I am Juncal Arbelaiz, a woman passionate about solving technically challenging problems that have a direct impact on society. In order to acquire the required skills and technical knowledge required for it, I completed my undergraduate (2014) and masters (2016) studies in Industrial Engineering at the University of Navarra (Spain). While pursuing my engineering degrees, I quickly became aware of the enormous potential that advanced analytic methods, algorithms and computation hold to improve our daily lives. In order to further specialize in these fields, I decided to pursue doctoral studies in Applied Mathematics at M.I.T., where I am currently a fifth-year PhD candidate.
From transportation systems to disease control or financial networks, several key societal challenges can be efficiently resolved when approached from a system-theoretic perspective. I am lucky to carry out my doctoral research in the interdisciplinary Sociotechnical System Research Center (SSRC), under the supervision of Prof. Ali Jadbabaie and Prof. Anette E. Hosoi (you can watch the three of us in this dialogue). In my research, I use models and data to generate new methodologies for decentralized decision-making in large-scale and uncertain dynamic systems. Precisely, how to use optimization, control theory and statistical estimation for that aim is the common thread around which my doctoral thesis revolves. I am grateful to several companies and foundations that decided to sponsor my doctoral studies and research: Akamai Technologies, La Caixa Foundation, Google, Rafael del Pino Foundation and McKinsey.
Outside of my research, I enjoy science outreach, running and fitness in general, mentoring students, and above all, I am committed to breaking down the barriers to entry which women encounter in S.T.E.M. fields, for which I collaborate with several organizations.
If you have a career or research opportunity that you would like to share with me or if you want to know more about my background, feel free to email me.