Lisha Chen and Burak Varici were selected to receive the School of Engineering Belsky Award for Computational Sciences and Engineering. The award was named in the memory of Dr. Vladimir Belsky, who came to Rensselaer from Russia in the 1990’s and performed research in computational mechanics as a Postdoctoral Fellow for three years. Four awards are given to graduate students in the School of Engineering to support their research activities.
Lisha Chen is a Ph.D. student in the Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering Department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She obtained her Bachelor of Engineering from Huazhong University of Science and Technology. Her research addresses the pressing need of learning under limited data supervision. Her recent interest is in the theory and algorithm of bilevel machine learning, and their applications to meta learning and federated learning.
Burak Varici is a 4th year PhD student at Department of Electrical, Computer and Systems Engineering (ECSE), working with Prof. Ali Tajer. He is also a 2020 IBM AI Horizons Scholar and collaborates with IBM researchers on his projects. His research is broadly on causal inference from graphical models. More specifically, Varici aims to develop scalable methods to learn from a combination of high-dimensional observational and interventional (i.e., experimental) datasets. Recently, he is working on the sequential design of interventions in causal graphs.
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