tackling the big questions facing science and society.
Shrivastava, assistant professor of computer science, electrical and computer engineering and statistics, specializes in creating clever algorithmic strategies that enable faster, more scalable computations for both big data and machine-learning applications.
The 2018 class of SN 10 will be featured in the Oct. 13 issue of Science News and was selected from a pool of more than 60 young scientists who were nominated by Nobel laureates and recently elected members of the National Academy of Sciences. Honorees were selected based on major contributions in their respective fields and for their potential for impact in the years to come.
Shrivastava, who joined Rice in 2015, has repeatedly shown that creative approaches for handling big data can pay huge dividends in terms of time, energy and computational effort. In an analysis of six online social networks presented last month, he and Rice graduate student Chen Luo applied a 20-year-old internet search technique to show that chances of forming online friendships depend mainly on the number rather than the types of groups people join.
In June, Shrivastava and graduate student Beidi Chen teamed with the Human Rights Data Analysis Group to show how a new method of finding duplicate database records could save HRDAG volunteers thousands of hours of work by accurately and efficiently estimating the number of identified victims of the Syrian civil war. In 2017, his group showed how to slash the computational overhead associated with “minwise hashing,” a revolutionary internet search technique pioneered in the 1990s, and in a separate paper showed how a blend of techniques could eliminate 95 percent of the computation required for deep learning networks, the technology behind self-driving cars, online product recommendations, real-time language translators and more.
Shrivastava earned integrated bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics and computing, with an Institute Silver Medal, from the Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur in 2008 and a doctorate in computer science from Cornell University in 2015. In 2017, he received an Amazon Research Award, a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation and a Young Investigator Award from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research. Science News, one of nation’s most respected science magazines, has been published since 1924 by the nonprofit Society for Science & the Public. For more information, visit www.societyforscience.org.
Jade Boyd, Rice University's office of public relations science editor and associate director of news and media relations