David Kwabi

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We study and develop electrochemical devices containing organic materials for applications in grid energy storage and chemical separations (e.g., CO2 capture and nitrogen recovery). A critical aspect of our work involves discerning the impact of chemical reactions as well as mass and charge transport processes on device-level performance metrics. To accomplish this goal, we often conduct spectroscopic measurements of electrochemical systems while they are in operation. We apply a variety of mathematical modeling techniques to the spectroscopic data, such as multivariate curve resolution and Bayesian inference/model selection, to glean useful information about molecular transformation mechanisms and kinetics. These insights are informing closed-loop discovery of new and better-performing materials.

Angela Violi

Angela Violi

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The Violi Lab carries out cross-disciplinary research at the intersection of nanoscience and data science. By integrating machine learning techniques with molecular simulations, the team strives to unravel fundamental scientific principles while tackling practical problems in material science, healthcare, and environmental sustainability. Their methodological toolkit encompasses various cutting-edge approaches: active learning and Bayesian experimental design to improve sample efficiency; advanced gradient boosting techniques for predictive modeling; specialized neural networks to decode protein-nanoparticle interactions; and Lasso-like algorithms for feature selection and regularization. Through this integrated approach, the lab aims to make significant contributions to both scientific understanding and technological innovation.

Cheng Li

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My research focuses on developing advanced numerical models and computational tools to enhance our understanding and prediction capabilities for both terrestrial and extraterrestrial climate systems. By leveraging the power of data science, I aim to unravel the complexities of atmospheric dynamics and climate processes on Earth, as well as on other planets such as Mars, Venus, and Jupiter.

My approach involves the integration of large-scale datasets, including satellite observations and ground-based measurements, with statistical methods and sophisticated machine learning algorithms including vision-based large models. This enables me to extract meaningful insights and improve the accuracy of climate models, which are crucial for weather forecasting, climate change projections, and planetary exploration.

Fan Bu

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I am broadly interested in Bayesian and computational statistics for analyzing large-scale and complex data. I am particularly interested in spatio-temporal statistics, network inference, infectious disease models, and distributed learning. My methodological research has been motivated by applications in public health, observational healthcare studies, computational social science, and sports sciences.

I came from a math background but studied statistics in order to become a sports analyst (yes, Moneyball!). Throughout my PhD and postdoc training, I grew a strong appreciation for social sciences (how people behave and interact) and health sciences (how to provide high-quality healthcare for everyone). I see data science as the field to help us make sense of complex data that arise from our daily life and scientific endeavors, by building reliable and reproducible frameworks that transform data to evidence and then to scientific findings and decisions.

Jacob Allgeier

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My goal as an ecologist is to apply ecological theory to help solve real-world conservation issues. Specifically, I seek to identify the mechanisms by which behavioral, population, and community dynamics mediate nutrient and energy pathways. The objective is to improve our ability to predict ecological outcomes, and enhance conservation efficacy such as the sustainability of ecosystem services (e.g., fisheries). Much of this research takes place in tropical coastal ecosystems (mangroves, seagrass beds, and coral reefs) where I study gradients created by anthropogenic impacts to test theory directly within the context of environmental change and biodiversity loss. My research is broad and multifaceted, and includes a combination of extensive field-based research and computational analyses.The type of data we collect in the field has endless potential to be better understood through collaborations with MIDAS. I rely on (and very much enjoy) integrative collaborations across a variety of fields.

What are some of your most interesting projects?

We have recently generated one of the most extensive high-resolution dataset of fish movement in any system that we are aware of. We are using these data to understand the role of consumers in moving nutrient and energy through these ecosystems, and also to better understand the relative ecological importance of individual-level vs species-level variation.

What is the most significant scientific contribution you would like to make?

I would like to improve our ability to predict fish production in tropical coastal ecosystems to improve food security. I would also like to help improve our ability to manage seagrass ecosystems to maximize carbon sequestration and storage.

What makes you excited about your data science and AI research?

A central goal of my lab is to collect extremely high-end and extensive empirical data such that it can inform models that help us forecast ecological processes at the scales of entire ecosystems. We are currently using a suite of techniques to do so, including the use of individual-based modeling in particular. The type of data we are generating is absolutely ripe for being used with high-power data science and AI research. I honestly believe the applications are endless and would be extremely excited to team up with folks to build on these exciting possibilities.

What are some interesting facts about yourself?

Backpacking and woodworking are how I unwind. I love being outside, and I love doing field work.

Jacob Underwater

Studying our artificial reefs in Haiti

Tian An Wong

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Analysis of policing technology and police data, including impact assessment of surveillance technology, media sentiment analysis, and fatal police violence. Methods include topological data analysis, natural language processing, multivariate time series analysis, difference-in-differences, and complex networks.

Liu Liu

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My primary career interest is making new discoveries through creative thinking and innovative investigations. My long term research interests in the molecular mechanisms of heart regeneration to effectively prolong and improve the lives of heart patients, particularly in the development of a comprehensive understanding of post-translational/epigenetics regulation for cardiac reprogramming based heart therapy. I am developing a novel concept for a post-translational modification (PTM) code that is applicable across different proteins. I am utilizing computational methods to gain insights into the functional implications of PTMs that transcend protein boundaries.

Kamran Diba

Kamran Diba

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My lab is primarily interested in how the brain represents, coordinates, and stores memories. Hippocampal neuronal networks generate an assortment of firing patterns that vary depending on the behavior and state of an animal, from active exploration to resting and different stages of sleep. In our lab’s extracellular recordings from large populations of spiking neurons in rodents, we observe state-dependent temporal relationships between activities at multiple timescales. Recent work in my lab is aimed at understanding what role these unique spike patterns play and what they tell us about the function and limitations of different brain states for memory in healthy and compromised animals. To answer these and related questions, we combine behavioral studies of freely moving, learning and exploring rats, multi-channel recordings of the simultaneous electrical (spiking) activity from hundreds of neurons during behavior, sleep and sleep-deprivation, statistical and machine learning tools to uncover deep structure within high-dimensional spike trains, and chemogenetics and optogenetics to manipulate protein signaling and action potentials in specific neural populations in precise time windows.

Spike times recorded from a population of hippocampal neurons during running on a maze.

Spike times recorded from a population of hippocampal neurons during running on a maze.

What are some of your most interesting projects?

Evaluating the impact of sleep loss on hippocampal replay.
Using unsupervised machine learning to evaluate the temporal structure of hippocampal firing patterns during sleep.

What is the most significant scientific contribution you would like to make?

Understand how the hippocampus serves memory and what role sleep plays in this process.

What makes you excited about your data science and AI research?

The potential for AI models to help explain how the brain works.

Bing Ye

Bing Ye

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The focus of our research is to address (1) how neuronal development contributes to the assembly and function of the nervous system, and (2) how defects in this process lead to brain disorders. We take a multidisciplinary approach that include genetics, cell biology, developmental biology, biochemistry, advanced imaging (for neuronal structures and activity), electrophysiology, computation (including machine learning and computer vision) and behavioral studies.

We are currently studying the neural basis for decision accuracy. We established imaging and computational methods for analyzing neural activities in the entire central nervous system (CNS) of the Drosophila larva. Moreover, we are exploring the possibility of applying the biological neural algorithms to robotics for testing these algorithms and for improving robot performance.

A major goal of neuroscience is to understand the neural basis for behavior, which requires accurate and efficient quantifications of behavior. To this end, we recently developed a software tool—named LabGym—for automatic identification and quantification of user-defined behavior through artificial intelligence. This tool is not restricted to a specific species or a set of behaviors. The updated version (LabGym2) can analyze social behavior and behavior in dynamic backgrounds. We are further developing LabGym and other computational tools for behavioral analyses in wild animals and in medicine.

The behavior that this chipmunk performed was identified and quantified by LabGym, an AI-based software tool that the Ye lab developed for quantifying user-defined behaviors.

The behavior that this chipmunk performed was identified and quantified by LabGym, an AI-based software tool that the Ye lab developed for quantifying user-defined behaviors.

What are some of your most interesting projects?

1) Develop AI-based software tools for analyzing the behavior of wild animals and human.
2) Use biology-inspired robotics to test biological neural algorithms.

How did you end up where you are today?

Since my teenage years, I have been curious about how brains (human’s and animals’) work, enjoyed playing with electronics, and learning about computational sciences. My curiosity and opportunities led me to become a neuroscientist. When I had my own research team and the resources to explore my other interests, I started to build simple electronic devices for my neuroscience research and to collaborate with computational scientists who are experts in machine learning and computer vision. My lab now combines these approaches in our neuroscience research.

What makes you excited about your data science and AI research?

I am very excited about the interactions between neuroscience and data science/AI research. This is a new area and has great potential of changing the society.

Saif Benjaafar

Saif Benjaafar

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I used the tools of operations research (optimization, stochastic modeling, and game theory), machine learning, and statistics to study problems in operations management broadly defined, including supply chains, service systems, transportation and mobility, and markets. My current research focus is on sustainable operations and innovative business models, including sharing economy, on-demand services, and online marketplaces.