My research interest lies in applying data science for actionable transformation of human health from the bench to bedside. Current research focus areas include cutting edge single-cell sequencing informatics and genomics; precision medicine through integration of multi-omics data types; novel modeling and computational methods for biomarker research; public health genomics. I apply my biomedical informatics and analytical expertise to study diseases such as cancers, as well the impact of pregnancy/early life complications on later life diseases.
Biodiversity in nature can be puzzlingly high in the light of competition between species, which arguably should eventually result in a single winner. The coexistence mechanisms that allow for this biodiversity shape the dynamics of communities and ecosystems. My research focuses on understanding the mechanisms of competitive coexistence, how competition influences community structure and diversity, and what insights observed patterns of community structure might provide about competitive coexistence.
I am interested in the use and development of data science approaches to draw insights regarding coexistence mechanisms from the structural patterns of ecological communities with respect to species’ functional traits, relative abundance, spatial distribution, and phylogenetic relatedness, through as community dynamics proceed. I am also interested in the use of Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian approaches for fitting demographic models to forest census data sets, demographic models that can then be used to quantitatively assess the role of different competitive coexistence mechanisms.
Prof. Avestruz is a computational cosmologist leading the ALCCA (Avestruz Lab for Computational Cosmology and Astrophysics) research group. Her research group uses simulations to model, predict, and interpret observed large-scale cosmic structures. Her primary focus is to understand the evolution of galaxy clusters. These are the most massive gravitationally collapsed structures in our universe, comprised of hundreds to thousands of galaxies. Other aspects of her work prepare for the next decade of observations, which will produce unprecedented volumes of data. With the Rubin Observatory’s Legacy Survey of Space and Time, Avestruz’ group is leading software development efforts within the Dark Energy Science Collaboration including applications of machine learning in cosmology.
My methodological research focus on developing statistical methods for routinely collected healthcare databases such as electronic health records (EHR) and claims data. I aim to tackle the unique challenges that arise from the secondary use of real-world data for research purposes. Specifically, I develop novel causal inference methods and semiparametric efficiency theory that harness the full potential of EHR data to address comparative effectiveness and safety questions. I develop scalable and automated pipelines for curation and harmonization of EHR data across healthcare systems and coding systems.
Our team develops machine learning algorithms for the enhancement of outcomes in cataract surgery, the most commonly performed surgery in the world. Our works focuses on developing models for postoperative refraction after cataract surgery and analysis of surgical quality.
I have been creating free and interactive ebooks for introductory computing courses on the open-source Ruenstone platform and analyzing the clickstream data from those courses to improve the ebooks and instruction. In particular, I am interested in using educational data mining to close the feedback loop and improve the instructional materials. I am also interested in learner sourcing to automatically generate and improve assessments. I have been applying principles from educational psychology such as worked examples plus low cognitive load practice to improve instruction. I have been exploring mixed-up code (Parsons) problems as one type of practice. I created two types of adaptation for Parsons problems: intra-problem and inter-problem. In intra-problem adaptation, if the learner is struggling to solve the current problem it can dynamically be made easier. In inter-problem adaptation the difficulty of the next problem is based on the learner’s performance on the previous problem.
Professor Kowalski’s recent research analyzes experiments and clinical trials with the goal of designing policies to target insurance expansions and medical treatments to individuals who stand to benefit from them the most. Her research has also explored the impact of previous Medicaid expansions, the Affordable Care Act, the Massachusetts health reform of 2006, and employer-sponsored health insurance plans. She has also used cutting-edge techniques to estimate the value of medical spending on at-risk newborns.
We are interested in resolving outstanding fundamental scientific problems that impede the computational materials design process. Our group uses high-throughput density functional theory, applied thermodynamics, and materials informatics to deepen our fundamental understanding of synthesis-structure-property relationships, while exploring new chemical spaces for functional technological materials. These research interests are driven by the practical goal of the U.S. Materials Genome Initiative to accelerate materials discovery, but whose resolution requires basic fundamental research in synthesis science, inorganic chemistry, and materials thermodynamics.
Today’s real-world problems are complex and large, often with overwhelmingly large number of unknown variables which render them doomed to the so-called “curse of dimensionality”. For instance, in energy systems, the system operators should solve optimal power flow, unit commitment, and transmission switching problems with tens of thousands of continuous and discrete variables in real time. In control systems, a long standing question is how to efficiently design structured and distributed controllers for large-scale and unknown dynamical systems. Finally, in machine learning, it is important to obtain simple, interpretable, and parsimonious models for high-dimensional and noisy datasets. Our research is motivated by two main goals: (1) to model these problems as tractable optimization problems; and (2) to develop structure-aware and scalable computational methods for these optimization problems that come equipped with certifiable optimality guarantees. We aim to show that exploiting hidden structures in these problems—such as graph-induced or spectral sparsity—is a key game-changer in the pursuit of massively scalable and guaranteed computational methods.
My research lies at the intersection of optimization, data analytics, and control.
Albert S. Berahas is an Assistant Professor in the department of Industrial & Operations Engineering. His research broadly focuses on designing, developing and analyzing algorithms for solving large scale nonlinear optimization problems. Such problems are ubiquitous, and arise in a plethora of areas such as engineering design, economics, transportation, robotics, machine learning and statistics. Specifically, he is interested in and has explored several sub-fields of nonlinear optimization such as: (i) general nonlinear optimization algorithms, (ii) optimization algorithms for machine learning, (iii) constrained optimization, (iv) stochastic optimization, (v) derivative-free optimization, and (vi) distributed optimization.