Today, the National Science Foundation announced the award of $20M to Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Southern California over five years to establish the National Artificial Intelligence (AI) Institute for Advances in Optimization. The AI Institute for Advances in Optimization aims to deliver a paradigm shift in automated decision-making at massive scales by fusing AI and mathematical optimization, to achieve breakthroughs that neither field can achieve independently.
“UC Berkeley is a leader in AI, machine learning, and optimization. We are delighted to join forces with interdisciplinary research teams at Georgia Tech and USC to advance AI and optimization technologies to address grand challenges in highly constrained settings such as logistics and supply chains, energy and sustainability, and circuit design and control,” says Alper Atamturk, professor of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research and the campus lead for the new Institute. “The frequent power outages in response to wildfires in the Western United States highlighted the importance of resilient distribution of energy. We saw the challenges in supply chains early in the pandemic when PPEs and medical equipment could not be delivered to hospitals. By unifying data-driven and model-driven approaches at the core of AI and Operations Research, the Institute will help deliver the next generation of control and optimization algorithms for operating electricity grids with distributed renewable generation, and for designing and operating efficient and resilient supply chains.”
To transform decision-making at massive scales, the Institute will move beyond optimized solutions to intelligent agents that can predict and quantify uncertainty, reason and optimize, learn continuously, and coordinate and collaborate. The Institute’s methodology thrusts include a new generation of optimization solvers that learn to optimize, end-to-end learning and optimization to tightly integrate forecasting and decision-making, and novel machine-learning methods based on combinatorial optimization.
A key element of the Institute is a partnership with historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in Georgia and Hispanic-serving community colleges in California to build longitudinal education and workforce development programs. The institute will support the development of new AI education and research programs in these colleges and universities, addressing the widening gap in job opportunities in technology fields.
The Berkeley team of researchers of the Institute includes professors Pieter Abbeel (EECS & IEOR), Alper Atamturk (IEOR), Laurent El Ghaoui (EECS & IEOR), Paul Grigas (IEOR), Dorit Hochbaum (IEOR), Borivoje Nikolic (EECS), Barna Saha (IEOR), Max Shen (IEOR), Raluca Scarlat (NE), Vladimir Stojanovic (EECS). In addition to Georgia Tech and USC, the Institute brings together partners from Clark Atlanta University, Spelman College, and the University of Texas at Arlington as well. We also want to acknowledge the ERSO Research Administration team who worked on this proposal effort. Way to go!
To learn more about the AI Institute for Advances in Optimization, visit AI4OPT.org.