Joint Appointments to Bring New Expertise in Machine Learning, Algorithm Design, and Network Design to the Epstein Department – USC Viterbi


3 professors are appointed to the ISE

Vishal Gupta, Mahdi Soltanolkotabi and Bistra Dilkina will take up joint appointments in Industrial and Systems Engineering at USC Viterbi.

The Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering has jointly appointed three senior USC faculty members, strengthening the department’s capacity in critical areas such as machine learning, algorithms and network design. The new appointments are Mahdi Soltanolkotabi from the Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Bistra Dilkina from the Department of Computer Science, and Vishal Gupta from the USC Marshall School of Business.

Soltanolkotabi is an Andrew and Erna Viterbi Early Career Chair and Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Science. His research focuses on the design and mathematical understanding of computationally efficient algorithms for optimization, high-dimensional statistics, machine learning, signal processing, and computational imaging.

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In 2014, Soltanolkotabi received his PhD in electrical engineering from Stanford University. From 2014-1015 he was a postdoctoral fellow in the EECS and Statistics departments at UC Berkeley.

“I look forward to working with my ISE colleagues. On the theoretical side, I look forward to future collaborations on optimization theory, including building new foundations in nonconvex and minimax environments emerging in modern deep learning,” said Soltanolkotabi. “I also look forward to exploring various new applications, including Transport, logistics and AI for society in which ISE colleagues have unique expertise.”

Dilkina is an associate professor of computer science at USC and co-director of the USC Center for AI in Society (CAIS), a joint venture between the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, with the goal of demonstrating How AI can be used to solve society’s toughest problems. Her work includes discrete optimization, network design, stochastic optimization and machine learning.

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In 2012, Dilkina earned her Ph.D. from Cornell University and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Computational Sustainability until 2013. From 2013 to 2017, Dilkina was an assistant professor in the College of Computing at Georgia Institute of Technology and co-director of the Data Science for Social Good Atlanta summer program.

Vishal Gupta is Associate Professor of Data Science and Operations, with a friendly appointment in Industrial Systems Engineering. It is an affiliated faculty at CAIS. Gupta was awarded the prestigious 2021 Wagner Prize by the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) for developing an AI system that helped enable effective COVID testing for visitors to Greece.

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Gupta received his BA in Mathematics and Philosophy from Yale University and then completed Part III of the Mathematics Tripos at the University of Cambridge. He earned his Ph.D. in Operations Research at MIT in 2014. Gupta’s research essentially focuses on the development of algorithms for decision-making under uncertainty.

“I look forward to collaborating with some of Viterbi’s AI researchers. I think there is a lot of related work being done across the board, and more conversation and collaboration will inspire great research. I’m particularly looking forward to some projects around climate change and urban planning,” Gupta said.

Published on 09/19/2022

Last updated September 19, 2022



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