Ashley Hou

Credentials: PhD 2022

Ashley Hou, originally of Rochester, Michigan, was always interested in math and science courses in elementary and high school. But she realized early on that engineering would allow her to use those skills in real-life settings, which led her to earn bachelor’s degrees in electrical engineering and economics from the University of Michigan.

After graduation, Hou was interested in finding a way to make a difference with her unique skill set. “I wanted to apply my previous research experience and interest in stochastic optimization and graph-based problems to practical applications,” she says. “After speaking with my now advisor, ECE Assistant Professor Line Roald, I realized that many problems we see in power systems optimization aligned strongly with my interests.”

Now, after earning her master’s in 2019 at UW-Madison, she is finishing work on her PhD. “I chose to pursue a PhD at UW-Madison due to the wide range of research the faculty in ECE are involved in and the high level of collaboration within and outside the department,” she says.

Her research focuses on developing data-driven algorithms (using techniques from stochastic optimization and machine learning) to ensure reliable power systems operation as renewable generation is increasingly integrated into the grid.

In her free time, Hou enjoys running, cross country skiing, baking and spending time with her friends, family and dog George.

She anticipates graduating in December, 2022, and plans to continue work on optimization topics in industry.