Professors involved with the core subjects of MIIS

RICARDO BAEZA YATESricardo Ricardo Baeza-Yates is a part time Full Professor at the Department of Information and Communication Technologies, UPF. He  arrived initially as an ICREA Professor in 2005 but then in 2006 became Vice-President of Yahoo! Research for Europe, Middle East and Latin America,  leading the labs at Barcelona, Spain and Santiago, Chile, as well as supervising the lab in Haifa, Israel. From 2002 to 2004 he was the director of the Centre for Web Research at the Department of Computer Science of the Engineering School of the University of Chile, where he started his academic career in 1985, becoming Professor in 1994. He obtained a PhD in computer science at the University of Waterloo, Canada, in 1989. Before that, at the University of Chile, he completed two degrees, electronic engineering and computer science, in 1984 as well as the corresponding masters in 1986.

His research interests include information retrieval, Web data mining, algorithms, and data visualization. In particular his latest work has focused on mining search engine query logs and designing the architecture of the future generation of distributed search engines. He is ACM Fellow and IEEE Fellow, as well as member of AMS, and SIAM. He is also corresponding member of the Chilean Academy of Sciences and the first distinguished member of the Chilean Computing Science Society (SCCC). He is editor of several journals including the ACM Transactions on Information Systems and the Information Systems journal. He has been conference chair of major conferences like ACM SIGIR, ACM WSDM, and ECIR, among others.

He is co-author of the best-seller book Modern Information Retrieval, published in 1999 by Addison-Wesley with a second edition in 2011, as well as co-author of the 2nd edition of the Handbook of Algorithms and Data Structures, Addison-Wesley, 1991; and co-editor of Information Retrieval:  Algorithms and Data Structures, Prentice-Hall, 1992, among more than 200 other indexed publications. He has been involved in several technology transfer projects including the best Chilean software award of 1992 and a vertical search engine ( founded in 2000. He is also the author of several USA patents. He has received the Organization of American States award for young researchers in exact sciences (1993) and with two Brazilian colleagues obtained the COMPAQ prize for the best CS Brazilian research article (1997). During 2007 he was awarded the Graham Medal for innovation in computing, given by the University of Waterloo to distinguished ex-alumni. In 2009 he was awarded the Latin American distinction for contributions to CS in the region.

vladVLADIMIR ESTIVILL-CASTRO Vladimir Estivill-Castro is a Full Professor at the Department of Information and Communication Technologies, UPF, and at Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia. Vladimir  received a Mathematics degree (1985) and a Master degree on  Mathematics (1987) from UNAM, Mexico City. He then obtained a PhD in Computer Science in 1991 at the University of Waterloo in Canada. He was an Assistant Professor at York University in Canada, a Lecturer at the Queensland University of Technology from 1996 to 1998, a Senior Lecturer and then Associate Professor at the University of Newcastle, 1998-2001, and Full Professor at Griffith University.

Vladimir is co-editor in chief of the CRPIT series (Conferences in Research and Practice in Information technology), and member of the editorial board of Journal of Research and Practice in Information Technology (JRPIT). He is also member of the international review board of the International Journal of Data Warehousing and Mining. He has also been chairperson of several technical and academic conferences in Algorithms, Data Mining, Knowledge Discovery and Privacy. Prof. Estivill-Castro has authored over 100 technical conference and journal articles and several book chapters and encyclopedia chapters and one monograph. He received an Australian Teaching and Learning Citation for PhD Supervision in Computer Science in 2010 and the best Paper Award at the Australasian Computer Science Conference in 2012. He has received competitive funding in Australia, Canada, Mexico, and Spain.

Vladimir's research is algorithmic engineering. He studies the design and analysis of algorithms that solve complex mathematical problems. He has made contribution to the field of data analysis with advances in clustering algorithms and spatial data mining. He has also worked extensively in privacy-preserving computation. Vladimir's  ability to deploy algorithms has resulted in applications in pattern analysis, computer vision and robotics. He has been team leader of the MiPal team who has competed successfully 2002-2006 and 2011-2012 at RoboCup.

HECTOR GEFFNERhectorHector Geffner is an ICREA Research Professor at the Department of Information and Communication Technologies, UPF. He obtained a BSc on  Electrical Engineering at the Universidad Simon Bolivar in Caracas, and a MSc in Systems Science and a PhD in Computer Science  at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). After his PhD, he worked at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center in NY, USA from 1989 until 1992, and at the Universidad Simon Bolivar, in Caracas, from 1992 until 2001. He also taught at Stanford University, Aachen University of Technology, Linkoping University, Universite Paul Sabatier, and the University of Edinburgh, among other places. Since 2001 he has been at the UPF in Barcelona, as an ICREA Research Professor where he heads the Artificial Intelligence (AI) group.

Hector works on planning and plan recognition in intelligent systems, developing methods for generating and recognizing autonomous behavior automatically using model-based methods. In these methods, agents are not programmed by hand, but rather derive their behavior by solving a model of the interaction between the agent, the environment, and possibly other agents. One of the main challenges in planning is computational as these models are all intractable in the worst case, and algorithms must be able to automatically recognize and exploit the structure of problems. The work involves logical and probabilistic models, domain-independent heuristics and algorithms, and computational experiments.

Hector's research is relevant to both artificial intelligence and cognitive science, as it aims to uncover general principles of rational behavior that take into account the computational constraints that are present in both natural and artificial systems. While his main interests are in AI and Cognitive Science, he is also quite interested in the Human and Social Sciences. He is currently involved in several funded research projects, basic and applied, including a Consolider Project about Simulating the Past that involves a number of archeologists; an European Project, Spacebook, for developing speech-driven, hands-free, eyes-free devices for pedestrian navigation and exploration, and a National I+D Project, about robust and scalable model-based methods for the generation of autonomous behavior.

Hector Geffner is the recipient of the 1990 ACM Dissertation Award, and is best known for the heuristic search approach to planning for which he received the 2009 and 2010 ICAPS Influential Paper Awards. He is a fellow of both the American and  the European Association for Artificial Intelligence (AAAI, ECCAI), and Associate Editor of the two top AI journals: Artificial Intelligence (AIJ), and the Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research (JAIR). He is  professionally involved in many of the top AI conferences, having served in recent years as Area Chair for  IJCAI, AAAI, ECAI, UAI, and KR, and as co-chair of ICAPS. Hector is the author of the book Default Reasoning, MIT Press, 1992, and co-editor with Rina Dechter and Joseph Halpern of the book 'Heuristics, Probability and Causality: A Tribute to Judea Pearl', College Publications, 2010. He is currently the Director of the UPF Master in Intelligent Interactive Systems.


Anders Jonsson is a Lecturer in Department of Information and Communication Technologies, UPF. He is a native of Stockholm, Sweden. He received his MSc in Engineering Physics from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, and his Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He joined UPF in 2005 as a visiting lecturer and member of the Artificial Intelligence group.

Anders' main research interest is devising automatic techniques for solving sequential decision problems in the form of either reinforcement learning or artificial intelligence planning. In particular, his focus is finding and exploiting the structure of such problems in order to simplify their solution. This structure can take many forms, but usually manifests itself either as abstract
states, in which the same solution holds for several different situations, or abstract actions, in which actions can be grouped together in a hierarchy. He is also interested in analyzing the  computational complexity of solving different classes of sequential decision problems.

Anders also enjoys developing artificial intelligence solutions for real-world applications. During the past few years he has been involved in several research projects, both at the national and international level. He has also published several papers in prestigious international journals and serves on the programming committee of a number of international conferences.

Apart from research in artificial intelligence, Anders really enjoys programming, and for the last five years he has served as coach of the UPF programming team at the Southwestern Europe Regional Contest, part of the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest.

Leo Wanner is an ICREA Research Professor at the Department of Information and Communication Technologies, UPF. Leo earned his Diploma degree in Computer Science from the University of Karlsruhe, Germany and his PhD in Linguistics from the University of The Saarland, Saarbrücken, Germany. Prior to joining DTIC as ICREA Research Professor, he held positions at the Institute for Integrated Publication and Information Systems of the German National Centre for Computer Science in Darmstadt, University of Waterloo, the University of Stuttgart and the Institute for Applied Linguistics (IULA), UPF. As a visiting researcher, he was also affiliated with the University of Montreal, University of Sydney, University of Southern California's Institute for Information Sciences, and the Columbia University, New York.

Leo works in the field of computational linguistics, teaching the computer how to supply people with information that might be useful to them in their language and how to serve as interpreter between people who do not speak a common language. His research foci include automatic multilingual report generation, automatic summarization of written material and paraphrasing. He is furthermore interested in computational lexicology and lexicography, and there, in particular, in the recognition, representation and use of lexical idiosyncrasies by language learners.

Throughout his career, Leo has been involved in various large scale national, European, and transatlantic research projects. He has published five books and over 100 refereed journal and conference articles. He also serves as regular reviewer for a number of high profile conferences and journals.