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ECE professor joins new Chicago-based data science institute

Professor Natasha Devroye is a co-principal investigator of a multidisciplinary team that is part of a new data science institute, funded by a $10 million grant from the National Science Foundation.

The Institute for Data, Econometrics, Algorithms, and Learning (IDEAL) is a multi-partner and transdisciplinary institute. IDEAL is led by the University of Illinois Chicago, in collaboration with Northwestern University; Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago; the University of Chicago; and Illinois Institute of Technology, and in partnership with the Learning Theory team at Google.

More than 60 researchers will be working on key aspects of the foundations of data science across computer science, electrical engineering, mathematics, statistics, and other fields such as economics, operations research, and law.

According to IDEAL, research will center around the foundations of machine learning, high-dimensional data analysis and inference, and data science and society. Topics include foundations of deep learning, reinforcement learning, machine learning and logic, network inference, high-dimensional data analysis, trustworthiness and reliability, fairness, and data science with strategic agents.

Devroye, along with the other co-PIs are involved in many aspects of the center,  including their roles on the executive committee, institute outreach, teaching courses open to all graduate students across the involved universities, and inter-institution research working groups on interdisciplinary topics.

IDEAL aims to broaden participation in data science, help develop future workforce members and connect with the local community through lectures at high schools, exhibits at the Museum of Science and Industry, and teacher workshops. UIC students will have access to research assistantships, postdoctoral fellowships, courses, workshops, and seminars.

The UIC PI is Lev Reyzin, professor of mathematics, statistics and computer science and the other UIC co-PIs include Yichao Wu, the TransUnion Professor based in the department of mathematics, statistics and computer science; and Elena Zheleva, UIC assistant professor of computer science.