Yannis Paschalidis


Yannis Paschalidis does the type of data science research that ties into health, science, engineering, biology, and the list just keeps on going. His work reflects just how much data science is ingrained into virtually every field.

“I would say that from the methodological point of view, there is a link to all of this, developing new methods. Some of these methods have their basis in optimization, and optimization is one of my specialties,” Paschalidis says.

In addition to being the director of BU’s Rafik B. Hariri Institute for Computing and Computational Science & Engineering, he is also a founding professor of the Faculty of Computing & Data Sciences and professor of engineering.

Paschalidis’ knack for optimization has led to developing algorithms that will allow the next generation of autonomous systems to be able to operate in an unstructured environment. Instead of a self-driving car, for example, learning to ride on the highway, it can be taught to navigate open terrain where it might encounter surprising obstacles.

Paschalidis also works with sustainability in energy companies to more efficiently have demand meet supply rather than vice versa. And his work in healthcare leverages large amounts of data so that physicians can make better decisions and predictions about patients and devise their daily treatment plans. And then there are also computational biology questions Paschalidis wants to answer about protein interactions and cell structures.

If there is one tie that runs through all of his various efforts with data, it’s the reward he receives from it.

“I think from a motivational point of view, doing work in healthcare, doing work in biology, is obviously extremely motivating because you can save lives. Not at the level that the physician would do, but at the level that designing and developing systems would help physicians save lives,” Paschalidis says.

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