Irina Rish is a Full Professor at the Université de Montréal (UdeM), where she leads the Autonomous AI Lab, and a core faculty member of MILA - Quebec AI Institute. She holds Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) and a CIFAR Chair. Dr. Rish completed her MSc and PhD in AI at the University of California, Irvine, and also holds an MSc in Applied Mathematics from Moscow Gubkin Institute. Irina is the recipient of the INCITE compute grant by the US Department of Energy and currently leads an INCITE project on Scalable Foundation Models on Summit & Frontier supercomputers at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility, focusing on developing open-source large-scale AI models (a.k.a. Foundation Models). She is also a co-founder and the Chief Science Officer of nolano.ai, a company focused on both development of large-scale foundation models and providing a range of model services, including pcompression, inference acceleration, and evals.
Irina’s extensive research career spans multiple AI domains, from automated reasoning and probabilistic inference in graphical models, to machine learning, sparse modeling, and neuroscience-inspired AI. Irina’s current research endeavors concentrate on continual learning, out-of-distribution generalization, robustness; and understanding neural scaling laws and emergent behaviors (w.r.t. both capabilities and alignment) in foundation models - a vital stride towards achieving maximally beneficial Artificial General Intelligence (AGI). She teaches courses on AI scaling and alignment, and runs Neural Scaling & Alignment workshop series.
Before joining UdeM in 2019, Irina was a research scientist at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, where she worked on various projects at the intersection of neuroscience and AI, and led the Neuro-AI challenge. She received IBM Eminence & Excellence Award and IBM Outstanding Innovation Award (2018), IBM Outstanding Technical Achievement Award (2017), and IBM Research Accomplishment Award (2009). She holds 64 patents, over 140 research papers, several book chapters, three edited books, and a monograph on Sparse Modeling.