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Critical advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence have been accelerated by experts in the College of Engineering. With the launch of a new impact area in Machine Learning and Optimization, Rob Nowak, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, led its development into a nationally recognized Center of Excellence. This center, known as the Machines, Algorithms and Data Lab (MADLab), studies techniques that will ultimately lead to new capabilities aimed at addressing critical societal challenges.

Faculty working in this area collaborate across the College of Engineering on research projects, university and government exchanges, and events including hack-a-thons and seminars. With funding from the Air Force Office of Sponsored Research and the Air Force Research Laboratory, machine learning experts can work together to innovate new technologies. This collaboration maximizes Air Force engagement with UW-Madison and advances crucial research in this area. Further, the growth of his impact area supported the development of wider campus initiatives, like the Data Science Institute and the new School of Computer, Data and Information Science.

Headshot of Rob Nowak, Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Rob Nowak, Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Supporting MADLab researchers through investment in infrastructure, recruitment of top faculty, and hosting research workshops and events has been a key component of advancing this important work. Today, five experts in this growing field have been recruited to the College of Engineering under Grainger Institute for Engineering (GIE) cluster hiring initiatives. Industrial consortia continue to grow every year, providing industry with the ability to be part of cutting-edge developments that solve global challenges. Today, MADLab has grown significantly with more students, more events and increased attention and support from industry. GIE is proud to have incubated this important area of research.

Author: Rhiannon McCarthy