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.

VAN HAI BUI

Van Hai Bui

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Dr. Bui’s research focuses on the operation and control of power and energy systems. We develop energy management systems aimed at optimizing the entire system’s operation to minimize operation costs, enhance system reliability, and improve system resiliency in both normal and emergency operation modes. Recently, the high penetration of distributed energy resources (DERs), including photovoltaics, wind turbines, and controllable distributed generators, in modern power systems has introduced numerous sources of uncertainty, making the operation and control of power systems significantly challenging. Conventional optimization methods often struggle to handle the high uncertainty of DER outputs. With the rapid development of AI/ML algorithms and their wide applications in the engineering domain, these techniques offer potential solutions for operating and controlling power systems. Our research group also investigates the state-of-the-art models in ML, such as deep learning, deep reinforcement learning, and physics-informed graph neural networks, and their applications in power and energy systems.

Peter Reich

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Reich conducts global change research on plants, soils, ecosystems and people across a range of scales. His work links fundamental physiology with community dynamics and ecosystem structure and function, from the patch to the globe, within the context of the myriad of global environmental challenges that face us. This includes studying the effects on natural and human ecosystems of rising CO2 and associated climate change, biodiversity loss, and wildfire. This research involves a variety of tools and approaches (long-term experiments, observations, global data compilations, statistical and simulation models), a diverse set of ecosystems (boreal forest, temperate grassland, and more), and a range of scales (local, regional, global). The overarching goal is to understand what we humans are doing to nature in order to help orchestrate a shift towards a nature-forward prioritization that will in turn support and sustain human society.

I studied physics and creative writing and became interested in the fate of our environment; over time I began using tools from each focal area to advance ecological science in a changing world

Christian Sandvig

Christian Sandvig

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I am a researcher specializing in discovering the consequences of computer systems that curate and organize culture. A major theme of my research investigates accountability mechanisms for machine learning and artificial intelligence. My research group coined the phrase “algorithmic auditing” in a 2014 paper; this was subsequently made suggested reading for submissions to the first ACM FAccT (Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency) Conferences. My work on algorithms and accountability was recommended by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy in 2016 as one of five research strategies essential to the future of big data technologies in the US. I was the named plaintiff of a multi-year lawsuit against the federal government on behalf of computing researchers and journalists; this lawsuit changed the legal definition of “hacking” in the United States in 2022. I have also published research about social media, wireless systems, broadband Internet, online video, domain names, and Internet policy. My group blog about social media platforms was named one of the “Must-Follow Feeds” in science by Wired magazine.

A researcher tests a counterfeit, unauthorized copy of allegedly privacy-protecting fabric stolen from Adam Harvey's HyperFace design.

A researcher tests a counterfeit, unauthorized copy of allegedly privacy-protecting fabric stolen from Adam Harvey’s HyperFace design.


Accomplishments and Awards

Derek Van Berkel

Derek Van Berkel

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Dr. Van Berkel is an assistant professor at The University of Michigan, School for Environment and Sustainability. His research focuses on understanding land change at diverse scales; the physical and psychological benefit of exposure to natural environments; and how digital visualization of data can add new place-based knowledge in science and community decision-making. He has expertise in spatial statistics, data science, big data, and machine learning. Van Berkel is currently a Co-PI on an NSF grant examining how online webtools can enable the public to co-create landscape designs for novel solutions to climate-change adaptation and mitigation in urban areas. He is also part of the NOAA funded GLISA project developing land change models to support knowledge discovery in municipalities throughout the Great Lake States. His work in AI focuses on deciphering complex sentiment from multimodal content, such as understanding image content and analyzing captions and tags posted by users, at scale. This research aims to provide objective measures of behavior and attitude for modeling diverse values and benefits of nature globally.


Accomplishments and Awards


Research Highlights

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.

Terra Sztain

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The Sztain research group is broadly focused on computer-aided molecular design, intersecting fields of chemistry, physics, biology, and computer science. Ongoing projects involve integrating experimental data and enhanced sampling molecular dynamics simulations to improve computational models for allosteric inhibitor design and protein engineering.

Joelle Abramowitz

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Dr. Joelle Abramowitz’s research examines the effects of different policies on individuals’ major life decisions and wellbeing including on health insurance and medical out-of-pocket expenditures as well as bigger picture effects on outcomes such as marriage, fertility, and work. She has worked intimately with a variety of datasets containing health insurance, demographic, employer, and administrative information, developing an expertise in the benefits, shortcomings, and intricacies of using and linking alternate datasets as well as a familiarity with the relevant literature, analytical approaches, and policy history in this line of research. In ongoing work, she applies this experience to enhancing Health and Retirement Study data through linkage with Census Bureau data on employers as part of the CenHRS project. This work includes considering how employer-sponsored health insurance offerings are changing in response to an aging workforce as well as changes in the employment arrangements of individuals nearing retirement. To this end, she considers how such changes affect a range of health- and economic-related outcomes, including physical and emotional wellbeing as well as economic security in retirement.

Dani Jones

Dani Jones

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Dani Jones’ research program drives CIGLR’s portfolio of research in data science, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, as applied to physical limnology, weather forecasting, water cycle predictions, ecology, and observing system design. This research program aims is to advance societal adaptations to the effects of climate change, including flooding of coasts, rivers, and cities. Dani’s background is in physical oceanography, with specific expertise in adjoint modeling for comprehensive sensitivity analysis and unsupervised classification for data analysis, mostly applied to the North Atlantic and Southern Ocean. In Dani’s current role, they are establishing CIGLR’s new Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, leveraging the institute’s extensive observing assets, datasets, modeling capacity, interdisciplinary expertise, and numerous regional and international partnerships.

Alauddin Ahmed

Alauddin Ahmed

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My core research expertise involves developing and employing a wide array of computational methods to discover, design, and characterize materials and systems that address critical challenges in energy and the environment. These methods span from stochastic techniques to molecular dynamics, density functional theory, quantum chemistry, and data science. Beyond contributing fundamental design principles for high-performing materials, my research has led to the discovery of record-breaking materials for hydrogen storage, natural gas storage, and thermal energy storage, alongside creating open-access databases, machine learning models, and Python APIs.

In data science, I have uniquely contributed to feature engineering, compressed sensing, classical machine learning algorithms, symbolic regression, and interpretable ML. My approach to feature engineering involves crafting or identifying a concise set of meaningful features for developing interpretable machine learning models, diverging from traditional data reduction techniques that often disregard the underlying physics. Moreover, I have enabled the use of compressed sensing-based algorithms for developing symbolic regressions for large datasets, utilizing statistical sampling and high-throughput computing. I’ve also integrated symbolic regression and constrained optimization methods for the inverse design of materials/systems to meet specific performance metrics, and I continue to merge machine learning with fundamental physical laws to demystify material stability and instability under industrial conditions.

Looking forward, my ongoing and future projects include employing machine learning for causal inference in healthcare to understand and predict outcomes and integrating AI to conduct comprehensive environmental and social impact analyses of materials/systems via life cycle analysis. Furthermore, I am exploring quantum computing and machine learning to drive innovation and transform vehicle energy systems and manufacturing processes.

 


Accomplishments and Awards