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Usama Fayyad

Executive Director of the Institute for Experiential Al

Usama Fayyad is the executive director of the Institute for Experiential AI at Northeastern University and professor of the practice at Khoury College of Computer Sciences. He also serves as chairman of Open Insights, a technology and consulting firm he founded in 2008 after leaving Yahoo!, where he served as the company’s first Chief Data Officer and founded Yahoo Research Labs. Open Insights continues to help enterprises deploy data-driven solutions to grow revenue from AI and data assets. 

Fayyad’s previous roles include global chief data officer at Barclays Bank and founding executive chairman at Oasis500. He served as co-founder & CTO of OODA Health, held leadership roles at Microsoft and founded the Machine Learning Systems group at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where his work on machine learning resulted in the top Excellence in Research award from Caltech and a U.S. Government medal from NASA.    

Fayyad earned his PhD in engineering in AI/machine learning from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and holds two bachelor of science in engineering degrees in engineering, MSE computer engineering and M.Sc. in mathematics. Fayyad has published over 100 technical articles on data mining, data science, AI/ML, and databases. He holds over 20 patents and is a fellow of both the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) and the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). He has edited two influential books on data mining/data science and served as founding editor-in-chief on two key journals. 

Outside of work, he enjoys skiing, chess, reading, and swimming.

Research Overview

Fayyad’s areas of focus are data science, machine learning, AI, and data mining. His vision for the Institute for Experiential AI is to create the leading research institute focused on the fusion of human and machine intelligence into working AI solutions that naturally and effectively augment the best of machine algorithms with the intelligence that humans uniquely bring to bear. 

Areas of Expertise

  • Experiential AI
  • Data Science
  • Machine Learning 


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