Carla P. Gomes

Challenges for AI in Computational Sustainability

Computational sustainability is a new interdisciplinary research field with the overarching goal of developing computational models, methods, and tools to help manage the balance between environmental, economic, and societal needs for a sustainable future. I will provide examples of computational sustainability problems, ranging from wildlife conservation and biodiversity, to poverty mitigation, to materials discovery for renewable energy materials. I will also highlight cross-cutting computational themes and challenges for AI at the intersection of constraint reasoning, optimization, machine learning, citizen science, and crowd-sourcing. Finally I will discuss the need for a new approach that views computational sustainability problems as “natural” phenomena, amenable to a scientific methodology, in which principled experimentation, to explore problem parameter spaces and hidden problem structure, plays as prominent a role as formal analysis.

Short Bio: Carla Gomes is a Professor of Computer Science at Cornell University. Gomes obtained a Ph.D. in computer science in the area of artificial intelligence and operations research from the University of Edinburgh. Her research area is Artificial Intelligence, with a focus on large-scale automated reasoning, constraint reasoning, optimization, and machine learning. More recently, Gomes has become deeply immersed in research in the new field of Computational Sustainability. From 2007-2013 Gomes led an NSF Expeditions-in-Computing in Computational Sustainability. Gomes and collaborators have successfully pioneered and nucleated the new field of Computational Sustainability. Gomes is currently the lead PI of a new NSF Expeditions-in-Computing that established CompSustNet, a large-scale national and international research network, to further expand the field and Computational Sustainability. Gomes is a Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) and a Fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).


Peter W.J. Staar


Talk: TBA