Optimization for an uncertain world.

I work at the intersection of computer science, AI, and economics, with a focus on solving practical problems using stochastic optimization and machine learning.

I'm an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Maryland, with a joint appointment in the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS). At Maryland, I am also formally affiliated with the Applied Mathematics & Statistics, and Scientific Computation (AMSC) program, as well as the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory (HCIL). Just a few months ago, I was a Ph.D. student in computer science at Carnegie Mellon. I'm the lead developer of the US nationwide kidney exchange program, and lead developer of a better way to deal with TV advertisements (currently in the pilot phase with two of the nation's largest MSOs).

I have published in Science magazine and been interviewed by Scientific American and CNN. My work with the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center on kidney exchange won the 2014 HPCWire "Best Data-Intensive Application" supercomputing award (tied with IBM Watson). A project to which I contributed was covered by Popular Science, and featured in the journal Nature. Coverage of a book I co-authored on data mining and counter-terrorism appeared in Fast Company. My Erdös number is 3.

I have been fortunate to be supported by a Facebook Fellowship (2015+), Siebel Scholarship (class of 2016), and an NDSEG Fellowship (2012–2015).

John P. Dickerson

Note to prospective PhD students: The CS department at the University of Maryland admits students to the department itself, not to an individual advisor. However, I will do my best to respond to inquiry emails.

This winter, I will be at UBC (Vancouver), NIPS (Long Beach), and AAAI (New Orleans).

If you are around these places, feel free to get in touch! john@cs.umd.edu


I apply optimization and AI/ML to real-world problems in medicine, marketing, and counter-terrorism.

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I am available as a consultant, and have worked with a variety of clients in industry and government.

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Side Projects

Interested in gorilla social hierarchies? Or how to programatically distract a human child? So am I!

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