Amulya Yadav honored with PNC Career Development Professorship

Jordan Ford
October 19, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.  Amulya Yadav, assistant professor at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology, has been awarded the college’s PNC Technologies Career Development ProfessorshipThe endowed position helps to attract and retain outstanding faculty who can make significant contributions to the college, Penn State and the world through their research and interactions with students. 

It is an unbelievable honor for me to receive this endowed position,” said Yadav. “I am very grateful for the amazing support I have received from everyone at IST and Penn State since I arrived on campus. This would not have been possible without the excellent help and mentoring that I have received along the way.”

The two-year appointment recognizes faculty members who are early in their careers with discretionary funding that can be used to support research, instruction, educational activities and associated travel. Yadav plans to use the funds to bootstrap several new projects, including using artificial intelligence to tackle the desert locust crisis in East Africa and designing optimal COVID-19 testing policies for developing countries.

Joining the College of IST in 2018, Yadav’s research primarily explores how foundational research in artificial intelligence and machine learning can be used to improve the quality of life for marginalized and underserved communities around the world. His work is motivated by the grand challenges of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare and the UN Sustainable Development agenda.

“Amulya’s work in the area of AI for social good demonstrates his tremendous potential to contribute significantly to the field and the betterment of society,” said Andrew Sears, dean of IST. “I am excited to see him recognized with this professorship and look forward to the impact his research will have on this area of critical importance to our college and the world.”

In recent years, Yadav’s research has explored how these technologies can help mitigate the prevalence of sexually transmitted infections among homeless young adults; address the substance abuse crisis among homeless youth; spread local news about government injustices among low-literacy farmers in ChattisgarhIndia; improve the effectiveness of randomized patrolling strategies for wildlife park rangers to prevent poaching; improve inspection process for leather tanneries in Kanpur, India, to prevent over-pollution; predict the prices of agricultural produce for Indian farmers; and develop personalized intelligent tutoring systems to support students with autism as they learn mathematics. 

A lot of AI research has focused on improving the quality of life of people who live in urban centers in developed Western countries. On the other hand, the needs and problems of marginalized and underserved communities around the world have been neglected for a long time,” said Yadav. My research tries to ensure that the benefits of the AI revolution can benefit the quality of life for these low-resource communities, as well.

Yadav earned his doctorate in computer science from the University of Southern California, where he holds an affiliate faculty appointment at the Center for Artificial Intelligence. He has been recognized with various professional awards and engagements, including his participation on the AI for Social Good panel at the VAIBHAV Summit in October, a global summit of Indian scientists and academics organized by the Government of India.

 

Last Updated October 19, 2020