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Session: How do I become a leader in my field? How do I become a leader in my field? Deb Agarwal, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Carla Gomes, Cornell.

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Presentation on theme: "Session: How do I become a leader in my field? How do I become a leader in my field? Deb Agarwal, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Carla Gomes, Cornell."— Presentation transcript:

1 Session: How do I become a leader in my field? How do I become a leader in my field? Deb Agarwal, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Carla Gomes, Cornell University Irene Greif, IBM

2 Introduction I’m a professor of Computer Science at Cornell University Focus of my research: – Computational methods for large-scale constraint-based reasoning and optimization, considering deterministic and stochastic environments, in single and multi-player settings. I exploit connections between different research areas — in particular, artificial intelligence, operations research, complex adaptive systems, and the theory of algorithms. Joint appointments in Computer Science, Information Science, and Applied Economics and Management  Academic perspective, research university

3 A little more detail about my work

4 Boosting Combinatorial Search Through Randomization Goal Start Planning Scheduling 31 - 45: ACPOWER? 0 NUM-UNAV-RESS 1 UNAV-RES-MAP (DIV2 D24BUS-3 D24-2 D24-1) (ACPLOSS D24BUS-3 D24-2 ROME LABORATORY OUTAGE MANAGER (ROMAN) Parameters Load Run AC-POWER Status AC Power DIV1 DIV2 DIV3 DIV4 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 Layout Design Quasigroup Completion Mission Route Planning Air Tasking Order COMPUTATIONALLY HARD PROBLEMS WHY THEY ARE HARD EXPLOSIVE COMBINATORICS Planning is Hard Contingency Planning is VERY Hard 10! ~ 3.6 million PLANS No-Restarts Approach Logistics Planning108 mins.95 sec. (*) not found after 2 days EXPONENTIAL-TIME ALGORITHMS RUN TIME % INDIVIDUALITY RE-START EVERY 4 SECS. RUN TIME (LOG) NO RE-STARTS RATE OF FAILURE (LOG) Restarts Approach POWER LAW DECAY (FRACTAL DIMENSION) STANDARD EXPONENTIAL DECAY (E. G., NORMAL DIST.) SPEED-UPS OF SEVERAL ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE EXPLOITING HEAVY-TAILS THRU RANDOMIZED RE-STARTS POWER LAW DECAY Scheduling 16 ---(*)1.4 hrs Scheduling 18---(*)~22hrs Scheduling 14411 sec250 sec. Circuit synthesis 217 mins.---(*) Circuit synthesis 1165 sec.---(*) 10 228 PLANS EXPONENTIAL FUNCTION POLYNOMIAL FUNCTION RUN TIME DISCOVERY OF UNUSUAL DISTRIBUTIONS WITH HEAVY TAILS & INFINITE MEAN & VARIANCE RANDOMIZED RE-START STRATEGY SPEED-UPS OF SEVERAL ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE

5 Recently I’ve become deeply immersed in the establishment of a new research field concerning the Sustainability of Humanity and our Planet

6 6 Sustainability and Sustainable Development The 1987 UN report, “Our Common Future” (Brundtland Report):  Raised serious concerns about the State of the Planet.  Introduced the notion of sustainability and sustainable development: Sustainable Development: “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.” Gro Brundtland Norwegian Prime Minister Chair of WCED UN World Commission on Environment and Development,1987.

7 Computational Sustainability New interdisciplinary field that aims to apply techniques from computer science, and related fields (e.g., information science, operations research, applied mathematics, and statistics ) to help solve Sustainability challenges. 7 Sustinability and Sustainable Development encompasse balancing environmental, economic, and societal needs.

8 Institute for Computational Sustainability Data & Machine Learning Balancing Environmental & Socioeconomic Needs Conservation and Biodiversity Dynamical Models Constraint Reasoning & Optimization Resource Economics, Environmental Sciences & Engr. Renewable Energy Bowdoin Expeditions in Computing (CISE)

9 Some advice based on my experience…

10 Be Passionate about Your Research! Set your goals and standards high to do significant and solid work, GREAT work Be bold – have the courage to ask hard questions and pursue big ideas and visions! Become emotionally involved with your research and Be passionate about your research

11 Be driven and committed Work hard, very long hours! –Success is 90% perspiration and 10% inspiration! Solid work and steady commitment will get you surprisingly far! Persevere and go deeper into questions to create solid contribution Great work requires dedication, passion, hard work. Focus on an important problem/question obsess about it and get rid of other things and tasks…

12 Be Confident and Positive!!! Believe in yourself, believe that you can pursue important/hard problems. If you don’t believe in yourself, it’s almost sure that you will not succeed. Control your “natural” impulse of saying (women): I don’t know; I can’t do it… Challenge yourself - often I’ll say - I’ll do it and then I figure out how to do it … Look at the positive of things rather than the negative – make lemonade out of lemons –

13 Research Topics Follow the literature, know what is “hot” Relate your work to your community (communities) Generalize – Don’t work on very specific real world isolated problems - show that what you are doing is not just a very specific case – rather it solves a class of problems; you may have to abstract out some details of the problem: - often leads to more elegant solution procedures and methodologies - others can follow up on your work – science is cumulative ! -applies to more problems -Now and then you may have to shift what you are doing (5-7 years) because you tend to use up your ideas you have to change ; not a dramaticac shift, you will also bridge ideas from your past work, but a bit of change is good - you need to get new view points and courage to do that

14 Research Ability to deal with uncertainty with ambiguity – ability to tolerate not knowing what to do next… Balancing act: –Be confident, believe in your ideas and work so that you start projects and keep working on the hard questions –Be critical - so that you can question the results and develop different hypotheses … but not too critical that you never start or give up…be confident!

15 Collaborations and Networking Actively look for collaborations –very important way of getting different viewpoints, different approaches, and also disseminating your ideas! –sometimes challenging in your own department  your students, your postdocs, other departments, outside university –when deciding where to go (postdoc, sabbatical, new job etc) pick places where you have a chance to interact and collaborate with exciting people. –don’t be afraid to co-author papers with other researchers, more senior researchers in particular –Get involved in grant research projects and collaborations. Network –network and interact with research leaders and your peers (professional interactions not based on personal interactions); with people you expect great work from and also who expect great work from you Travel a lot, go to conferences, be on program committees, NSF panels, get involved in activities with your peers

16 “Selling ” your work Not good enough to do great work – everyone is too busy; unless they are exposed to your good work and ideas they don’t learn about it…once they know about it, then the quality of your work will speak for itself….  Papers --- write clearly and well so that –people enjoy reading about your work and get excited about it; –people learn what you are doing and know how to replicate it, extend it, adapt or modify it. –PUBLISH,PUBLISH, PUBLISH or PARISH  Learn how to give talks –Formal talks –Informal talks  Don’t turn down talk opportunities  Web page – make everything available - papers, open source!!!

17 Papers Should you try publishing a few "seminal" papers or publish more frequently? Both. Definitely aim for seminal (e.g. "best") papers but also publish follow-up results, related work etc. There are so many publication outlets, you need to be at a good fraction of them to reach enough people. Also, remember, when it comes to tenure, there is a famous saying: "Our dean can't read but he [or she I have to add] can count! :-)

18 Technical Talks A heavy-duty technical talk will lose the audience! More productive: –Start with a good motivation and high level picture - also show how what you are doing is not just an isolated problem; relate your work to your community (or communities) –Go into some technical detail –Go back to the big picture summarizing the key ideas and outlining future directions

19 After graduate school Spend time at a research lab before going to a university. Great time – to focus solely on research – to forge new collaborations University –Teaching and advising will take a good amount of research time –As you get more senior and get more known you end up on lots of committees and it gets harder to do research work and even work on nice small problems – in particular, challenging for women in Computer Science since there are so few!!! –Potential mistake – too much time on committees, teaching, advising - balancing act!!!!

20 Final thoughts Serendipity: make your own luck, create opportunities: chance favors the prepared mind aim high, do great work, work hard, work hard, work hard, network, collaborate, talk to people from different fields, read a lot, write pleasant technical papers (also good to write general audience science papers) and give great talks – formal and informal - think big, be confident but with a critical mind….

21 R. Hamming and J. F. Kaiser. You and Your Research. Transcription of the Bell Communications Research Colloquium Seminar Emily Toth. Ms. Mentor's Impeccable Advice for Women in Academia

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