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Professor Laurent El Ghaoui

Dean of Engineering

Title: The All-in-One University for a Sustainable World


As the name suggests, universities should be places where different branches of knowledge meet to foster a universal understanding of the world. However, over the course of many centuries, academic disciplines have become entrenched, a direct consequence of the classical scientific paradigm. Universities and students struggle with boundaries between different disciplines, departments, tensions between "core" and "expert" tracks, etc. Today, we are all facing a trifecta of disruptions: the internet and resulting ubiquituous distributed knowledge; AI and its challenging powers; and climate change. Clearly, we cannot simply put forth the old models of siloed knowledge and hope everything will be fine. Most of the important issues require a coordination, between technology, social sciences and humanities, economics, law and business, etc. How can these disruptions become opportunities for a more integrated education? In this talk I will discuss a few ideas that may change the way we educate, where research plays a central role.


Prof. El Ghaoui is vice-Provost of Research and Innovation and Dean of Engineering and Computer Science at VinUniversity, a new private not-for-profit university in Hanoi, Vietnam. Prior to his current appointment, El Ghaoui was Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science and the Department of Industrial Engineering & Operations Research at University of California, Berkeley. He also taught Data Science within the Master of Financial Engineering at UC Berkeley’s Haas Business School. His research interests include robust optimization and machine learning.

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