Q&A – Meet Eldan Cohen, MIE’s newest Assistant Professor in Industrial Engineering

Eldan Cohen joins MIE as an Assistant Professor after completing a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Toronto. Previously, he obtained his PhD in the Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering at the University of Toronto and has interned at the Fujitsu Laboratories of America and the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence. His research interests include machine learning, heuristic search, and scalable data mining with applications in automated planning, natural language processing, and software engineering.

 What drew you to MIE at U of T?

There are a few things that drew me to MIE; the world-renowned research, the excellent graduate programs, and the friendly and collaborative environment. The research in applied machine learning that takes place at MIE and the active AI community in Toronto mean there are many opportunities to work and collaborate on innovative AI projects. As a graduate of MIE myself, I know that MIE is a great place to study and conduct research and I look forward to working with the students, faculty, and staff.

Can you tell us about your research?

Artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms play an increasingly important role in our lives, however much is still unknown about the behavior and limitations of these algorithms. My research attempts to gain a deeper understanding of AI and machine learning algorithms by developing models that describe their empirical performance and identify scenarios in which these algorithms may not perform well. Based on these models, we can design more robust algorithms.  In particular, I am interested in studying AI algorithms for solving complex problems with a large number of interacting decisions and have worked on different applications, including automated planning, natural language processing, and software engineering.

What are your goals, as both an educator and a researcher, over the next few years?

As an educator, my goal is to provide students with knowledge and practical skills they need to help them solve real-world problems. As a researcher, my goal is to gain a deeper understanding of widely used AI and machine learning algorithms and to develop more robust and interpretable algorithms.

Do you have any unique hobbies?

Not unique, but during the recent period of working from home I have found baking to be a fun and rewarding hobby.

What is your favourite part about living in Toronto?

I love living in Toronto because it is such a friendly and diverse city. My favorite part of living in Toronto is that there is always something to do, and there is a huge variety of options for food, culture, entertainment, etc.

-Published April 1, 2021 by Lynsey Mellon, lynsey@mie.utoronto.ca

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