Hala Nelson

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Hala Nelson

Bio

Hala Nelson is an Associate Professor of Mathematics at James Madison University. She has a Ph.D. in Mathematics from the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University. Prior to her work at James Madison University, she was a postdoctoral Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan- Ann Arbor. Her research is in the areas of Materials Science, Statistical Mechanics, Inverse Problems, and the Mathematics of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. Her favorite subjects are Optimization, Numerical Algorithms, Mathematics for AI, Mathematical Analysis, Numerical Linear Algebra and Probability Theory. She likes to translate complex ideas into simple and practical terms. To her, most mathematical concepts are painless and relatable, unless the person presenting them either does not understand them very well, or is trying to show off. Other facts: Hala Nelson grew up in Lebanon, during the time of its brutal civil war. She lost her hair at a very young age in a missile explosion. This event and many that followed shaped her interests in human behavior, the nature of intelligence, and AI. Her father taught her Math, at home and in French, until she graduated high school. Her favorite quote from her father about math is, "It is the one clean science''.