Excellence at scale
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
The School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering continues to make transformative advances in human-technology systems through our innovative research and education.
Industry groups recognize our faculty’s excellence
Our faculty are further enhancing our school’s far-reaching reputation by winning prestigious honors and positions in leading industry groups.
Pitu Mirchandani was named one of eight INFORMS fellows in 2015 for his fundamental research contributions to transportation system modeling and analysis, Sarma Vrudhula was named an IEEE Fellow for his extraordinary record of accomplishments in improving the energy efficiency of digital devices, and Ross Maciejewski was named an IEEE Senior Member in 2015.
At the 2015 IEEE International Conference on Data Mining, Hanghang Tong and two colleagues received the Ten Year Highest Impact Paper Award for their 2006 paper, “Fast Random Walk with Restart and Its Applications,” which has been cited more than 400 times.
Gail-Joon Ahn earned a special designation as Distinguished Scientist by the Association for Computing Machinery, the world’s leading association of computing professionals.
We have early-career faculty who continue to impress on the national level. Jingrui He is CIDSE’s most recent faculty member to receive an National Science Foundation CAREER Award for her work to create new algorithms and theories to better process today’s complex datasets.
Sparking innovations through research
In fall 2016 we added six talented new faculty members to support growing student enrollment and strengthen our key research areas of robotics, industrial engineering and software engineering.
All our faculty continue to conduct innovative research that is advancing many areas of computing.
In robotics, Heni Ben Amor is developing methods to allow robot assistants to anticipate the actions of human co-workers, while Ted Pavlic is looking to ants for inspiration for autonomous agents like robots to improve artificial decision-making systems.
Computing research by Yalin Wang is aiding healthcare by developing geometry-based software to analyze brain imaging to help better distinguish Alzheimer’s disease from normal aging in patients.
To build on our strengths in Big Data research, Selçuk Candan, Hasan Davulcu and Gail-Joon Ahn were awarded a planning grant from the National Science Foundation for the creation of the Industry/University Cooperative Research Center for Assured and SCAlable Data Engineering (CASCADE) in collaboration with the University of Maryland, College Park. Their goal is to create innovative data architectures and tools to support timely and assured decision making.
Huan Liu’s Data Mining and Machine Learning Lab’s TweetTracker, funded by a grant from the Office of Naval Research, helps track and understand events by geographic region through social media data.
Our faculty also excel in the area of cybersecurity. Ahn is leading a new research center that opened this past academic year, the Center for Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics, which will collaborate with other universities, government agencies and industry partners to advance cybersecurity and digital forensics research.
Ahn is also working with Anna Scaglione, professor of electrical, computer and energy engineering, to lead ASU’s effort in a $28.1 million national research program, called the Cyber Resilient Energy Delivery Consortium, to protect the nation’s energy delivery systems from cyberattacks.
Faculty launch entrepreneurial efforts
Several faculty have leveraged their areas of expertise to promising startup businesses.
Paulo Shakarian, for example has launched two startup companies. With CIDSE alumnus Abhinav Bhatnagar, he founded CrossViral Inc., an analytics consulting firm specializing in data-driven viral marketing strategies for business.
Shakarian also formed IntelliSpyre Inc., a cyber-threat intelligence company specializing in proactive threat warnings based on the activities of the malicious hacker space, with CIDSE research scientist Jana Shakarian. IntelliSpyre created a beta version of its product that is undergoing testing by about a dozen major companies and is licensing technology developed at ASU in the CySIS Lab, which Shakarian directs.
Dijiang Huang is also excelling in his entrepreneurship efforts. He is working to improve computer science lab access at ASU and at universities around the world through virtual, cloud-based lab service ThoTh Lab with his startup, Athena Network Solutions LLC, whose CEO is Huang’s former doctoral student. ThoTh Lab will help students and researchers around the world get hands-on education to learn the skills needed by today’s cybersecurity professionals. Huang is working with universities in the United States, the United Arab Emirates, India and China to improve lab capabilities and access.
Research aids local communities
Shakarian recently adapted a system he developed for counterinsurgency operations in Afghanistan into the Missing Person Intelligence Synthesis Toolkit to help with a local missing-person case.
Our students are also involved in helping their local communities on projects with the potential to have impacts around the world.
Computer science, computer engineering and software engineering students are working in interdisciplinary groups to help local community members regain or enhance their physical abilities through assistive technology.
Computer science doctoral student Prajwal Paudyal is working in the iMPACT Lab on SCEPTRE, a smartphone interface that takes in American Sign Language gestures to communicate via computer systems. Paudyal works with local ASL users in his research and was recognized with a Spring 2016 Graduate and Professional Student Association Outstanding Research Award.
Student continue success in international programs and competitions
We have excellent students involved in distinguished international programs and competitions.
From among 120 applicants, computer engineering doctoral student Imane Lamrani was one of only 10 American computer science and computer engineering doctoral students chosen for this summer’s session of the French-American Doctoral Exchange Program.
In China, a team of our students led by Yinong Chen won first prize at this year’s Intel Cup for the second time in a row.
Industry partnerships strengthen opportunities
Our students benefit from expanding educational and research partnerships with major corporations in the Phoenix area, including Intel, AVNET, Honeywell, the Mayo Clinic, Banner Health, General Motors, PayPal and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Students regularly catch the attention of distinguished industry programs. This year, for example, computer science graduate student Tathagata Chakraborti earned an IBM Ph.D. Fellowship award that allows him to pursue human-AI collaborative planning research with IBM.
Our graduates are also finding industry positions with companies at the top of their industries.
Subbarao Kambhampati’s doctoral students recently went to prestigious research positions at IBM to work on its Watson research and to Google for work on YouTube. Liu’s students have recently gone on to work at LinkedIn, Yahoo Labs and Intel. My own students have gone to research positions at Nokia Labs.
Other students have had success in academia. Kambhampati and Liu’s students have also been hired by leading universities.
School expands program inclusiveness
The rapid growth of student enrollment at CIDSE puts us at the largest among the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, and the growth isn’t limited to the number of students at ASU’s Tempe and Polytechnic campuses.
The Fulton Schools, and CIDSE in particular, continue to lead in online education. CIDSE boasts the first four-year, completely online engineering management program, and recently participated in a partnership with Intel Corp. to provide master’s level engineering education to its employees around the world. Engineers in China and Vietnam studied industrial engineering from our esteemed faculty, including Ron Askin and Dan Shunk.
We work diligently to foster student diversity and inclusion in our programs. Carole-Jean Wu organizes a scholarship program to support female undergraduate and graduate students in computing-related majors to attend the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. In 2014 and 2016, around 145 students attended the Grace Hopper event in Phoenix and Houston for professional career development.
Wu and Farideh Navabi-Tadayon also participate in BRAID — Building, Recruiting And Inclusion for Diversity — a national partnership of universities that aims to increase the percentage of women and underrepresented minorities majoring in computer science.
Generous support leads to enduring excellence
All our faculty and student success is not possible without the help of our benefactors, who contributed more than $1 million to CIDSE in the 2015-2016 academic year. These generous contributions include donations to the Gerald Farin Memorial Fellowship, established in remembrance of an esteemed faculty member who passed away in early 2016, which has already raised $31,150 from 45 donors. The 2016-2017 academic year is already off to a great start, with more than $1 million contributed since July 1. Help our faculty and students embark on many more years of research and educational excellence.
Take a look at our website and plan a visit for an on-site exploration of a school designed and dedicated to providing a life-changing education and research.
Sandeep Gupta, Interim Director and Professor
School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering