Faces of Research: Meet Chaouki T. Abdallah
Feb 16, 2023 — Atlanta, GA
The $1.3 billion research enterprise at Georgia Tech is the embodiment of a commitment the advancement of technology and betterment of the human condition. Georgia Tech's research enterprise through offerings such as the Enterprise Innovation Institute, the Georgia Tech Research Institute, Commercialization, and Interdisciplinary Research Institutes, to solve the most pressing challenges in a host of sectors, including computing, engineering, design, the sciences, liberal arts, and business.
This installment of the Faces of Research Q&A series is with Chaouki T. Abdallah, Executive Vice President for Research at Georgia Tech.
What is your field of expertise and why did you choose it?
My field of expertise is Systems Theory, and my degrees are all in Electrical Engineering. I chose it because it was heavily mathematical but can also be applied across multiple fields (aerospace, chemical, mechanical, electrical, biology, etc.).
What makes Georgia Tech research institutes unique?
Our IRIs (Interdisciplinary Research Institutes) connect research across colleges but what makes them even more impactful is their intra-connectivity. Problems that are even too big for one IRI, are being solved by researchers across multiple ones.
What impact is your research having on the world?
My own research impact has been mostly through my students. However, I did use my research in systems and network science to study and improve the complexity of college curricula, leading to 150% improvement in the four-year graduation rate and tens of millions of dollars in savings for students.
What is the most profound advice you ever received?
Pick the hill you’re willing to die on.
What is something you wished you knew as a budding researcher that everyone considering research as a career should know?
The joy of knowing something is eclipsed by the joy of explaining it to others.
What song or album best describes you?
"With a Little Help From My Friends" by The Beatles.
Péralte C. Paul