Industrial Keynote Speakers

Dr. Vijay Saraswat

Global Head of Artificial Intelligence R&D, Goldman Sachs.

Title (presentation slides):

Computer Science 2.0, and its impact on Finance


Software is eating the world. (2011)
AI is eating software. (2020)
In the last decade, deep learning has revolutionized AI and is now well on its way to changing the face of Computer Science, in arguably the most profound change since the advent of the stored program computer. Fundamentally, CS is moving from the study of well-specified, algorithmizable functions over crisp, discrete data to the study of non-linear functions over noisy, uncertain, high-dimensional manifolds. The functions are such that no human can write down their code — when was the last time you wrote out a program with 175 billion variables? Instead, humans can specify a program sketch (program with holes) in such a way that standard algorithms can operate on (input, output) information about the function and find values for the holes which yield an approximation of the desired function. Notably, these techniques can be made to work not just for the transformational view of computing (as outlined above) but also the reactive view, where the goal of the computation is to maintain an interaction with an environment (via reinforcement learning).
Through Computer Science, these ideas are now changing many other fields, from engineering, to medicine and health-care to financial services — an industry founded on the generation, dissemination, analysis of information, an ideal arena for AI/ML. We will illustrate with examples from the analysis of financial documents, and quantitative finance.


Vijay is the Global Head of Artificial Intelligence R&D at Goldman Sachs. He leads a team of researchers and engineers building knowledge extraction, representation and reasoning, and quantitative finance frameworks for the firm. He joined the firm in 2017 and was named managing director in 2019. Over his 30+ year research career, Vijay has been a member of the Research Staff at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, AT&T Research, and the IBM TJ Watson Research Center. He has also taught at many universities world-wide, including Penn State and Columbia U.
Vijay has published more than 100 papers, collaborating with more than 100 researchers, across logic, constraints, concurrency, programming languages and AI. He received the 1989 ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award, a (20 year retrospective) Best Paper award for his work on Concurrent Constraint Programming, and the (10 year retrospective) 2005 Most Influential OOPSLA Paper Award for his (team’s) work on the X10 programming language.

Hamsa Balakrishnan

Associate Department Head, Aeronautics and Astronautics,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Title (presentation slides):

Building a Smarter Air Transportation System: From Research to Practice


The modern air transportation system is a complex human-cyber-physical network that is critical to global travel and commerce. As the demand for air transport has grown, so have congestion, delays, and the resultant environmental impacts. With emerging types of demand, we need new control techniques, and perhaps even redesign of some parts of the system, in order to prevent cascading delays and excessive pollution.
In this talk, I will present examples of how we can develop control and optimization algorithms for air transportation systems that are grounded in real-world data, implement them, and test them in both simulations and in the field. These algorithms help us address several challenges, including resource allocation with multiple stakeholders, robustness in the presence of operational uncertainties, and developing decision-support tools that account for human decision-makers and their behavior.


Hamsa Balakrishnan is the William E. Leonhard (1940) Professor and the Associate Department Head of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She received her PhD from Stanford University, and a B.Tech. from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras. Her research is in the design, analysis, and implementation of control and optimization algorithms for cyber-physical infrastructures, with an emphasis on air transportation. She is the co-founder and chief scientist of Lumo, a Boston-based travel startup.
Prof. Balakrishnan is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), and the recipient of an NSF CAREER Award, the inaugural CNA Award for Operational Analysis, the AIAA Lawrence Sperry Award, the American Automatic Control Council's Donald P. Eckman Award, the MIT AIAA Undergrad Advising and Undergraduate Teaching Awards, and multiple best paper awards.

Important Dates

Abstract Submission Dec 7, 2020
Paper Submission Deadline Dec 7, 2020
Paper Acceptance Notification Feb 8, 2021
Camera Ready Papers Due Mar 3, 2021

*All deadlines are 23:59 Pacific Standard Time (PST)