adrian albert

PhD Candidate
Electrical Engineering Department
Stanford University

S3L Group

Huang Engineering Center 256E
Stanford, CA 94305

adalbert (at)

Twitter: @laceasdetaina


I am a PhD student in Electrical Engineering (MS in MS&E) at Stanford, advised by Profs. James Sweeney in Management Science & Engineering and Ram Rajagopal in Civil & Environmental Engineering. I graduated with a MSc in Space Physics and BSc degrees in Physics and in Computational Science from Jacobs University Bremen, Germany. My advisor there was Prof. Joachim Vogt.

research interests

about     CV     publications     professional     past projects     fun    

selected research themes
Characterizing individual consumption decisions and the factors affecting them. In their daily interaction with systems such as the energy grid, people make decisions to consume that depend on many factors - preferences, lifestyle, external influences, etc. The system operator (e.g., the energy utility) cannot observe the decisions directly, but it can observe the (noisy) consequences of these decisions in form of the data that people generate - e.g., recorded smart meter data of consumption over time. To be able to affect demand at the individual level - through either targeted marketing or automatic control - companies must infer back the decisions from the data. This ability raises some important privacy questions however, which we also explore from a predictive marketing perspective. Papers: IEEE Big Data'13, ECML'13, IEEE TPS (2013).
Designing portfolios of consumers for demand-side management interventions. Variability is of great importance on the energy grid, affecting grid stability, financial operations, and environmental footprint. While predicting individual consumption patterns is hard, it is relatively easy to forecast the aggregate consumption of groups of users. This line of research connects consumption variability of individuals and groups to the costs they impose on the overall system. We learn patterns in consumption variability for individual users, as well as patterns of correlation among consumers, which can be used for targeting, segmentation, and a number of other demand-side portfolio analysis applications. Papers: Journal, ACM Sensys '11,
Optimization and control for energy and resources systems. In energy as well as other resources systems, addressing the estimation problem (obtaining useful statistical characterizations of patterns in demand and supply) is crucial, but not enough by itself. Here we use demand patterns to inform strategies on the supply side (by the system operator) to influence consumption of large individuals (or segments thereof) as to achieve "good behaviors" in the aggregate.
June 20th, 2014

Our paper Thermal profiling of residential energy use was accepted into the IEEE Transactions on Power Systems.

November 9th-12th, 2014

I'll be at the INFORMS General Meeting 2014 in San Francisco, CA. I'm organizing a sessionresearch in the Energy cluster, and presenting in a Data Mining session.


working papers

Albert, A., Rajagopal, R. Detecting thermal and occupancy-related energy use from smart meter data: an experimental evaluation.

Albert, A., Lee, J., Rajagopal, R. The structure of aggregate energy demand of individuals and groups: estimation and applications.

Albert, A., Tan, C. W., Rajagopal, R. Whom (and when) do you call? (Opportunistic scheduling of energy consumers).

Albert, A., Rajagopal, R. Assessing the potential of demand-side management for residential energy consumption.

Albert, A., Beckel, C., Rajagopal, R. What is safe to share? Predicting user information from consumption data, and implications to privacy.

journal papers

Albert, A., Rajagopal, R. Thermal profiling of residential energy consumption. Forthcoming in IEEE Transactions on Power Systems.

Albert, A., Rajagopal, R. Cost-of-service segmentation of energy consumers. Forthcoming in IEEE Transactions on Power Systems (2014).pdf

Albert, A., Rajagopal, R. Smart meter driven segmentation: what your consumption says about you. IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, 4(28), 2013. pdf

Armel, C., Gupta, A., Shrimali, G., Albert, A. Disaggregation: the Holy Grail of Energy Efficiency? Energy Policy, (2012). pdf

Vogt, J., Albert, A., and Marghitu, O.: Analysis of three-spacecraft data using planar reciprocal vectors: methodological framework and spatial gradient estimation, Ann. Geophys., 27, 3249-3273, 2009. pdf

peer-reviewed conference papers

Albert, A., Gebru, T., Ku, J., Kwac, J., Leskovec, J., Rajagopal, R. Drivers of variability in energy consumption. ECML-PKDD DARE Workshop on Energy Analytics. pdf

Albert, A., Rajagopal, R. Building dynamic thermal profiles of energy consumption for individuals and neighborhoods. IEEE Big Data Conference, 2013. pdff

Albert, A., Schafer, A. Demand for freight transportation in the U.S.: a high-level, data-driven view. Transportation Research Forum, Annapolis, MD, March 2013. pdf

Gomes, N., Merugu, D., O'Brien, G., Mandayam, C., Yue, T., Atikoglu, B., Albert, A., Fukumoto, N., Liu, H., Prabhakar, B., Wischik, D. “Steptacular: an incentive mechanism for promoting wellness”. NetHealth, 2012. pdf

Albert, A., Rajagopal, R., Sevlian, R. Power Demand Distributions: Segmenting Consumers using Smart Meter Data. ACM SenSys (BuildSys) 2011. pdf

professional activities

Co-founder at Pocket Lab

Pocket Lab is a sensing and analytics platform for performing scientific experiments focused on the environment.



Adrian Albert Adrian Albert

(since 2009) I am a member of the Capoeira Narahari family, training with Mestre Beicola. I started training with Mestre Lagosta of Capoeira Mandinga in Berkeley. Of late I also train with UCA in Berkeley.

Muay Thai

(since 2012) Muay Thai emphasizes upper-body contact and blocks, and so it is a natural complement to Capoeira, which focuses on avoiding contact and on lower-body kicks and acrobatics.

past projects

MSc and BSc theses

Multi-point data analysis for magnetospheric multi-spacecraft missions (MSc Thesis)

For my MSc Thesis research with Prof. Joachim Vogt at Jacobs University Bremen I developed a novel method for processing time series of three-point magnetospheric satellite data. Part of this work has been published (another part sadly never made it to the editor…) slides

Efficient calculations of cosmic particle fluxes in paleomagnetospheres (BSc Thesis)

My BSc thesis with Prof. Joachim Vogt investigated a computationally-efficient method for calculating charged particle fluxes in magnetic fields by considering trajectories of particle populations that were relevant to final flux integration.

conference presentations on MSc and BSc research

Albert, A., Vogt, J., Marghitu, O. Three-spacecraft gradient calculations: accuracy studies and vorticty calculations. International Association of Geomagnetism and Aeronomy (IAGA) 2009 General Assembly, Sopron, Hungary (oral presentation). pdf

Albert, A., Vogt, J., Marghitu, O. Analysis of three-spacecraft data using planar reciprocal vectors. American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting 2008, San Francisco (poster presentation). pdf

Albert, A., Vogt, J., Zieger, B. Efficient calculation of cosmic particle fluxes in paleomagnetospheres. German Geophysical Society Meeting, Bremen 2005 (oral presentation).

Selected internship research projects

Inferring high level personal mobility choices from sparse gps data

In summer 2010 I worked at IBM Almaden Research Center on developing an integrated system that uses GPS information provided by smartphones to analyze and model individuals’ mobility choices. The system collects GPS data from Android and iPhone devices via native apps, sends it automatically to a server, performs analytics, and lets the user view and interact with the results in a web portal. We were interested in extracting high-level travel patterns and dominant choices that could be used as input for a map model-aware route prediction tool.

Lighting authoring effort analysis

We analyzed the authoring effort for several Pixar movies (Ratatouille, Wall-E, and UP) for lighting versus animation effects. Insights of the statistics were used to support research decisions in front of Pixar management (results and written materials are confidential).

Multi-sensor electric field change networks for lighting research

At NASA MSFC I worked in the atmospheric and lightning physics group on developing a software package for analyzing electric field change data from an array of sensors in the Huntsville, AL area. poster

Numerical investigation of the kelvin-helmholtz instability

As a summer REU project at the University of California, Santa Barbara, we proposed a novel regularizing scheme for the Birkhoff-Rott equation of an ideal vortex sheet, based on an exponential smoothing term, and performed numerical experiments of the sheet's stability. slides

Efficient simulation of many colliding deformable objects

I participated in RIPS (Research in Industrial Projects for Students) at UCLA, where I worked in the Pixar team on developing a computationally-efficient approach for simulating many colliding deformable objects for Pixar's Ratatouille. pdf

Selected internship technical reports

Albert, A., Bitzer, P., Christian, H., Blakeslee, R. BLITZER: A data analysis system for lighting research. NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Intern Colloquium periodical 2008. pdf

Albert, A., Atanasova, D., Creech, K., Scott, J. Desingularization of a vortex sheet using a variable smoothing parameter. University of California, Santa Barbara Mathematics Colloquium, 2007. pdf

Albert, A., Bachmayr, M., Wiener, J., Effinger-Dean, l. Efficient simulation of many colliding deformable objects for set-dressing and animation. Technical report for Pixar Animation Studios, 2006. pdf

Selected class projects

Visualizing the U.S. freight network

This is a small dashboard I put together for Jeff Heer's visualization class. It describes inter- and intra-state flows of freight and some of its determining factors. Note that for some browsers the zoom setting might need to be adjusted.