Hi! My name is Serdar, I am the Vice President of Artificial Intelligence at Fidelity Investments and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Computer Science at Brown University. Previously, I led the Advanced Constraint Technology R&D team at Oracle and worked at Adobe.
My algorithmic research is at the intersection of Artificial Intelligence and Discrete Optimization, while my practical interests are in building robust, scalable, data-driven products that address business-critical problems.
In parallel with my industry role, I frequently participate in the (senior) programme committee of AAAI, IJCAI, ECAI, and similar research organizations. Teaching and learning from students are integral parts of my work, see, e.g., course evaluations.
Leading a team responsible for Personalization & Recommender Systems from ideation to productionization across i) digital channels for customers over the web, mobile, and email, and ii) distribution channels for associates over the regional centers and branches.
Internally, I help guide the research agenda of the AI Center of Excellence, serve as a liaison between the engineering teams and business partners, organize company-wide Kaggle style machine learning competitions and scale out the efforts on model governance, interpretability, fairness, and bias mitigation for the enterprise.
Externally, I coordinate the collaboration with other groups at Google, NVIDIA, Amazon, CMU, Northeastern, etc., lead open source projects for the company (MABWiser, TextWiser, Jurity, Seq2Pat, etc.), help create college recruiting programs and mentor students, especially those from underrepresented groups, through internships and co-op opportunities.
I led the Advanced Constraint Technology R&D team to ship state-of-the-art optimization solutions for Oracle products facing industry-scale resource allocation problems in Supply Chain & Logistics, Planning & Scheduling, Cloud Management, and Product Configuration. These contributions were recognized with an Oracle Entrepreneurship Award, received research funding for Oracle-CMU collaboration, and covered in the media by Business Insider as Oracle Rockstars.
I received my Ph.D. in CS from Brown under the supervision of Prof. Meinolf Sellmann. My doctorate thesis explored deterministic inference methods for constraint satisfaction, search protocols for constrained optimization, and stochastic local search. My research work was awarded with the IBM PhD Scholarship, and I was a recipient of the Paris Kanellakis Fellowship. Our group at Brown designed automated algorithm configurators that won several gold medals in the International SAT Solver Competitions. During my studies, I also had the chance to work at the Combinatorial Optimization Group in Sweden as a visiting researcher hosted by Prof. Pierre Flener. I founded the Sport Czar@Brown and was the captain of ByteSoccer, the department’s soccer team with back-to-back intramural championships. I continue to serve the Brown community as an alumni interviewer for undergraduate university admissions.
I received my B.Sc. in CS from Sabanci with the generous support of the Sakip Sabanci Merit Scholarship. As an Erasmus exchange student, I also studied in Uppsala. I continue to serve the Sabanci community as an external committee member and through Crossing Paths, a non-profit organization to reduce inequality of opportunity in education.
Outside of work, I am an avid soccer fan; playing, watching, and coaching youth soccer. In a parallel universe, I hope to be the professor of assists.