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Erika Fille Legara

Aboitiz Chair in Data Science

Asian Institute of Management

Biography

Erika Fille T. Legara is a scientist, educator, and advisor on data science and AI. She serves as the inaugural Managing Director and Chief AI and Data Officer of the Philippine’s Center for AI Research. Erika is an adjunct professor at the Asian Institute of Management, where she was invited to design the curriculum for the country’s first Master of Science in Data Science program and subsequently appointed as its inaugural Academic Program Director (2017-2024) and holds an Aboitiz Chair in Data Science. She sits on the Board of Directors of RCBC, a Fellow at the Instiute of Corporate Directors, and was formerly a scientist at A*STAR, Singapore. Recognized as an Outstanding Young Scientist by the National Academy of Science and Technology in 2020, Erika is also a TOYM and TOWNS awardee, and an Asia 21 Young Leader (Class of 2022).

Interests

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Data Science
  • AI Governance
  • Complex Systems Science
  • Network Science

Education

  • Smart Policy Design, 2021

    Harvard Kennedy School of Government

  • PhD in Physics, 2011

    University of the Philippines

  • MSc in Physics, 2008

    University of the Philippines

  • BSc in Physics, 2006

    University of the Philippines

Blog Posts

Building Your Career Is More Than Technical

Here, I share insights and advice from my experience as the Academic Program Director of the Asian Institute of Management’s MSc …

My Speech as MD at the Launch of the Center for AI Research

On July 03, 2024, the Philippines’ launched its first AI Research Hub, the Center for AI Research.

Reflecting on Seven Incredible Years as APD of the MSc in Data Science

Yesterday, we welcomed the ninth cohort of MSDS students at the Asian Institute of Management. It’s so surreal that we’re …

Driving Efficiency Innovation Through Enterprise AI Collaboration

Here, I share a groundbreaking two-year AI R&D project at the Asian Institute of Management, showcasing the power of triple helix …

Educators+Machines: Reshaping the Future of Business Education

In my keynote at the GNAM deans and directors meeting, ‘Educators and Machines: Shaping the Future of Business Education,’ …

Recent Publications

Typology, network features and damage response in worldwide urban road systems

We survey the network properties and response to damage sustained of road networks of cities worldwide, using OpenStreetMap (OSM) data. …

Forecasting Reservoir Water Levels Using Deep Neural Networks: A Case Study of Angat Dam in the Philippines

Forecasting reservoir water levels is essential in water supply management, impacting both operations and intervention strategies. This …

Generalized radiation model for human migration

One of the main problems in the study of human migration is predicting how many people will migrate from one place to another. An …

An analysis of network filtering methods to sovereign bond yields during COVID-19

In this work, we investigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on sovereign bond yields amongst European countries. We consider the …

Phase Transition in Taxi Dynamics and Impact of Ridesharing

We develop a numerical model using both artificial and empirical inputs to analyze taxi dynamics in an urban setting. More …

Awards and Recognitions

The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service

The TOWNS Award is open to Filipinas age 21 to 50 years old who have shown outstanding dedication, exceptional talent, and a history of contributing positively to society.

Asia’s Rising Scientist

For her commitment to making a positive impact, Erika Legara works with decision makers, fellow researchers and students to uncover the value behind the wealth of data created every day.

Asia 21 Young Leader (Class of 2022)

The Class of 2022 features a diverse mix of leaders representing 26 different countries and includes journalists, human rights advocates, entrepreneurs, fiction writers, politicians, and more. Together, they will form an integral part of the Asia Society family as the newest cohort of its signature young leaders initiative, embody the organization’s mission to navigate shared futures, and actively contribute in taking the network to new heights.

Outstanding Young Scientist

Recognized for her significant contributions in the design and implementation of the first data science program in the Philippines, a much needed upgrade to Philippine education and society.

Generation T List

Awarded for equipping Filipinos for a data driven future. The Generation T Asia list is the definitive list of young leaders shaping Asia’s future.

The Outstanding Young Men (TOYM)

The JCI The Outstanding Young Men award is the most prestigious leadership award for Filipinos under 40.

Most Outstanding Graduate Student

The award is given to the most outstanding Ph.D. graduate in the whole College of Science. The UP Diliman College of Science is composed of eleven (11) constituents: National Institute of Geological Sciences (NIGS), National Institute of Molecular Biology & Biotechnology (NIMBB), The Marine Science Institute (MSI), National Institute of Physics (NIP), Natural Sciences Research Institute (NSRI), Institute of Biology (IB), Institute of Chemistry (IC), Institute of Environmental Science & Meteorology (IESM), Institute of Mathematics (IM), Materials Science & Engineering Program (MSEP), and Science & Society Program (SSP).

Edgardo Gomez Excellence in Dissertation Award

The Edgardo Gomez Excellence Award is given to the most outstanding Ph.D. graduate in the UP College of Science in terms of the number of international publications, among other things.

Recent & Upcoming Talks

GNAM Deans and Directors Meeting

I was invited as a plenary speaker at the 2024 Deans and Directors Meeting of the Global Network for Advanced Management. In this …

AACSB ICAM

We were invited to a plenary panel session to talk about AI in Business Education at the 2024 Association to Advance Collegiate Schools …

Generative AI for Business: A Masterclass

We were invited to present on the topic of ‘Generative AI: Business’ Transformation Growth Engine’ as part of the …

Humanlike AI: Revolutionizing Productivity and Navigating Its Benefits

We joined a panel discussion on Artificial Intelligence with a special focus on GenAI in business. The discussion covered a diverse set …

National Youth Congress

Beyond the Numbers: Navigating a Data-Informed Philippine

News

Breaking Barriers in Philippines

For International Women’s Day 2020, we’re getting to know the pioneering women across East Asia Pacific who are breaking barriers and …

Entrepreneur PH

Data Scientists Needed in Every Industry, Experts Say

Philippine News Agency

Introducing data science as ‘future’ of policy making in PH

Cosmo Philippines

This Pinay Is Leading Data Science Education In The Philippines

Rappler Philippines

AIM’s big data bid to regain business school leadership

Entrepreneur PH

Filipina Physicist Back from SG to Head AIM’s Data Science Program

PHYS ORG

Machine-learning program predicts public transport use in Singapore

Teaching

Business Analytics

This course introduces participants to the latest trends in analytics in the era of big data, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things. The course explores various data-driven approaches, frameworks, and models used by different industries across functions to improve processes and/or create new and innovative products. In particular, participants will familiarize themselves with the different levels of analytics—descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive, and will be tasked to identify use cases where the approaches can be applied.

Complexity Science

Complex Systems are systems composed of heterogeneous agents that are highly interacting and whose interactions result to emergent behavior, e.g. societies, economies, markets, cities, and biological systems like the immune system and the brain, to list a few. In this class, the students will be exposed to various tools used in characterizing and modeling complex systems. The topics include dynamical systems, chaos, fractals, self-organization, cellular-automata modeling, agent-based modeling, and complex networks.

Network Science

The module covers the basics of Complexity Science with particular focus on Complex Networks (network science), which are the backbones of complex systems (e.g. cities, organizations, economies, and financial markets). Complex networks quantify the interactions of various entities/players in complex systems. Examples of complex networks include social networks like those generated from Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, financial networks, biological networks, and organizational networks. Students learn how to visualize, analyze, and model complex networks using Python, NetworkX, and Gephi. At the end of the course, students should be able to view and analyze problems in business and marketing, among others, through the lens of complexity science. They should also be able to argue, in descriptive and quantitative manner, why a system-of-systems thinking is necessary to address most real-world issues.

Intro to Data Science

In this course, students learn data science fundamentals that are more in tune with their applications to business; essentially, how the field is applied in the real-world. Students are provided with a comprehensive overview of data science and artificial intelligence—what they are and what they’re not. Students are also exposed to the current state of data science and its future direction(s). The class has data science practitioners share their experiences—from how companies come up with a data strategy toward becoming a truly data-driven organization, to building data science teams, to learning about the challenges companies faced and are currently facing. Participants learn about data workflows and pipelines; they will learn and appreciate how to assemble and lead data science enterprises. Finally, the course also covers the fundamentals of data privacy and data/AI ethics.

Data Viz and Storytelling

In this course, students will learn to appreciate the importance of successful data visualizations and intelligible stories in communicating insights. Using real-world datasets, learners will gain the necessary skills to fashion effective vizzes that exhibit not only good design elements but also layers of information that when weaved together as a narrative can drive stakeholders to take action. Storytelling will be emphasized across the sessions. On a more technical aspect, students, in this course, will also get to widen their visualization vocabulary. In addition, they will be introduced to the different viz tools available including Tableau, QGIS, and Gephi (a network visualization tool). They will also, of course, learn how to create visualizations in Python with pandas, networkx, geopandas, matplotlib, and plotly, among others.