Carnegie Mellon University
November 03, 2016

Hayden Schaeffer Receives Air Force Young Investigator Program Award

By Jocelyn Duffy

Hayden Schaeffer Receives Air Force Young Investigator Program Award Hayden Schaeffer Receives Air Force Young Investigator Program Award

Hayden Schaeffer, assistant professor of mathematical sciences, has received a three-year grant from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research’s Air Force Young Investigator Program to support his work on sparse modeling, partial differential equations, and machine learning.

Schaeffer is one of 58 scientists and engineers from 41 institutions and small businesses to receive new research funding from the program this year. Awards are granted to researchers who received Ph.D. or equivalent degrees in the last five years and who show exceptional ability and promise for conducting basic research.

In Schaeffer’s project, titled “Sparse Modeling and Machine Learning for Nonlinear Partial Differential Equations,” he will create mathematical tools that will help scientists explore and analyze experimental data. The tools are designed to extract important information and influential patterns from datasets that can be used to explain the data’s behavior, essentially assigning an equation to the experimental system. This equation can then be used to analyze data as well as make predictions. 

"From the converging advances in data acquisition, computational capabilities and mathematical methods, we are now in a place where we can ask complex questions about data,” Schaeffer said. “New mathematical methods allow us to extract models directly from concrete measurements, which may lead to strong impacts in data analytics."

Schaeffer is part of CMU’s renowned Center for Nonlinear Analysis. Prior to joining the university’s mathematical sciences faculty, he was an NSF Mathematical Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellow and a von Karmen Instructor at Caltech, a UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Irvine, and a Collegium of University Teaching Fellow at UCLA. He earned his doctorate and master’s in mathematics from UCLA and bachelor’s from Cornell University.