Unity Hall 360/361
Affiliated Department or Office
BS Computer Science J.W. Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany
MS Computer Science Computer Science, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida
PhD Computer Science University of California, Irvine, California

As founding Director 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, new educational initiatives to our innovative Graduate Qualifying projects at the graduate level.

Having served as primary advisor and mentor of over 35 PhD 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 55, I have authored well over 400 publications, numerous patents, and software systems released to public domain. My research work, widely cited, has been supported by government agencies including NSF, NIH, DOE, FDA, and DARPA, and by industry including HP, IBM, Verizon Labs, GTE, NEC, AMADEUS, Charles River Analytics, and by labs such as MITRE Corporation. I've enjoyed holding leadership positions in the big data field, including having served as Associate Editor of prestigious journals including IEEE Transactions on Data and Knowledge Engineering and VLDB Journal and as area chair on premiere professional big data conferences, including ACM SIGMOD, VLDB, IEEE ICDE, and others.

My research focuses on how to make use of data and information in an effective manner, towards achieving goals in business, scientific discovery, and digital health. With the inter-connectivity of the internet, the availability of computing power, and big data everywhere, access to the right piece of information at the right moment, possibly fused together from numerous information sources, remains one of the most critical capabilities that can set you apart from others. Together with undergraduates, graduate students, post-docs, and other faculty, I strive to develop big data, machine learning and data visualization technologies to discover and explore important nuggets and patterns in massive data sets in real-time in applications from fraud detection, digital health, emergency management, business intelligence, to event analytics.

I love every moment working with students and colleagues at WPI and in industry on cutting-edge data science research and project activities. At the undergraduate level, I work with students both on MQP and IQP projects focused on computer science and data science research challenges often in collaboration with companies and other organizations.

Unity Hall 360/361
Professional Highlights & Honors
EPTS Innovative Principles Award

Yes. Please submit your accommodation letters via Clockwork Student Portal. Your classroom-based accommodations are still valid and will be implemented during online, in-person, or hybrid course instruction as appropriate.

After you submit your letters, you can reach out to your professors to discuss accommodations and how they will be implemented during online, in-person or hybrid course instruction.

If after you connect with your professors, and you still have questions about implementing your accommodations, please contact OAS at 508-831-4908 or

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WPI Chairman's Exemplary Faculty Price
Sigma Xi Outstanding Senior Faculty Researcher Award
WPI Trustees' Award for Outstanding Research and Creative Scholarship
NSF Young Investigator Award
Worcester Business Journal
WPI awarded $3M for graduate data program

In the article, “WPI Awarded $3M for Graduate Data Program” the Worcester Business Journal reported on WPI using a $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to establish a unique graduate curriculum to train the next generation of scientists who can apply chemical sciences along with data analytics, mathematics, and computing power to reduce energy usage, waste, and pollution. Elke Rundensteiner, professor of computer science, founding director of the Data Science program, and principal investigator on the grant, is collaborating with Michael Timko and Aaron Deskins, associate professors of chemical engineering, and Randy Paffenroth, associate professor of mathematical and data sciences, among others.
College Town: WPI Rolls Out New Data Science Bachelor's Degree

The Telegram & Gazette’s College Town lead off with the news of WPI rolling out its bachelor’s degree program in data science. The article quoted Elke Rudensteiner, Data Science Program director, “As the availability of vast amounts of digital data increasingly impacts all facets of our daily lives, from health to business to entertainment, it is critical that we build a pipeline of programs to equip more students with the necessary skills for these 21st-century jobs,” she said.