Rodrigo A. Carrasco

Rodrigo A. Carrasco

Associate Professor & the UC Data Science Initiative Director

Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Biography

I’ve been building, programming, and disassembling things since I can remember.

I’m the Data Science Initiative Director and an Associate Professor at the Institute of Mathematical and Computational Engineering and the Industrial and Systems Engineering Department in the School of Engineering at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. Since 2021, I’m also a member of the Advisory Board of the Columbia Global Center | Santiago and a Board Member of the Chilean Institute of Operational Research.

Until July 2022, I was an Associate Professor at Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez and the Academic Director of the Master in Industrial Engineering. I hold a B.S. in Electrical & Industrial Engineering and an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile; and a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from Columbia University.

My research interest is in combinatorial problems and dealing with uncertainty in these settings. To do so, with our research team, we combine predictive and prescriptive analytics tools for uncertainty modeling with combinatorial optimization techniques and stochastic optimization, developing robust decision support tools for applied problems. Particularly I’m interested in scheduling problems and the analysis and design of approximation algorithms to compute good solutions.

At UAI, I founded and was the initial director of the UAI Systems Center; a center focused on solving complex real-life problems using operations research tools. I also led the Operations Research Seminar until 2018, developing its online channel. Before joining UAI, I was a researcher at Siemens Corporate Research in Princeton, NJ, developing decision support algorithms for smart grids and energy management. Before that, I worked at Booz Allen Hamilton, leading operations research projects in Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Peru, and Canada.

Interests

  • Combining Predictive and Prescriptive Analytics
  • Combinatorial Algorithms
  • Algorithm Design & Analysis

Education

  • PhD in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, 2013

    Columbia University

  • MPhil in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, 2010

    Columbia University

  • MSc in Control Systems, 2004

    Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

  • Education Abroad Program Diploma, 2003

    University of California at Santa Barbara

  • BSc in Electrical Engineering, 2002

    Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Academic Experience

Teaching and academic service positions.

 
 
 
 
 

Associate Professor

Institute of Mathematical & Computational Engineering, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Aug 2022 – Present Santiago, Chile
  • My research is focused in combining predictive and prescriptive analytics, particularly in combinatorial optimization problems, and the analysis and design of approximation algorithms to solve them. I’m especially interested in applications related to scheduling, optimal control, and energy management, dealing with uncertainty in these settings.
 
 
 
 
 

Associate Professor

School of Engineering and Sciences, Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez

Jan 2021 – Jul 2022 Santiago, Chile
  • Professor in industrial engineering and operations research. Member of the Ph.D. and M.S. in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research program committees.

  • Teaching Ph.D., M.S., and undergraduate level courses in optimization, prescriptive analytics, and operations management. Course enrollment was between 10 and 60 students.

 
 
 
 
 

Academic Director - Master in Industrial Engineering

School of Engineering and Sciences, Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez

Oct 2017 – Jul 2022 Santiago, Chile
  • Executive professional program at UAI that combines analytic skills from industrial engineering and operations research, together with leadership skills and multidisciplinary teamwork.

  • Led the accreditation process, achieving a three-year accreditation from the National Accreditation Committee.

 
 
 
 
 

Assistant Professor

School of Engineering and Sciences, Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez

Aug 2013 – Jan 2021 Santiago, Chile
  • Teaching undergraduate courses in operations research, supply chain management, mathematical modeling, and optimization. Course enrollment between 20 and 120 students.
  • Teaching master and Ph.D. level courses in prescriptive analytics, optimization and game theory. Course enrollment between 10 and 20 students.
  • Supervising undergraduate and graduate student thesis.
 
 
 
 
 

Adjunct Instructor

Industrial Engineering and Operations Research Dept., Columbia University

Jan 2013 – Aug 2013 New York, USA
  • Taught the course Asset Allocation for the MS in Financial Engineering program.
 
 
 
 
 

Teaching Assistant

Industrial Engineering and Operations Research Dept., Columbia University

Aug 2008 – Jan 2013 New York
  • Taught lectures, designed exams, and conducted recitations and office hours for the courses Asset Allocation and Optimization Methods for Financial Engineering. Course enrollment ranged between 60 and 90 students.
 
 
 
 
 

Teaching Assistant

School of Engineering, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Mar 1998 – Dec 2004 Santiago
  • Designed tests and conducted recitations and lectures for the following courses: Introduction to Programming, Circuit Analysis, Digital Systems, Electricity & Magnetism, Electromagnetic Theory, Telecommunications, Automatic Control, Advanced Topics in Automatic Control, Digital Systems Laboratory, Electronic Project, and Introduction to Microbots. Course enrollment ranged between 30 and 120 students.

Grants

The current grants we have.

Using deep learning spatial-temporal graph models for seasonal forecasting of extreme temperature events (climateDL)

Scientific Coordinator for Chile

Alert and monitoring system for environmental relevant areas using satellite imaging

Researcher

Operations Research Tools Applied to Scheduling in Observatory Operations

Principal Investigator

Improving Energy Management from Variable Resources with Storage using Stochastic Optimization and Machine Learning

Project Director

Decomposition Methods for Optimization in Networks (DeMON)

Researcher

Decomposition Methods for Stochastic Fixed-charge Multicommodity Flow Problems

Co-PI

Astronomy 4.0: Automatic Fault Detection and Diagnosis Systems for the New Generation Telescopes

Principal Investigator

Projects

Applied projects in which we connect theory and practice.

One of my main interests is to connect theory and practice in my research. These are the current projects in which I’m involved, and that allows me to connect the two.

In these projects, we are using combinatorial optimization and stochastic modeling techniques to develop decision support tools in various settings.

Operations Research Tools Applied to Scheduling in Observatory Operations

Using operations research methodologies, we are developing new tools for observatory operations.

GEMS: variable-Generation Energy Management with Storage

We are combining machine learning and stochastic optimization tools to develop optimal energy management systems for fotovoltaic generation with storage.

Predictive Maintenance

Developing tools for fault detection and diagnosis, in order to construct predictive maintenance systems.

Industry Experience

Industry experience in R&D and application of operations research.

 
 
 
 
 

UC Data Science Initiative Director

Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Aug 2022 – Present Santiago, Chile
 
 
 
 
 

Board Member

Chilean Institute of Operational Research

Apr 2021 – Present Santiago, Chile
  • The Chilean Institute of Operational Research’s goal is to contribute to the diffusion and exchange of ideas and experiences among all those interested in some topic of Operative Research.
  • Board members provide leadership regarding the Institute’s activities and engagement with the community in Chile and abroad.
 
 
 
 
 

Advisory Board Member

Columbia Global Center | Santiago

Mar 2021 – Present Santiago, Chile
  • The Columbia Global Centers promote and facilitate the collaborative and impactful engagement of the University’s faculty, students, and alumni with the world, to enhance understanding, address global challenges, and advance knowledge and its exchange.
  • Board members provide advice, ongoing leadership and counsel regarding the Center’s projects, activities and engagement with alumni.
 
 
 
 
 

Chief Engineering Officer

Data Observatory

Mar 2020 – Feb 2022 Santiago, Chile
  • Chief Engineer for The Data Observatory, a non-profit organization of which UAI is a founding member, together with the Chilean Ministry of Economy, the Chilean Ministry of Science, and Amazon Web Services.
  • Coordinate interdisciplinary teams in projects related to data science, of very large data sets, combining descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive analytics tools; building infrastructure and services in cloud based systems.
 
 
 
 
 

Founder & Director

UAI Systems Center, Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez

Jan 2015 – Jun 2018 Santiago, Chile
  • Founded and Directed the university’s center dedicated to developing industrial engineering and operations research solutions and actively participate in technological transfer.
  • Developed the center’s mission and objectives, identifying the key advantages of the center, and actively relating the university’s research efforts with industry applications.
  • Developed and signed research agreements with more than 20 companies and organizations, which lead to applied research projects. Detected and obtained public and private funding opportunities in industry for the researchers associated with the center.
 
 
 
 
 

Research Engineer

Siemens Corporate Research and Technology

Jun 2012 – Jun 2013 Princeton, USA
  • Worked in the implementation and improvement of machine learning and optimization algorithms for demand shaping and demand response in power grids.
 
 
 
 
 

Research Assistant

Industrial Engineering and Operations Research Dept., Columbia University

Aug 2008 – Jul 2013 New York, USA
  • Developed algorithms for solving energy and resource management optimization problems with professors Garud Iyengar and Cliff Stein.
 
 
 
 
 

Associate

Booz | Allen | Hamilton

Feb 2005 – Jul 2008 Princeton, USA
  • Involved in projects with leading companies in Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Peru, and Canada.
  • Managed complete work fronts and one whole project with more than 10 team members, leading the project efforts and coordinating meetings and presentations with senior executives.
  • Relevant expertise includes post-merger integration, business strategy definition, maintenance strategy improvement, supply chain management, cost reduction, channel strategy development, and wargaming.

Recent Talks

Participation in conferences and interviews

These are some of the recent talks and conferences in which I have participated. A full list of all conferences and talks by the group is available here.

Pauta de Negocios

In this short interview (in Spanish), we talk about the importance of correctly managing data within organizations and the value it can generate.

CNN Divergentes

In this program (in Spanish), we talk about how algorithms affect our lives and why we must be cautious during their design and implementation.

Interview at Radio Guayacán

In this interview (in Spanish), we talk about the importance of data for decision making.

Michigan Center for Global Surgery Symposium

In this talk we present how operations research techniques can be used to develop decision support tools for the operating room scheduling problem.

Optimización matemática: conectando predicción y prescripción para mejores decisiones

In this talk, I give an overview of analytics, focusing on prescriptive analytics and some applications.

Current and Former Students & Research Engineers

All the work has been done together with excellent collaborators and hard-working students.

Graduate Students

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Andrés Lagos

MSc Student, Industrial Engineering and Operations Research

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Camila Marcuello

MSc Student, Data Science

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César Cerda

MSc Student, Industrial Engineering and Operations Research

Former Graduate Students

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Anthony D. Cho Lo

PhD in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research

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Macarena Azar

MSc in Engineering

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Helena García

Research Engineer / MSc in Engineering

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Juan Jara

MSc in Engineering

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Bruno Che León

MSc in Engineering

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Diego Fuentes

Master in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research

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Paula Oyarzún

MSc Student, Industrial Engineering and Operations Research

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Sebastián Roldán

MSc in Engineering

Former Research Engineers

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Benjamín Bastidas

Research Engineer

Former Undergraduate Students

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Felipe Contreras

BSc in Industrial Engineering

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Gianluca Baselli

BSc in Industrial Engineering

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Magdalena Marín

BSc in Industrial Engineering

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Matías Lillo

BSc in Industrial Engineering

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