Davon Woodard has spent the past few months in the National Capital Region as a fellow for Data Science for the Public Good (DSPG). The program, launched and directed by the Social and Decision Analytics Laboratory (SDAL) at the Biocomplexity Institute of Virginia Tech, engages young scholars in conducting research at the intersection of statistics, computation, and the social sciences to determine how information generated within the community can be leveraged to improve quality of life.
Since graduating in 2016 with a Ph.D. in computer science, Huijuan Shao has transitioned from academia to industry. For nine months, she was a research associate at George Washington University where she developed regular expression models with Java to extract clinical variables from cancer pathology reports and tuned queries performance in PostgreSQL when searching from 8TB national electronic health records. In January 2018, her career took another path. She and her family moved west, to Santa Clara, California, where she joined Hitachi America, Ltd., as a research scientist, focusing on industrial AI.
The Discovery Analytics Center and the Urban Computing Certificate Program (funded through a National Science Foundation traineeship grant and administered through DAC) will be well represented at the 24th Annual Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (KDD 2018) conference in London, August 19-23.
The overall theme of this year’s conference is data mining for social good.
After Andrew Hoegh graduated from Virginia Tech with a Ph.D. in statistics in 2016, he headed northwest to Bozeman, Montana, to join Montana State University as assistant professor of statistics. That same year, there was more good news for Hoegh. “Bayesian Model Fusion for Forecasting Civil Unrest,” which he co-authored with his DAC advisor Scotland Leman; DAC Ph.D. student Parang Saraf; and DAC Director Naren Ramakrishnan, garnered the Jack Youden Prize for Best Expository Paper in the 2015 issues of Technometrics, a journal published by the American Statistical Society.
In a recent interview Hoegh talked about life in Montana and reflected back on his time as a DAC Ph.D. student and brought us up to date.
As a National Science Foundation trainee in the Urban Computing certificate program, Stacey Clifton, a Ph.D. student and sociology major, had the opportunity to attend the American Society of Evidence-Based Policing Conference last month.
The conference, held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, provided valuable information and insights related to her research on police socialization and subculture, and community, evidence-based, and predictive policing. Clifton said that what she learned enabled her to further pinpoint her dissertation research interests in intelligence-led policing.
Jia-Bin Huang, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering and a DAC faculty member, has received a grant from the National Science Foundation’s Division of Information and Intelligent Systems to develop algorithms to capitalize on the massive amount of free unlabeled images and videos readily available on the internet for representation learning and adaptation.
This approach is in contrast to recent success in visual recognition which relies on training deep neural networks (DNNs) on a large-scale annotated image classification dataset in a fully supervised fashion.
While online communities play a crucial role in spreading conspiracy theories after catastrophic events like mass shootings or a terrorist attack, not much is known about who participates in these event-specific conspiratorial discussions or how they evolve over time.
A new study by Tanushree Mitra, assistant professor of computer science and a faculty member at the Discovery Analytics Center, and Mattia Samory, a postdoc in the Department of Computer Science, identifies three conspiracy cohorts on the Reddit social news aggregation, web content rating, and discussion website and suggests that “joiners“ — who join both Reddit and the conspiracy community only after an event has occurred — show the most extreme signs of distress at the time of an event and exhibit the most radical changes over time.
Students at the Discovery Analytics Center have headed off to summer jobs and internships from coast to coast. Following is a good example of the kind of real world experience they are getting.
B. Aditya Prakash, an assistant professor of computer science in the College of Engineering, is being celebrated as one of 10 young stars in the field of artificial intelligence by IEEE Intelligent Systems.
The technical magazine named Prakash, who is also a faculty member at the Discovery Analytics Center, to the prestigious AI’s 10 to Watch list for his contributions to understanding, reasoning, and mining the phenomenon of propagation over networks in diverse real-world systems. Click here to read more about the AI’s 10 to Watch list.
Virginia Tech graduates celebrating their achievements this spring include two Ph.D. students and three master’s students at the Discovery Analytics Center.
Two Ph.D. students and one master’s student are planning to celebrate the completion of their degrees during the summer.