Hoda Eldardiry receives Early Career Science Award from Purdue University

Hoda Eldardiry, associate professor in the Department of Computer Science and faculty member at the Sanghani Center

Hoda Eldardiry, associate professor in the Department of Computer Science and faculty at the Sanghani Center for Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics, has received an Early Career Science Award from her alma mater, Purdue University. The award is granted to alumni who have graduated in the last 10 years or are under the age of 40 and who illustrate promise of becoming a leader among their peers.

She was honored during a Distinguished Science Awards virtual event hosted by the Purdue University College of Science on April 14.

Eldardiry, who earned a master’s (2006) and PhD (2012) in computer science, in addition to an MBA (2011), was recognized for “enormous contributions to artificial intelligence and the computing research community at large.” Her research on artificial intelligence has led to the development of AI and machine learning that tackle complicated modern issues such as fraudulent medical claims, cyber threat protection, and sensors that can assist with panic attacks.

She has published over 35 peer-reviewed papers and holds 19 patents. She has managed research projects for government and commercial sectors with her own share of the awards exceeding $12 million.

Her other honors include the Creative Young Engineer Award and the Xerox Innovation Group Research Recognition Award for Advancing the Edge of Innovation.

Determined to support tomorrow’s future scientists, Eldardiry has also served as a professional mentor for the U.S. State Department TechWomen Program, a Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs initiative to combine global business, technology, and education power.

Sanghani Center Student Spotlight: Xinyue Wang

Graphic is from the paper “The Case For Alternative Web Archival Formats To Expedite The Data-To-Insight Cycle”

Xinyue Wang was an undergraduate research assistant involved in artificial intelligence and digital library research at the University of North Texas when he had occasion to connect with Edward Fox, professor in Virginia Tech’s Department of Computer Science and faculty at the Sanghani Center and Zhiwu Xie, a professor at University Libraries.

The two are now Wang’s co-advisors as he pursues a Ph.D. in computer science at Virginia Tech. “They are wonderful people and I am grateful to be able to learn from them and work with them,” he said.

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Data scientists combat hate crimes and other violence

Research associates Brian Mayer (top) and Nathan Self (bottom) meet virtually to review targeted violence events on the dashboard developed by the Sanghani Center.

About the series: Every complex problem has many multidisciplinary angles. Leveraging expertise and energy, Virginia Tech faculty and students serve humanity by addressing the world’s most difficult problems.

With risk of political and targeted violence on the rise across the United States, national and local leaders are asking Princeton University’s nonpartisan Bridging Divides Initiative (BDI) to provide them with more timely, reliable, and context-specific data on targeted violence events that could help them engage locally and better inform their policy decisions. 

As part of their response to this plea, BDI’s team of Princeton social scientists collaborated with data scientists at the Sanghani Center for Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics to identify targeted violence events. These often include hate crimes and other incidents that target individuals because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, or other perceived characteristics. Click here to read more about this research.

Sanghani Center welcomes new faculty member Ismini Lourentzou

Ismini Lourentzou, assistant professor of computer science and Sanghani Center faculty member

The Sanghani Center for Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics welcomes new faculty member Ismini Lourentzou, who joined the Virginia Tech Department of Computer Science as assistant professor in the Spring 2021 semester.

Lourentzou most recently served as a research scientist at IBM Almaden Research Center where she worked on machine learning, natural language processing, and information retrieval problems. In 2019, she was recognized with an IBM Invention Achievement Award and was selected to participate in Rising Stars in EECS.

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Edward Fox honored as inaugural inductee in ACM SIGIR Academy

Edward Fox, professor of computer science and Sanghani Center faculty member

The Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group on Information Retrieval (ACM SIGIR) has announced that Edward Fox, professor in the Virginia Tech Department of Computer Science and faculty at the Sanghani Center for Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics, is one of 25 inductees from across the globe in its inaugural SIGIR Academy. 

The inaugural academy inductees, drawn from academia, industry, and beyond, are principal leaders in information retrieval whose significant contributions have shaped the discipline or industry. Click here to read more about Edward’s inauguration.

Sanghani Center Student Spotlight: Xiaolong Li

Graphic is from the paper “Category-Level Articulated Object Pose Estimation.”

Xiaolong Li is a Ph.D. student in computer engineering. His main interest is in computer vision, with a focus on deep 3D representations learning for dynamic scene understanding. 

“Building robust smart algorithms will help machines understand the 3D world around us,” Li said.

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Sanghani Center Student Spotlight: Jesse Harden

Graphic is from the paper “A Specification Language for Matching Mistake Patterns with Feedback.”

Ph.D. student Jesse Harden’s current research is focused on large, high-resolution displays and their use in and benefits for data science.

“I am particularly interested in how we can better design software for large displays for data science. And in the future, I hope to look into how machine learning can be used to improve interactions with large screen UIs for both individual and collaborative use scenario,” said Harden, whose concentration in this area was influenced by reading the past works of his advisor, Chris North, and through their subsequent discussions.

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Sanghani Center Student Spotlight: Brian Keith

Graphic is from the paper “Narrative Maps: An Algorithmic Approach to Represent and Extract Information Narratives”

Having earned two bachelor of science degrees, one in mathematics and one in engineering, and a master’s degree in informatics, all from UniversidadCatólica del Norte, Chile, Brian Keith was looking for a flexible Ph.D. program. The Virginia Tech Department of Computer Science provided that flexibility and led him to the Sanghani Center where interdisciplinary data science is a key focus.

In his Ph.D. research, Keith, co-advised by Chris North and Tanushree Mitra —  is exploring online information narratives, in particular, how to represent, extract, and visualize them. He is also analyzing the issue of how misinformation spreads in these narratives.

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Sanghani Center Student Spotlight: Yali Bian

Yali Bian, Ph.D. student in the Department of Computer Science
Graphic from the paper “DeepVA: Bridging Cognition and Computation through Semantic Interaction and Deep Learning” 

According to Yali Bian, the Sanghani Center’s proclivity for encouraging interdisciplinary research is an added benefit while working on his dissertation topic, “Interactive Deep Learning for Semantic Interaction.” It encompasses several different research areas like human computer interaction, deep learning, visual analytics, and explainable AI. 

Bian is exploring ways to provide user-friendly interactive visualization systems to users unfamiliar with deep learning so that they can make full usage of powerful deep learning models.

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Sanghani Center Student Spotlight: Bipasha Banerjee

When Bipasha Banerjee was looking for a Ph.D. program she had one major criteria: it had to give the highest importance to research. With her continuing passion for knowing more, she wanted to delve deeper into open questions and learn how to solve them.

“The quality of research in computer science at Virginia Tech is unparalleled and professors associated with the Sanghani Center are involved in projects that encompass a large range of real-world issues,” said Banerjee. “I realized this was the right fit for me and, thankfully I was accepted and started an exciting journey of research.”

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