Dr. Amarda Shehu

Dr. Amarda Shehu is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science in the College of Engineering and Computing at George Mason University, where she is also Associate Vice Provost of Research for the Institute of Digital InnovAtion. Dr. Shehu obtained her Ph.D. from Rice University in 2008, where she was also an NIH predoctoral fellow in the Nanobiology Program and was dually trained in AI and Molecular Biophysics. Dr. Shehu’s research is at the intersection of AI/ML and scientific inquiry across disciplines. In particular, research in her laboratory focuses on high-dimensional non-linear optimization, stochastic search, probabilistic planning, and learning for the analysis, characterization, and simulation of modular systems with complex spatio-temporal dynamics operating in the presence of constraints. Dr. Shehu has published over 160 technical papers with postdoctoral, graduate, undergraduate, and high-school students. She is a 2022 Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) and has received several awards, including the 2022 Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, the 2021 Beck Family Presidential Medal for Faculty Excellence in Research and Scholarship, the 2018 Mason University Teaching Excellence Award, the 2014 Mason Emerging Researcher/Scholar/Creator Award, the 2013 Mason OSCAR Undergraduate Mentor Excellence Award, and the 2012 National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award. Her research is regularly supported by various NSF programs, the Department of Defense, as well as state and private research awards. Dr. Shehu is currently the chair of the steering committee of the ACM/IEEE Journal on Transactions in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, where she is also an associate editor. Dr. Shehu served as an NSF Program Director in the Information and Intelligent Systems Division of the Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate during 2019-2022. She is also an Inaugural Founding Co-Director of George Mason University’s Transdisciplinary Center for Advancing Human-Machine Partnerships, which she founded and co-directed during 2019-2022.