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Lectio Magistralis "AI For Engineering: The Next Challenge" by Prof. Pascal Van Hentenryck

Lectio Magistralis for the 1st year of Artificial Intelligence Master's Programme

25 November 2019 from 09:30 to 11:30

Aula Magna, Viale del Risorgimento 2, Bologna

The newly launched International Master's Programme in Artificial Intelligence is marking the start of its first year on Monday, November 25th, with a Lectio Magistralis named “AI For Engineering: The Next Challenge”  by Prof. Pascal Van Hentenryck (School of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Georgia Tech.).


In the last decades, AI has transformed perception and, in particular, computer vision, natural language processing, and speech recognition, creating a new wave of applications that have captured the public imagination. This talk argues that AI will now transform every engineering discipline, tackling fundamental societal issues in energy, health-care, and transportation, to name only a few. These applications will raise new challenges, including the need to integrate perception, machine learning, optimization, and human behavior. The talk will review what AI has accomplished, the challenges ahead, and some directions to address them. Applications in energy, mobility, and health-care will illustrate the concepts.



Pascal Van Hentenryck is an A. Russell Chandler III Chair and Professor in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Georgia Tech. Prior to this appointment, he was a professor of Computer Science at Brown University for about 20 years, he led the optimization research group (about 70 people) at National ICT Australia (NICTA) (until its merger with CSIRO), and was the Seth Bonder Collegiate Professor of Engineering at the University of Michigan. Van Hentenryck is also an Honorary Professor at the Australian National University.

Van Hentenryck is a Fellow of AAAI (the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence) and INFORMS (the Institute for Operations Research and Management Science). He has been awarded two honorary doctoral degrees from the University of Louvain and the university of Nantes, the IFORS Distinguished Lecturer Award, the Philip J. Bray Award for teaching excellence in the physical sciences at Brown University, the ACP Award for Research Excellence in Constraint Programming, the ICS INFORMS Prize for Research Excellence at the Intersection of Computer Science and Operations Research, and an NSF National Young Investigator Award. He received a Test of Time Award (20 years) from the Association of Logic Programming and numerous best paper awards, including at IJCAI and AAAI. Van Hentenryck has given plenary/semi-plenary talks at the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (twice), the International Symposium on Mathematical Programming, the SIAM Optimization Conference, the Annual INFORMS Conference, NIPS, and many other conferences. Van Hentenryck is program co-chair of the AAAI’19 conference, a premier conference in Artificial Intelligence.

Van Hentenryck’s research focuses in Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, and Operations Research. His current focus is to develop methodologies, algorithms, and systems for addressing challenging problems in mobility, energy systems, resilience, and privacy. In the past, his research focused on optimization and the design and implementation of innovative optimization systems, including the CHIP programming system (a Cosytec product), the foundation of all modern constraint programming systems and the optimization programming language OPL (now an IBM Product). Van Hentenryck has also worked on computational biology, numerical analysis, and programming languages, publishing in premier journals in these areas.