Assistant Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering Andrés Gómez has been awarded a National Science Foundation Grant of almost $150,000 for new computational tools that will pave the way for improved AI-human collaboration.
Gómez, who joined the Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering in 2019, pursues research focusing on developing new theories and tools for challenging optimization problems.
The current NSF grant is Gómez’s fourth in five years as faculty, with a previous $250,000 grant awarded in 2020 toward research to improve inference in graphical models, as well as earlier grants in 2018 and 2019.
The latest research will examine spatio-temporal graphical models, which help with the understanding of massive-scale modern systems.
Gómez said that for example, these models could be applied in genomics, to model the interactions among genes via spatio-temporal gene regulatory networks — a set of genes, or parts of genes, that interact with each other to control a specific cell function.
“Understanding these gene expression networks carries enormous implications for diagnosing and treating dynamic disease processes,” Gómez said. “The behavior of such interconnected systems can be captured via spatio-temporal graphical models.”
However Gómez said that existing methods for inferring these models suffered from statistical and computational drawbacks, rendering them impractical in realistic settings.
In order to bridge this knowledge gap, Gómez’s project aims to develop computational tools for the inference of spatio-temporal graphical models that are not only provably optimal, but also adaptive, parallelizable, and implementable in meaningful scales.
Prior to joining USC, Gómez worked as an assistant professor in the Department of Industrial Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. He received his B.S. in Mathematics in 2011 and B.S. in Computer Science in 2012 from the Universidad de los Andes (Colombia). He then obtained his M.S. in 2014 and Ph.D. in 2017 in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from the University of California, Berkeley.
Gómez has received a number of honors including being named a 2018 finalist in the INFORMS Junior Faculty Forum Paper Competition, the 2017 Katta Murty Best Paper Prize at University of California Berkeley and the 2014 IEOR First Year Faculty Fellowship at UC Berkeley.
Published on April 14th, 2022
Last updated on April 14th, 2022