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Expert in analyzing, understanding complex systems joins faculty

Sourav Medya

Sourav Medya joins the computer science department as an assistant professor this fall. Medya’s research focuses on problems at the intersection of graphs, machine learning, and data science.

Graphs or networks are tools that capture the strength of relationships between entities and can model many complex systems such as traffic, social networks, and the web. Medya designs machine learning-based algorithms that help to analyze, understand, and optimize large-scale networked systems.

Medya is not new to the Chicago area, calling Northwestern University home for the past three years, first as a postdoctoral researcher hosted by Professor Brian Uzzi, then as a research assistant professor at the Kellogg School of Management and the Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems (NICO).

“I was at NICO working with a team including physicists, mathematicians, lawyers, and social scientists,” Medya said. “We worked to solve problems which mainly arise in interdisciplinary areas; we would think of ways we could apply machine learning and AI to enhance our understanding of real social systems and make them more efficient and fairer.”

He earned his PhD in computer science at the University of California at Santa Barbara, advised by Ambuj Singh. Before that, he received his bachelor’s of technology degree from the West Bengal University of Technology in Kolkata, India, and his master’s degree in computer science from the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, India.

Medya is excited to join UIC, noting its warm, friendly environment, and the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues who are experts on a broad range of topics. He also appreciates that he will be at a large, public university with a diverse student body.

“There are many teachers and mentors who have contributed to my life,” Medya said. “I’m really excited about mentoring as well as teaching and I like to have a similar impact on my students.”

Medya will teach CS 418, Introduction to Data Science, this fall. In spring, he will teach CS 594, a Special Topics course on machine learning for graphs.