The Sanghani Center 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.
Jie Bu, a Ph.D. student in computer science, has been interested in machine learning since he was an undergraduate in communications engineering at Harbin Institute of Technology, China. There he was introduced to the Random Forests (a machine learning model) and genetic algorithms which, Bu said, still hold great fascination for him.
In his current research at the Sanghani Center, Bu uses machine learning for physical applications.
Growing up in a family that included a doctor and public sector employees, Ph.D. student Shailik Sarkar said it became increasingly evident to him that social, behavioral, and economic factors often influence the physical and mental health patterns of an individual or a group of people.
That realization shaped his own decision to focus his research in computer science on exploring how data mining and artificial intelligence can be used to tackle community healthcare problems.
Among the paper’s collaborators is his advisor Ruoxi Jia. Zeng was a master’s degree student at the University of California San Diego when he became aware of Ruoxi (at the University of California Berkeley at the time) and her achievements in trustworthy machine learning.
With advances in deep learning, machines are now able to “predict” a variety of aspects about life, including the way people interact on online platforms or the way they behave in physical environments. This is especially true in computer vision applications where there is a growing body of work on predicting the future behavior of moving objects such as vehicles and pedestrians.
“However, while machine-learning methods are now able to match — and sometimes even beat — human experts in mainstream vision applications, there are still some gaps in the ability of machine-learning methods to predict the motion of ‘shape-shifting’ objects that are constantly adapting their appearance in relation to their environment,” said Anuj Karpatne, assistant professor of computer science and faculty at the Sanghani Center for Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics. Click here to read how Karpatne and his team will tackle this challenge in their National Science Foundation-sponsored research.
Having the opportunity to apply state-of-the-art machine learning models to bioinformatics problems as an undergraduate motivated M. Maruf to take a deep dive into machine learning and deep learning as a Ph.D. student in computer science at Virginia Tech which he chose because of its exemplary research and top-notch facilities.
“Dr. Anuj Karpatne’s unique view towards solving real-world problems fascinated me to explore more knowledge-infused machine learning,” Maruf said of his advisor at the Sanghani Center.
With privacy a growing concern, Si Chen, a Ph.D. student in the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering is using machine learning to study potential attacks and defenses against machine learning models.
She was attracted to this area of research because it is important and practical in real-world settings.
“For example,” said Chen, “if a company trains a medical diagnosis model on a training set containing sensitive information, an attacker may be able to infer the training set’s knowledge even if he or she only has access to the model. Our job is to research better attack algorithms that can aid development of defense techniques.”
Working toward a Ph.D. in computer science, Muntasir Wahed is delving into self-supervised learning, adversarial training, and out-of-distribution detection.
“Suppose we train a machine learning classifier to help medical diagnosis of a disease X given an X-ray,” Wahed said. “We collect a large dataset of X-rays for both positive and negative samples of the disease X. However, after we deploy the classifier in real life, it encounters confusing X-rays that have features not seen in any of the X-rays in the training samples. In such cases, it would be unreliable to classify the samples as positives or negatives. Instead, we would like to have a mechanism to recognize that these samples are so far unseen, or in other words, out-of-distribution.”