The van der Schaar Lab is delighted to announce the graduation of PhD student Ioana Bica.
Ioana first joined the lab in 2018, under the supervision of Mihaela van der Schaar. Her PhD research has focused on building causal inference methods for supporting, understanding, and improving decision-making.
Through her PhD over the past 4 years, Iona has built methods that can estimate counterfactual outcomes for continuous intervention in the static setting, as well as for discrete actions taken over time, both in the presence and absence of hidden confounders. In addition, to better understand decision-making, Ioana has also worked on projects aiming to explain sequential decision-making by integrating counterfactual reasoning into batch inverse reinforcement learning and recovering the preferences of experts over “what-if” outcomes. Her work has also leveraged causal structure to improve the robustness of treatment effect estimation methods and imitation learning algorithms to distribution shifts in the deployed environment.
All of this work has culminated in Ioana’s PhD thesis, entitled “Causal Inference Methods for Supporting, Understanding, and Improving Decision-Making.” In July 2022, Ioana has successfully passed her PhD viva.
Following her PhD, Ioana has now joined DeepMind as a Research Scientist.
“One of my favourite parts of being in the lab was the ability to collaborate and learn from students with a wide range of academic backgrounds (engineering, mathematics, physics, statistics, computer science, and more) and research interests.”
Mihaela van der Schaar and the lab’s researchers would like to wholeheartedly congratulate Ioana on her graduation, thank her for her immeasurable contributions to the life and work of the lab, and wish her the very best of luck in her new role with DeepMind.