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Bistra Dilkina

Dr. Allen and Charlotte Ginsburg Early Career Chair in Computer Science and Associate Professor of Computer Science


  • 2012, Doctoral Degree, Computer Science, Cornell University
  • 2004, Bachelor's Degree, Computer Science, Simon Fraser University


Bistra Dilkina is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southern California. She is also the co-Director of the USC Center for AI in Society (CAIS), a joint effort between the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. During 2013-2017, Dilkina was as an Assistant Professor in the College of Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology and a co-director of the Data Science for Social Good Atlanta summer program. She received her PhD from Cornell University in 2012, and was a Post-Doctoral Associate at the Institute for Computational Sustainability until 2013. Dilkina is one of the junior faculty leaders in the young field of Computational Sustainability, and has co-organized workshops, tutorials, special tracks at major conferences on Computational Sustainability and related subareas. Her work spans discrete optimization, network design, stochastic optimization, and machine learning.

Research Summary

Dilkina's research focuses on advancing the state of the art in combinatorial optimization techniques for solving real-world large-scale problems, particularly ones that arise in sustainability areas such as biodiversity conservation planning and urban planning. Her work is at the intersection of discrete optimization and machine learning. One key area of research is designing machine-learning-driven combinatorial optimization algorithms, by leveraging the plethora of data generated by solving distributions of real world optimization problems.

  • Thomas Lord Department of Computer Science
  • Daniel J Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering
  • SAL 304
  • Henry Salvatori Computer Science Center
  • 941 Bloom Walk, Los Angeles, CA 90089
  • USC Mail Code: 0781
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