Posted in Center News: Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Yuan (Alan) Qi has won the National Science Foundation's most prestigious honor for outstanding young researchers in 2011. The NSF issues about 400 Faculty Early Career Development awards annually.
Qi, a Purdue University assistant professor of computer science, will use his grant to develop new computational tools to search for and extract information and relationships from complex data sets pulled from multiple sources. Many of the most useful datasets have multiple interrelated aspects or dimensions to explore, just as emails can be evaluated by subject, sender, content, date or different combinations of these categories. As the complexity increases and multiple data sources are pulled together, extracting useful knowledge and identifying meaningful relationships within the data becomes more challenging. Qi will use computer science and statistics to build models and algorithms that quickly process and analyze massive amounts of data, incorporate prior knowledge from existing sources, and identify the most critical and useful relationships. He is focusing on data that will be used to study molecular interaction networks, brain connectivity maps and people's social networks. As part of this work, he will collaborate with domain experts to model online user behavior, neurologists to elucidate brain functions and pharmaceutical researchers to identify key biomarkers for drug discovery.