Focused Research Programs


The mission of the Hariri Institute’s Focused Research Programs (FRPs) is to evolve and advance Boston University’s research in computing and data science around areas of strategic importance and emerging opportunity. The programs are designed to facilitate research convergence by providing ‘scaffolding’ for groups to coalesce in sustainable ways, with the goal of accelerating research for future funding and broader impact.

News & Updates


AI for Understanding Earthquakes FRP
This FRP aims to apply apply artificial intelligence (AI) to improve our understanding of earthquakes, including exploring optimal deep learning architectures for seismic data; investigating use of video-surveillance infrastructure as an alternative to costly Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) systems; and employing machine learning to advance our understanding of earthquakes. Sponsor: Hariri Institute for Computing. Learn more.


Privacy Preserving Energy Analytics for Data Centers FRP
This FRP aims to demonstrate, for the first time, that large-scale computer systems will achieve cost reduction and energy efficiency improvements via a novel privacy-preserving, collaborative, and scalable analytics and optimization framework. Sponsors: Hariri Institute for Computing and the Center for Reliable Information Systems & Cyber Security (RISCS). Learn more.


From Self-Driving Labs to Community-Driven Labs FRP
This FRP aims to develop the digital infrastructure and basic science to transform Self-Driving Labs (SDLs) into community-driven laboratories. Sponsor: Hariri Institute for Computing. Learn more.




Enhancing Models for Breast Cancer Risk Prediction and Bias Mitigation through Clinician AI Collaboration FRP
This FRP aims to identify the hidden sources of biological and demographic biases of artificial intelligence (AI) in breast cancer risk prediction based on mammography images. Co-Sponsors: School of Public Health Population Health Data Science Program, the Clinical and Translational Science Institute, the Evans Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research, and the Digital Health Initiative at the Hariri Institute for Computing. Learn more.


Multimodal Transformer Architectures for Neuropathology Study of Alzheimer’s Disease FRP
This FRP aims to improve premortem diagnosis of neuropathologic processes underlying cognitive impairment (mild cognitive impairment and dementia) utilizing a machine learning approach. Co-Sponsors: School of Public Health Population Health Data Science Program, the Clinical and Translational Science Institute, the Evans Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research, and the Digital Health Initiative at the Hariri Institute for Computing. Learn more.

    FY24 FRPs

    Novel data science and AI approaches for Brain Health and Brain Disease FRP
    Digital Health Initiative (DHI) Special Track: This FRP brings together clinicians, neuroscientists, engineers, biostatisticians, and computer and data scientists with the objective of connecting methodologies with scientific questions related to detecting, preventing and treating brain disease. This FRP is cosponsored by the Hariri Institute, the School of Public Health and the Clinical & Translational Science Institute (CTSI).  Learn more.


    First Trip to Mars: How to Pack Light FRP
    Designed to support NASA’s plans to land humans on Mars in the 2030s, this FRP aims to produce novel software based on data from Mars orbiters and rovers to model the ionosphere, its impact on navigation systems, and engineer microbial communities capable of C sequestration and nutrients production. Learn more.


    Health Equity in the Wake of Continued Climate Change: Leveraging Big Data to Inform Action FRP
    The goal of this FRP is to provide the BU climate and health research community access to shared resources to accelerate research, innovation, and translation in this area. This FRP is jointly funded by the Hariri Institute and the Institute of Global Sustainability (IGS)Learn more.


    Optimal Bio-Inspired Design of Holistic Rehabilitation Systems FRP
    This FRP focuses on developing theory-informed principles embedded into a lightweight and adaptable system to realize efficient, safe, and intuitive wearable robots for broad mobility assistance across users, tasks, environmental conditions, and disabilities. Learn more.



    FY23 FRPs

    The Teaching Machines Human-Like Intelligence FRP creates convergence around foundational research in artificial intelligence (AI) at BU. Learn more here. 



    The Quantum Convergence FRP launches broad conversations and collaborations across BU around quantum science and engineering. Learn more here.





    The Data and Misinformation in an Era of Sustainability and Climate Change Crises FRP aims to understand the nature, origins, spread, impacts, and possibilities of disarming disinformation about the climate issue in an effort to address the climate crisis. Learn more about this joint FRP with the Institute for Global Sustainability on their website.




    The Predicting and Preventing Epidemic to Pandemic Transitions FRP, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), aims to develop a comprehensive strategy and the required science base for predicting and preventing future pandemics. Learn more here.




    FY22 FRPs

    The Simulation Modeling for Population Health FRP addresses the key challenges in applying simulation modeling to population health. Learn more here.




    The Continuous Analysis of Mobile Health Data among Medically Vulnerable Populations FRP leverages mobile health data to develop medical models. Learn more here.



    FY21 FRPs

    The Machine Learning for Chemistry and Materials Science FRP seeks to advance the design and synthesis of small molecules and materials through machine learning. Learn more here.




    The Leveraging AI to Examine Disparities and Bias in Health Care FRP explores the application of machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) in health care. Learn more here.




    Are you a BU faculty member with an idea for a future FRP? Learn more about the application process by clicking here.