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Jennifer Chayes from Microsoft Research to Keynote ISC 2017

Prof. Dr. Jennifer Tour Chayes is Distinguished Scientist and Managing Director of Microsoft Research New England in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which she co-founded in 2008, and Microsoft Research New York City, which she co-founded in 2012.

Today ISC 2017 announced that data scientist Prof. Dr. Jennifer Tour Chayes from Microsoft Research will give the opening keynote at the conference. Her talk will be entitled “Network Science: From the Massive Online Networks to Cancer Genomics.”

Everywhere we turn these days, we find massive data sets that are appropriately described as networks. In the high tech world, we see the Internet, the World Wide Web, mobile phone networks, a variety of online social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn, and massive online networks of users and products like Netflix and Amazon. In economics, we are increasingly experiencing both the positive and negative effects of a global networked economy. In epidemiology, we find disease spreading over our ever growing social networks, complicated by mutation of the disease agents. In biomedical research, we are beginning to understand the structure of gene regulatory networks, with the prospect of using this understanding to manage many human diseases.”

Chayes is one of the inventors of the field of graphons, which are graph functions now widely used for machine learning of massive networks. She will briefly introduce some of the models she and her collaborator are using to describe these networks, the processes they are studying on the networks, the algorithms they have devised for the networks, and finally, methods to indirectly infer latent network structure from measured data as well as some of the processes, methods and algorithms they are using to derive insights from those networks.

“I’ll discuss in some detail two particular applications: the very efficient machine learning algorithms for doing collaborative filtering on massive sparse networks of users and products, like the Netflix network; and the inference algorithms on cancer genomic data to suggest possible drug targets for certain kinds of cancer,” explains Chayes.

Jennifer Chayes joined Microsoft Research in 1997, when she co-founded the Theory Group. She is the co-author of over 135 scientific papers and the co-inventor of more than 30 patents. Her research areas include phase transitions in discrete mathematics and computer science, structural and dynamical properties of self-engineered networks, graph theory, graph algorithms, algorithmic game theory, and computational biology.

Chayes holds a BA in biology and physics from Wesleyan University, where she graduated first in her class, and a PhD in mathematical physics from Princeton. She did postdoctoral work in the Mathematics and Physics Departments at Harvard and Cornell. She is the recipient of the NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship, the Sloan Fellowship, the UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award, and the ABI Women of Leadership Vision Award. She has twice been a member of the IAS in Princeton. Chayes is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Fields Institute, the Association for Computing Machinery, and the American Mathematical Society, and an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is the winner of the 2015 John von Neumann Award, the highest honor of the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics. In 2016, Chayes received an Honorary Doctorate from Leiden University.

In related news, registration for ISC 2017 will open March 1. The conference takes place June 18-22 in Frankfurt, Germany.

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