DAC is home to high-profile research, garnering recognition within and beyond the data analytics community.
Our talented team has been recognized with many competitive research awards and featured in major news and media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, the Boston Globe and the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Tanushree Mitra, DAC faculty member and assistant professor of computer science
What do online conspiracy theorists discuss; what are the recurring elements in these conversations; and what do they tell us about the way people think?
As Tanushree Mitra, assistant professor of computer science and a faculty member at the Discovery Analytics Center, and Mattia Samory, a post doc in the Department of Computer Science,set out to find answers, they turned to Reddit, a social media platform of thousands of smaller communities or “subreddits” connecting users with similar interests. Click here to read more about Tanu’s research.
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Webster University, Khoa Doan entered the workforce. For the next few years, he held positions as a software developer and data engineer in the advertising industry and at NASA and gained experience processing large datasets.
“Music, with its complex hierarchical and sequential structure and its inherent emotional and aesthetic subjectivity, is an intriguing research subject at the core of human creativity,” said Chen. “And because of rapid advances in data-driven algorithms such as deep learning, exploring computational creativity via machine learning approaches is increasingly popular.”
Anuj Karpatne (left) and Jiepu Jiang (right), DAC faculty members and assistant professors in the Department of Computer Science
The Discovery Analytics Center continually brings together computer scientists, engineers, and statisticians to meet the research and workforce needs of today’s data-driven society. This fall, DAC welcomes two new faculty to bolster its strengths in information retrieval, data mining, human-computer interaction, and information science.
Gao is a first-year Ph.D. student in the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. After graduating with a master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Michigan Ann Arbor in April 2017, Gao came to Virginia Tech as a visiting research assistant to work with Jia-Bin Huang. It was this experience that sparked his interest in the university’s Ph.D. program. Huang, a faculty member at the Discovery Analytics Center, is now his advisor.
Rongrong Tao, DAC Ph.D. student in computer science
The prospect of being located in the heart of Northern Virginia drew Rongrong Tao to Virginia Tech and the Discovery Analytics Center in the National Capital Region. A Ph.D. student who earned a master’s degree in computer science at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Tao conducts research on misinformation detection and analysis.
“This location provides opportunities for collaboration with academic institutes in the metropolitan D.C. area and an advantage for future career advancement,” said Tao. After graduation, she would like to work in an industry where she can apply data mining techniques to real-world problems.
Ellis Kessler graduated from Virginia Tech in the spring of 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. The following fall, he was back at the university working toward a Ph.D.
“As an undergraduate, I knew I wanted to do some kind of research with vibrations or structural dynamics. My adviser, Pablo Tarazaga, taught about vibrations and by working with him in the Virginia Tech Smart Infrastructure Laboratory, I became involved with vibrations research on the Goodwin Hall building,” Kessler said.
Baker, also a National Science Foundation research trainee in the UrbComp program, is a math major advised by Mark Embree, professor of mathematics, associate director of the Virginia Tech Smart Infrastructure Laboratory, and DAC faculty.
Yao is a computer science major advised by Bert Huang, assistant professor of computer science and DAC faculty.
Leanna Ireland, a sociology major, is advised by James Hawdon, professor and director of the Center for Peace Studies.