DAC Ph.D. graduate Parang Saraf and his daughter Diya Saraf

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.

Ph.D. May graduates

Liangzhe Chen, advised by Aditya Prakash, received a Ph.D. in computer science. His research interests are data mining, machine learning, sequence analysis, social media analysis and critical infrastructure systems. His dissertation is on “Segmenting, Predicting and Summarizing Data Sequences.” He is joining Pinterest in San Francisco as a machine learning engineer.

Parang Saraf, advised by Naren Ramakrishnan, received a Ph.D. in computer science. Saraf’s areas of research are text mining and information extraction. His dissertation is on “A Cost-Effective Semi-Automated Approach for Comprehensive Event Extraction.”

Master’s May graduates

Reid Bixler, advised by Bert Huang, received a master’s degree in computer science and applications. Probabilistic models is his main area of research and his thesis is on Sparse Matrix Belief Propagation.” In July, Bixler will join Amazon in Seattle, Washington, as a software engineer.

Sidney Holman, advised by Chris North, received a master’s in computer science. His thesis, “Entropy and Insight: Exploring how information theory can be used to quantify sensemaking in visual analytics,” is based on his work in the Information Visualization InfoVis lab. Holman has joined Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Sanket Lokegaonkar, advised by Jia-Bin Huang, received a master’s degree in computer science. His areas of research are computer vision, continual learning, and machine learning and his thesis is on “Continual learning for Deep Dense Prediction.” Lokegaonkar worked on predicting driver state with dashboard cam and sensors with DAC and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute.

Ph.D. Summer graduates 

Rupinder Paul Khandpur, coadvised by Naren Ramakrishnan and Chang-Tien Lu, is planning to graduate with a Ph.D. in computer science. His area of research is applied data sciences with an emphasis on query expansion, knowledge summarization and narrative generation from structured (newspapers) and unstructured (Twitter) texts. His dissertation is on “Augmenting Dynamic Query Expansion in Microblog Texts.” After graduation, he will join Moody’s Analytics as director of artificial intelligence/machine learning.

Yue Ning, advised by Naren Ramakrishnan, is planning to complete her Ph.D. in computer science this summer. Her dissertation is on “Capturing Precursors: Information Reciprocity, Event Modeling and Forecasting.” She will be joining the Department of Computer Science at Stevens Institute of Technology as a tenure-track assistant professor in the fall.

Master’s Summer graduate

Jeff Robertson, advised by Lenwood Heath, will receive a master’s degree in computer science at the end of the first summer session and will join Bloomberg in New York City as a software engineer. Robertson’s thesis is on “Entropy Measurements and Ball Cover Construction for Biological Sequences.”