Cornell NSF

Siddhartha Banerjee was among six assistant professors at Cornell to receive an NSF CAREER award, the university announced March 5. (cornell.edu photo)

Cornell University March 5 announced that six of its assistant professors, including Indian Americans Siddhartha Banerjee and Jayadev Acharya, have been named recipients of the National Science Foundation Early Career Development Program, or CAREER, award.

Over the next five years, each researcher — including Christina Delimitrou, Nathan Kallus, Karola Meszaros and Inna Zakharevich — will receive up to $500,000 “to build a firm scientific footing for solving challenges and scaling new heights for the nation, as well as serve as academic role models in research and education,” according to the NSF website, the university said in a March 5 news release.

Banerjee is an assistant professor of operations research and information engineering.

Banerjee’s work revolves around understanding how data, machine learning and markets can be used to control ‘smart systems’ such as cloud platforms, transportation, smart grids and financial networks, according to the news release.

All these systems face similar challenges of making decisions with incomplete information and strategic agents. Banerjee's aim is to develop a theoretical framework for real-time decision-making, and create algorithms that make use of historical data, simulation models and market mechanisms, it said.

He will also test these algorithms in collaboration with industry partners in on-demand transportation, cloud computing and financial technology, as well as the local food bank, the report noted.

Banerjee is also a technical consultant at Lyft. He received his doctorate in 2013 from the ECE Department at the University of Texas at Austin. From 2013-2015 he was a postdoctoral researcher in the Social Algorithms Lab at Stanford.

Acharya, on whom India-West reported earlier (see India-West story here: https://bit.ly/2HjyLhj), is an electrical and computer engineering assistant professor. He will use his funds to shed light on poorly understood trade-offs in data science and machine learning.

Acharya joined Cornell in August 2016 as an assistant professor in the school of electrical and computer engineering, after spending two years as a postdoc at MIT. He obtained his doctorate from U.C. San Diego, and a bachelor’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.

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