Sridhar Mahadevan


Adjunct Professor

Director, Data Science Lab, Adobe Research

AAAI Fellow

Co-Director, Autonomous Learning Laboratory

Research Interests

Artificial Intelligence

Imagination Science

Machine Learning

Variational Inequalities


firstname.i.lastname AT gmail

Administrative Assistant: Sarah Byrne


After 17 years of being a full-time faculty member at UMass (from 2001-2018), I am now an Adjunct Professor (effective 9/1/2018). I am currently Director of the Data Science Lab at Adobe Research in San Jose, CA. Adobe's Digital Experience Cloud processes trillions of consumer transactions on behalf of thousands of corporations, involving hundreds of petabytes of data. Understanding how to design machine learning algorithms that operate at such massive web scales is an exciting challenge that has drawn me to the Bay Area.

I am developing a new framework called imagination science. Traditional data science, like statistics, constructs descriptive summaries of experience, and answers the question "What is?", converting experience into probability distributions. Imagination Science explores a much broader palette of questions, including answering "What if?" interventional queries, as well as "Why?" explanations, and counterfactual imagination-type reasoning. I am co-organizing a AAAI Symposium on this topic in March next year.

Elias Bareinboim, Sridhar Mahadevan, Judea Pearl, Bernhard Scholkopf, and Prasad Tadepalli, Beyond Curve Fitting: Causation, Counterfactuals, and Imagination-based AI, AAAI Spring Symposium, March 25-27, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, 2019.

Sridhar Mahadevan, Imagination Machines: A New Challenge for Artificial Intelligence, AAAI Conference, 2018 (received the Blue Sky Paper Award from the Computing Community Consortium).