Workshop Team

Yuxin Chen, University of Chicago: Yuxin Chen is an assistant professor of computer science at the University of Chicago, where he leads the interactive learning systems group. Previously, he was a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Computing and Mathematical Sciences at the California Institute of Technology (2017-2019), and received his Ph.D. degree in computer science from ETH Zurich (2011-2017). His research interest covers broadly the design, analysis, and implementation of novel machine learning algorithms for probabilistic reasoning, interactive machine learning, and decision making. More specifically, he works on resource-efficient, robust, and interpretable learning systems that actively extract information, identify the most relevant data and make effective decisions under uncertainty.

Paul Fenter, Argonne National Laboratory: Paul Fenter is a Senior Physicist and Group Leader for Interfacial Processes in the Chemical Sciences and Engineering Division at Argonne National Laboratory. He also is the Director of the Center for Electrochemical Energy Science, a DOE-funded Energy Frontier Research Center.  His research probes the structure and reactivity of solid-liquid interfaces, (e.g., geochemical interfaces, electrical double layer structure, and electrodes in electrochemical energy storage systems) with an emphasis on direct in-situ studies enabled by the use and development of synchrotron X-ray scattering methodologies and X-ray coherence. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the winner of the 2012 Bertram E. Warren Diffraction Physics Award from the American Crystallographic Association.  His professional training includes post-doctoral studies at Princeton University and a PhD in Physics from the University of Pennsylvania (1990).

Eric Jonas, University of Chicago: Eric Jonas is a new Assistant Professor in Computer Science at the University of Chicago, developing machine learning techniques to accelerate and improve scientific measurement. He earned his PhD, Meng, and MS all from MIT where he worked on neural data acquisition and hardware-acceleration for machine learning. Prior to returning to academia, he was founder and CEO of Prior Knowledge, a predictive database company which was acquired in 2012 by, where he was Chief Predictive Scientist until 2014. In 2015 he was named one of the top riding stars in bioengineering by the Defense Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

Mauricio Suarez, Fermilab: Mauricio Suarez joined Fermilab in January 2020 as the Deputy Head of Technology Development and Industry Engagement. An expert in the field of technological innovation, he has participated in all sides of the tripe helix to move commercialization forward: industry, academia, and government. As leader of the Illinois Accelerator Research Center, he looks for industry collaborations that will advance the areas where Fermilab has significant expertise and that have commercial potential. Mauricio earned his Ph.D. in chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and completed his postdoc under Nobel laureate Jean Marie Lehn. After working as a chemist in the private sector, he returned to the University of Illinois and earned his master’s degree in business administration. Since moving into the innovation arena, his goal has remained the same: moving technology into the marketplace. In addition to defining new areas of technology development and building industry partnerships, Mauricio also focuses on enhancing and connecting the spirit of innovation at the lab with the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Chicago. These connection hubs include the University of Chicago, mHUB and P33, among others.

Jayakar Thangaraj, Fermilab: Jayakar 'Charles' Thangaraj is currently the Science and Technology Manager for IARC at Fermilab. Charles has served as Principal Investigator on several federal grants ranging from $200K to $2M from the Department of Defense, US Army Corps of Engineers, and other agencies for various laboratory research and business development initiatives by collaborating with engineers, scientists, and academic professionals. He was one of the first Fermilab staff scientists selected for Department of Energy’s Lab-Corps, an entrepreneurship program for scientists. Recently, Charles was selected for 40 under 40 scientists in Chicago identified for their dedication to translating research into real-world applications that meaningfully impact people’s lives. Charles was awarded the prestigious Peoples Fellowship at Fermilab in 2009. He has significant scientific results in complex accelerator R&D projects and has guided professional development of talented staff and student scientists. Charles received both his M.S. (2006) and PhD (2009) from the University of Maryland. In his current role, he works at the frontiers of science, technology and innovation to solve 21st century challenges in environment, medicine and security.

Nhan Tran, Fermilab: Nhan Tran is the coordinator for AI activities across Fermilab. He is developing technology at the intersection of electronics, computing, and artificial intelligence to amplify capabilities with AI across the entire experimental stack. He is a coordinator of the Fast Machine Learning lab. Nhan's physics research focuses on using accelerator-based experiments to search for new phenomena. His current activities center on the Higgs boson and dark sectors experiments.