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Skiena Named Director of Stony Brook Institute for AI-Driven Discovery and Innovation

Skiena steven

Skiena Named Director of Stony Brook Institute for AI-Driven Discovery and Innovation

Skiena Steven
Steven Skiena, PhD, Distinguished Professor

STONY BROOK, NY, June 20, 2018 —
Steven Skiena, PhD, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Computer Science, has been named Director of the newly formed Institute for AI-Driven Discovery and Innovation in the College of Engineering and Applied Science at Stony Brook University.

“The advent of AI is ushering in a new era in the history of humanity. Its consequences can be so vast and far reaching that are hard to even imagine today,” said Fotis Sotiropoulos, Dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. “Stony Brook is well positioned to lead both in advancing AI-centric research and economic development as well as in educating the engineering workforce for the era of intelligent machines. I am really pleased that a computer scientist of the caliber of Professor Skiena will spearhead our efforts in this area. ”

Skiena, a former Fulbright Scholar, joined the Stony Brook faculty in 1988. His research interests include data science, natural language processing and sentiment analysis, algorithms, and computational biology. Skiena is the author of more than 150 technical papers and six books, including his popular text The Algorithm Design Manual, which is widely used within the tech industry for job interview preparation.

The Institute will serve as a hub for the AI research effort at Stony Brook University centered around the overarching vision of Human-Machine Symbiosis, based on the idea that AI technology should amplify human intelligence instead of replacing it. For example, by leveraging their respective strengths to compensate each other’s weaknesses, the human-machine partnership becomes mutually beneficial and far more potent at problem solving than what either can do in isolation.

With funding from the SUNY Empire Innovation Program, the State of New York and private fundraising efforts, the Institute will focus on four grand challenges (health care, infrastructure, education, and finance) and five foundational research areas (automated and scalable knowledge acquisition, predictive intelligence, explainable AI, trustworthy AI, and ethical AI).

In addition to funded research, the Institute will develop and facilitate new educational programs aimed at fueling the workforce for the AI-driven economy of the future. Programs will range from core technical programs to science communication, technology policy and entrepreneurship programs. The Institute will also stimulate the regional and national economy by providing industry and entrepreneurs with advanced technology training and highly skilled graduates.

“Recent advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning are dramatically changing the notions of what computers can do,” said Skiena. “I see the Institute as a way to advance research and education in these areas at Stony Brook in Computer Science, Engineering, Medicine, and throughout the University.”

For additional news about the new Institute, see this story: Alumni Support and Expertise Boosts New Institute for AI-Driven Discovery and Innovation.

About Stony Brook University


Stony Brook University is going beyond the expectations of what today’s public universities can accomplish. Since its founding in 1957, this young university has grown to become a flagship as one of only four University Center campuses in the State University of New York (SUNY) system with more than 26,000 students and 2,600 faculty members, and 18 NCAA Division I athletic programs. Our faculty have earned numerous prestigious awards, including the Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Prize, Indianapolis Prize for animal conservation, Abel Prize and the inaugural Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics. The University offers students an elite education with an outstanding return on investment: U.S. News & World Report ranks Stony Brook among the top 50 public universities in the nation. Its membership in the Association of American Universities (AAU) places Stony Brook among the top 62 research institutions in North America. As part of the management team of Brookhaven National Laboratory, the University joins a prestigious group of universities that have a role in running federal R&D labs. Stony Brook University is a driving force in the region’s economy, generating nearly 60,000 jobs and an annual economic impact of more than $4.6 billion. Our state, country and world demand ambitious ideas, imaginative solutions and exceptional leadership to forge a better future for all. The students, alumni, researchers and faculty of Stony Brook University are prepared to meet this challenge.

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