Professor Beck Visits from UIUC

December 8, 2016

Carolyn Beck, Associate Professor in the Department of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, visited IDeA Labs and spoke in the Computer Science Colloquium. Carolyn, who received her Ph.D. from Caltech, her M.S. from Carnegie Mellon, and her B.S. from California State Polytechnic University, all in Electrical Engineering, also is the recipient of national research awards (NSF CAREER and ONR Young Investigator) and local teaching awards. She has been a visiting faculty at KTH in Stockholm (2013), Stanford University in California (2006) and Lund University in Lund, Sweden (1996), and her research is focused on the development of model reduction, clustering and aggregation methods,with applications in bioengineering and networks problems.

Her talk, entitled Clustering Dynamic Data,considered the problem of clustering data sets where the data points are dynamic, or essentially time-varying. The approach is to incorporate features of both the deterministic annealing algorithm as well as control theoretic methods in the computational solution. Extensions of the method can be made to the problem of aggregating time-varying graphs, for which she has developed a quantitative measure of dissimilarity that allows her to compare directed graphs of differing sizes. In this talk, an overview of her dynamic clustering algorithm was given, along with some analysis of the algorithm properties. She concluded with a few highlighted applications and potential extensions of the idea.