Skip to main content

Institutes and Centers

A number of institutes and centers at Northwestern have been developed with specific focus areas incorporating artificial intelligence (AI).

Center for Deep Learning (CDL)

The Center for Deep Learning, housed within the McCormick School of Engineering, acts as a resource for companies seeking to establish or improve access to AI by providing technical capacity and expertise, allowing the center’s members to achieve proof of concept or deployment.

Visit the Center for Deep Learning website

Center for Hierarchical Materials Design (CHiMaD)

The Center for Hierarchical Materials Design falls under the mantle of University Research Institutes and Centers at Northwestern. CHiMaD is a National Institute of Standards and Technology-sponsored center of excellence for advanced materials research focusing on developing the next generation of computational tools, databases and experimental techniques in order to enable the accelerated design of novel materials and their integration to industry, one of the primary goals of the U.S. Government's Materials Genome Initiative. CHiMaD is a Chicago-based consortium of Northwestern University, University of Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory, and small-business QuesTek Innovations, along with ASM Materials Education Foundation, a professional society.

Visit the Center for Hierarchical Materials Design website

Center for Human-Computer Interaction + Design

The Center for Human-Computer Interaction + Design brings together researchers and practitioners from across the University to study, design, and develop the future of human and computer interaction at home, work, and play. The center draws upon Northwestern’s pioneering leadership in interaction and design research, and supports researchers in their pursuit of new interaction paradigms to support a collaborative, sustainable, and equitable society.

Visit the Center for Human-Computer Interaction + Design website

Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics (CIERA)

Researchers at CIERA study a wide variety of topics, all with the aim of advancing the field of astrophysics and expanding our understanding of the universe. CIERA researchers collaborate across disciplines to find AI solutions to the challenges of modern astronomy: increasingly large data sets created at increasingly fast rates, growth of time domain astronomy and the associated need for fast classification, critical need for detailed characterization of complex detectors, and increasingly sophisticated simulations that are supplemented with machine learning. Machine learning and other techniques, including as key components of citizen science projects, have been used by CIERA researchers to make advances in gravitational wave and multi-messenger astronomy, transient astronomy, and more.

Visit the Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics website

Center for Robotics and Biosystems

Housed within the McCormick School of Engineering, the Center for Robotics and Biosystems performs highly interdisciplinary research, drawing in faculty from engineering and medicine as well as the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab. The center works toward a future where humans and robots collaborate seamlessly to achieve what is currently impossible; where sensors, actuators, and controllers are inspired by biological principles; and where robotics and computational modeling lead to breakthroughs in the understanding of human and animal neuromechanics. 

Visit the Center for Robotics and Biosystems website

Center for Sleep & Circadian Biology (CSCB)

The Center for Sleep & Circadian Biology (CSCB) is a University Research Center that integrates basic, clinical and translational research on sleep and circadian rhythms into a unified program at Northwestern. CSCB utilizes AI to accelerate their research program and enhance data consistency, such as by using machine learning to recognize and score sleep stages, such as Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, from electroencephalogram data.

Visit the Center for Sleep & Circadian Biology website

Center for Synthetic Biology (CSB)

The Center for Synthetic Biology uses AI and machine learning to address key societal problems in health care, energy, and the environment. This includes model-guided design of mammalian genetic programs, the development and spatial organization of biosynthetic pathways for making sustainable chemicals, and computational protein design.

Visit the Center for Synthetic Biology website

Computationally-Based Imaging of Structure in Materials (CuBISM)

CuBISM is a five-year interdisciplinary research and educational program at the intersection of science and art, focusing on art as a catalyst for the development of innovative and holistic approaches to change over time in complex materials systems. By using machine learning methods, the team is able to implement a novel “fuse algorithm” to combine datasets from conventional RGB image, Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) physical measurements, and AI-trained adaptive X-Ray Florescence scan to build a deep neural network-based multilayer painting analysis model to reconstruct a multilayered structure with most likely material composition for the painting.

Visit the Computationally-Based Imaging of Structure in Materials website

Institute for Augmented Intelligence in Medicine (I.AIM)

Housed within the Feinberg School of Medicine, the mission of the Institute for Augmented Intelligence in Medicine is to bridge computational methods with human expertise to advance medical science and improve human health. The Institute is composed of six centers: Center for Computational Imaging and Signal Analytics in Medicine; Center for Deep Phenotyping and Precision Therapeutics; Center for Advanced Molecular Analysis; Center for Biomedical Informatics and Data Science; Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities; and the Center for Education in Data Science and Digital Health.

Visit the Institute for Augmented Intelligence in Medicine website

Materials Research Science and Engineering Center

The Northwestern Materials Research Science and Engineering Center uses AI and machine learning to determine structures from microscopy images, to design 2D material interfaces, and to determine force fields for thermal transport in mixed dimensional heterostructures. The center also uses machine learning to construct data-driven models to optimize material compositions for improved electronic performance and also to predict synthesizability of materials.

Visit the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center website

Northwestern-Argonne Institute of Science and Engineering (NAISE)

The Northwestern Argonne Institute of Science and Engineering (NAISE) brings together researchers at Northwestern University and Argonne National Laboratory to create powerful collaborations in fields such as energy, biological and environmental systems, data science and computation, materials, and national security. NAISE has held small-group discussions and workshops on topics in AI and continues to connect Northwestern faculty and Argonne researchers to collaborate on proposals in this space. 

Visit the Northwestern-Argonne Institute of Science and Engineering website

Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems (NICO)

A collaboration between the McCormick School of Engineering and the Kellogg School of Management, the Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems (NICO) was founded in 2004 with the goals of uncovering fundamental principles governing complex systems in science, technology, and human behavior and applying these principles to solve societally relevant problems through the analysis, design, and control of complex systems. Today, NICO serves as a hub and facilitator for pathbreaking research in complexity and data science transcending the boundaries of established disciplines.

Visit the Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems website

NU Atomic & Nanoscale Characterization Experimental Center (NUANCE)

The Northwestern Univeristy Atomic and Nanoscale Characterization Experimental Center was established during 2001-2002 to integrate complementary analytical instruments and characterization capabilities at Northwestern. NUANCE serves Northwestern and the broader scientific and engineering community and provides invaluable resources to the private sector and public institutions in and around the Midwest. NUANCE utilizes predictive analytics in instrument failure analysis and machine learning in support of advanced electron microscopy. 

Visit the NU Atomic & Nanoscale Characterization Experimental Center website

NU-Art Institute of Chicago Center for Scientific Studies in the Arts (NUACCESS)

Housed within the McCormick School of Engineering, the Center for Scientific Studies in the Arts is a collaborative endeavor that pursues objects-based and objects-inspired scientific research to advance the role of science within art history, curatorial scholarship, archaeology, and conservation. The center is developing algorithms which use statistical and machine learning-based techniques, such as coupled dictionary learning and independent component analysis to utilize multiple measurements of the composition of materials in layered media such as paintings. 

Visit the NU-Art Institute of Chicago Center for Scientific Studies in the Arts website

Querrey Simpson Institute for Bioelectronics (QSIB)

The Querrey Simpson Institute for Bioelectronics utilizes powerful Deep Learning tools such as Convolutional Neural Networks and Recurrent Neural Networks to explore complex relationships and interactions between commonly acquired biosignals as well as novel signal streams enabled by QSIB's pioneering technology. Projects include cough detection and characterization for early detection of communicable upper respiratory diseases such as COVID-19, hemodynamics/blood pressure prediction from ICU-grade wearable sensors for cardiac critical care monitoring, and surgical triage based on wearable sensor data streams. The institute's efforts focus on results that emphasize the physics and physiology of the biological processes being captured, leading to explainable, generalizable, and therefore clinically useful results.

Visit the Querrey Simpson Institute for Bioelectronics website

Retail Analytics Council (RAC)

The Retail Analytics Council is the leading organization focused on the study of consumer shopping behavior across retail platforms and the impact of technology. Established in August 2014, RAC is an initiative between the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications and the Computer Science Department in the McCormick School of Engineering.

Visit the Retail Analytics Council (RAC) website

Back to top