A new project to address optimization problems in uncertain environments will be led by USC Viterbi Assistant Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering Meisam Razaviyayn, thanks to a prestigious Young Investigator grant from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR).
The Young Investigator Program is a highly competitive funding opportunity from AFOSR, which awards early-career recipients a three-year grant totaling $450,000. The program’s aim is to foster creative research in science and engineering and enhance early career development of outstanding young investigators.
This year, AFOSR received over 175 proposals, with only 36 recipients awarded nationwide.
Razaviyayn joined USC Viterbi in 2016, prior to which he was a postdoctoral research fellow at Stanford University.
Razaviyayn’s research focus is on the design and analysis of large-scale optimization algorithms for the modern data science era. His project is titled, “Finding Higher-order Stationary Points of Nonconvex Optimization Problems in Multi-agent, Uncertain and Adversarial Environments.”
Razaviyayn said that while recent advancements in artificial intelligence have revolutionized automated decision-making procedures, this progress mainly relies on the availability of massive amounts of high-quality data.
“Machine learning with fragmented and uncertain data, on the other hand, is a much more challenging task, which requires solving complex optimization problems. The current set of algorithms cannot reliably solve such complex optimization problems,” he said. “With the support of this Young Investigator Program award, our group will develop optimization algorithms that can help bring about efficient and reliable machine learning technology.”
Dean’s Professor and Epstein Department Chair Maged Dessouky congratulated Razaviyayn for the latest honor recognizing his contribution to optimization and data science.
“This is but one example of the recognition for Meisam’s research on using optimization to speed up data science techniques to solve computationally difficult problems,” Dessouky said.
Razaviyayn received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering with a minor in computer science at the University of Minnesota. In 2021, he was the recipient of 3M’s Non-Tenured Faculty Award, a competitive prize recognizing early-career faculty achievements in the areas of research, experience and academic leadership.
Razaviyayn has received a number of Best Paper awards, including the ICCM Best Paper in Mathematics in 2020, the 2019 IEEE Data Science Workshop Best Paper Award and the Signal Processing Society Young Author Best Paper Award in 2014.
Published on December 17th, 2021
Last updated on January 26th, 2022