Faculty & Staff

Data Science Faculty

Elke Rundensteiner
Professor, Computer Science, Program Head, Data Science, Computer Science

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x5815

As founding Head of the interdisciplinary Data Science program here at WPI, I take great pleasure in doing all in my power to support the Data Science community in all its facets from research collaborations, and new educational initiatives to our innovative industry-sponsored and mentored Graduate Qualifying projects at the graduate level.Having served as the primary advisor and mentor of over 43 Ph.D. students who have secured successful professional careers in computing, I'm proud of all the great accomplishments of students I have had the opportunity to collaborate with. With an h-index of ...

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Fatemeh Emdad
Teaching Professor, Data Science

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x5303

Professor Fatemeh Emdad completed her Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics with a concentration in Applied Mathematics at Colorado State University. She is the recipient of the top-ranked student academic award from the President of Shiraz University. She is the author of the book High Dimensional Data Analysis and more than 20 journal and conference articles. She completed her postdoctoral degree with the University of Texas Medical Branch and Shriners Hospital for Children Burn Unit when she was the NIH postdoctoral scientist fellow (under Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award from ...

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Torumoy Ghoshal
Assistant Teaching Professor, Data Science

Phone: +1 (508) 8315082

During his doctoral research efforts, Dr. Ghoshal developed three novel methods to expand the usability of convolutional neural networks beyond image data. He earned his Ph.D. in Engineering Science with a Computer Science major from the University of Mississippi in 2020. He then joined Lyon College as a Visiting Assistant Professor and led the development of their brand new data science program. His research interests include feature engineering, deep learning, and natural language processing. He also worked at Dow Jones where he developed machine learning models for the Wall Street Journal ...

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Lane Harrison
Associate Professor, Computer Science

Phone: +1 (508) 8315952

Information visualization is a powerful means for understanding data and informing human minds. As people begin to rely on visualizations to make high-impact and even life-critical decisions, there is a growing need to ensure that information can be perceived accurately and precisely. My research addresses these challenges by leveraging cognitive and perceptual principles to quantify and model user performance with visualizations. Results from these projects have led to visualization design guidelines in domains such as cyber security and health-risk communication, as well as a better ...

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Xiangnan Kong
Associate Professor, Computer Science

Phone: +1 (508) 8315860

Professor Kong’s research interests focus on data mining and machine learning, with emphasis on addressing the data science problems in biomedical and social applications. Data today involves an increasing number of data types that need to be handled differently from conventional data records, and an increasing number of data sources that need to be fused together. Dr. Kong is particularly interested in designing algorithms to tame data variety issues in various research fields, such as biomedical research, social computing, neuroscience, and business intelligence. He has been working on ...

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Nima Kordzadeh
Assistant Professor, The Business School

Phone: +1 (508) 8315290

Dr. Kordzadeh joined the faculty of the Business School at WPI in July 2017. He received his Ph.D. in Business Administration with an emphasis on Information Technology from the University of Texas at San Antonio. His research interests include health informatics, social media, information privacy, and business intelligence and analytics. His research has been presented at national and international conferences including Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences and Americas Conference on Information Systems and published in such peer-reviewed journals as Journal of the Association ...

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Kyumin Lee
Associate Professor, Computer Science

Phone: +1 (508) 8316826

Dr. Lee’s research interests are in information retrieval, natural language processing, social computing, machine learning, and cybersecurity over large-scale networked information systems like the Web and social media. He focuses on threats to these systems and design methods to mitigate negative behaviors (e.g., misinformation, hate speech), and looks for positive opportunities to mine and analyze these systems for developing next generation algorithms and architectures (e.g., recommender system, natural language understanding). He also focuses on AI for social good (e.g., ...

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Yanhua Li
Associate Professor, Computer Science

Phone: +1 (508) 8315785

Yanhua Li is an Associate Professor in the Computer Science Department and Data Science Program at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). His research interests focus on artificial intelligence (AI) and data science, with applications in smart cities in many contexts, including spatial-temporal data analytics, urban planning and optimization. Recently, his research has an emphasis on advancing imitation learning and meta learning in AI for learning and influencing the decision-making strategies of urban human agents, such as passenger-seeking strategies of taxi drivers and transit mode/route ...

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Xiaozhong Liu
Associate Professor, Computer Science

Phone: +1 (508) 8315911

Dr. Xiaozhong Liu is an Associate Professor at Computer Science and Data Science, WPI. Before that, he was Associate Professor at School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering Indiana University Bloomington. His research interests include natural language processing (NLP), text/graph mining, information retrieval/recommendation, metadata, and computational social science. His dissertation at Syracuse University (advisor Dr. Elizabeth D. Liddy) explored an innovative ranking method that weighted the retrieved results by leveraging dynamic community interests. His recent research is ...

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Oren Mangoubi
Assistant Professor, Mathematical Sciences

Phone: +1 (508) 8316881

I design and analyze optimization and Markov Chain Monte Carlo sampling algorithms, with provable runtime, robustness, and privacy guarantees for applications in Machine Learning,  Data Science, and Statistics.  In doing so, I aim to introduce new mathematical tools from physics and geometry to the design and analysis of optimization and sampling algorithms used in ML. I am especially interested in Markov chain and stochastic gradient-based optimization and sampling algorithms.  These algorithms are used to rapidly explore a high-dimensional or non-convex function or probability ...

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Fabricio Murai
Assistant Professor, Data Science

Phone: +1 (508) 8316490

Before joining WPI Data Science/Computer Science, Fabricio Murai was an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science at  University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2016. His research lies in the application of mathematical modeling, statistics and machine learning to computer, informational and social networks. He has published in top scientific journals such as Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery, ACM TKDD and PLOS ONE. ...

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Chun-Kit Ngan
Assistant Teaching Professor, Data Science

Phone: +1 (508) 8316253

I completed my Ph.D. in Information Technology from the Department of Computer Science at George Mason University. Before that, I received MBA in Management Information Systems from California State University, Chico and BEng in Electronic Engineering from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology respectively. My teaching interests include Database Management Systems, Data Mining, Artificial Intelligence, Machine/Deep Learning, Data Analytics, Decision Support System, Data Structures, Computational Algorithms, and Software Application Programming. My research interests are ...

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Randy Paffenroth
Associate Professor, Mathematical Sciences

Phone: +1 (508) 8316562

My research focuses on compressed sensing, machine learning, signal processing, and the interaction between mathematics, computer science and software engineering. My interests range from theoretical results to algorithms for tackling practical applied problems, and I enjoy problems most when mathematical results lead to efficient software implementations for big data. I am looking forward to working with students at all levels and backgrounds who share an interest in mathematics, software, or data. Some problems that have captured my interest include network analysis for cyber defense, and ...

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Carolina Ruiz
Associate Dean of Arts & Sciences, Computer Science

Phone: +1 (508) 8315640

Carolina Ruiz is the Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences and the Harold L. Jurist ’61 and Heather E. Jurist Dean's Professor of Computer Science. She joined the WPI faculty in 1997. Prof. Ruiz’s research is in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Data Mining, and their applications to Medicine and Health. She has worked on several clinical domains including sleep, stroke, obesity and pancreatic cancer. Prof. Ruiz and her research group have developed novel, high-performing machine learning methods, including deep learning networks, for analyzing physiological sleep data; and machine ...

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Roee Shraga
Assistant Professor, Computer Science

Phone: +1 (508) 8316081

Before joining WPI, Roee Shraga was a Postdoctoral fellow at the Khoury College of Computer Science at Northeastern University in Boston. His research mainly revolves around data discovery and integration and combines techniques from data management, machine learning, information retrieval and human-in-the-loop. His research has been published in top-tier conferences such as SIGMOD, VLDB, SIGIR, WWW, and ICDE. He is a recipient of the Council for Higher Education [VATAT] scholarship for outstanding data science postdocs. He is also a recipient of several PhD fellowships including the Leonard ...

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Diane Strong
Professor & Department Head, The Business School

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x5573

WPI provides an environment that values both teaching and research, which is ideal for me. I enjoy teaching at WPI because students are interested in learning and willing to work hard. My teaching focuses on how business, healthcare, and nonprofit organizations can best use computing technologies, such as database systems, electronic health records systems, and mobile apps. Students in my classes learn to design computing applications that meet the needs of organizations. Students understand the value of learning these topics, and as a result, they work hard to learn the principles and how to ...

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Andrew Trapp
Associate Professor, The Business School

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x4935

I am Professor of Operations and Industrial Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), with courtesy appointments in Mathematical Sciences, Data Science, and Computer Science. I hold a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh. My objective is to use science and technology to assist real human need by improving systems that serve vulnerable peoples, such as refugees and asylum seekers, survivors of human trafficking, and children in the foster care system.I believe that the convergence of novel analytical technologies and open-source software can create ...

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Seyed Zekavat
Professor, Physics

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x5391

Seyed A. (Reza) Zekavat received his PhD from Colorado State University in 2002. He is the Author of the textbook "Electrical Engineering: Concepts and Applications" published by Pearson, and the editor of the book “Handbook of Position Location: Theory, Practice and Advances,” published by Wiley/IEEE. He holds a patent on an active Wireless Remote Positioning System. Zekavat has also co-authored two books “Multi-Carrier Technologies for Wireless Communications,” published by Kluwer, and “High Dimensional Data Analysis,” published by VDM Verlag; and ten book chapters in the areas of adaptive ...

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Frank Zou
Associate Professor, Mathematical Sciences

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x6428

Professor Zou's research focuses on financial time series and spatial statistics with applications to epidemiology, public health and climate change. His most recent research on statistical theory and methodology addressed a wide range of challenges including high dimensionality, complex dependencies, and space and time variations. His research in high-frequency financial data tackled problems with high dimensionality, which is currently a hot topic in statistics. He also works on developing novel spatio-temporal models that provide early and accurate detection of disease outbreaks using ...

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Data Science

Collaborative Faculty, Professor Emeritus, and Adjunct Faculty

Collaborative Faculty

Emmanuel O. Agu Computer Science, Bioinformatics & Computational Biology
Andrea Arnold Mathematical Sciences
Donald Brown  Electrical & Computer Engineering
Soussan Djamasbi The Business School
Loris Fichera Robotics Engineering & Biomedical Engineering
Tian Guo Computer Science
Neil T. Heffernan Computer Science, Learning Sciences & Technologies
Xinming Huang Electrical & Computer Engineering
Bashima Islam Electrical & Computer Engineering
Dmitry Korkin Computer Science
Rodica Neamtu Computer Science
Erin Ottmar Social Science & Policy Studies
Daniel Reichman Computer Science
Adam Sales  Mathematical Sciences
Bo Tang Electrical & Computer Engineering
Daniel N. Treku The Business School
Jacob Whitehill Computer Science
Zheyang Wu Mathematical Sciences
Ziming Zhang  Electrical & Computer Engineering

Professor Emeritus

Domokos Vermes Mathematical Sciences
Homer F. Walker Mathematical Sciences

Adjunct Faculty

Mohamed Eltabakh Data Science and Bioinformatics & Computational Biology
Feifan Liu Data Science


For more information about Data Science Faculty, Collaborative Faculty, and Adjunct Faculty, please visit the WPI Graduate Catalog here


Data Science Staff and Project Management

Ana Maria Young
Program Manager, Data Science

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x6683

Ana Maria is the Program Manager for the Data Science Program. Her responsibilities include working with the Program Head, supporting faculty and students, collaborating across campus, and managing budgetary and financial matters. She previously worked at Becker College as the Director of Teaching & Learning Innovation. She holds a B.A. in Art Education from C.W. Post Long Island University, an M.A. in Diplomacy from Norwich University, and is working toward her Ed.D. in Leadership & Innovation from St. Thomas University. Ana Maria enjoys spending time with her family, drawing, ...

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Kelsey Briggs
Director of Programs & Strategic Initiatives, Data Science

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x4173

Kelsey is the Director of Programs & Strategic Initiatives for the Data Science Program. Her responsibilities include serving as the Graduate Coordinator, working with the Program Head on grant funded projects, supporting faculty and students, and collaborating with the Program Manager. Specifically, Kelsey provides administrative oversight for the NRT CEDAR Project, an interdisciplinary program that seeks to transform the next generation of technical leaders equipped with DS techniques and methods ready to solve critical engineering and science problems plaguing our society. In addition, ...

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