Six New Faculty Join CSE

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The CSE Division is pleased to announce the addition of six new faculty, beginning in Fall 2013. From contributions to big data and cloud explorations to servers and architectures, they’ll help to lead and teach us as we enter a world increasingly shaped by computer science and engineering.

Jacob Abernethy, Assistant Professor
PhD, Computer Science, University of California Berkeley, 2011

Jake Abernethy joins the faculty from the University of Pennsylvania, where he has been a Simons Postdoctoral Fellow. His research draws from the field of Machine Learning (ML), but he has devoted much attention to a range of areas, including game theory, decision theory, optimization, market mechanism design, and financial applications. He is particularly interested in how algorithms utilized in ML, such as those for discovering patterns in data, are strongly related to methods used in large-scale optimization, as well as strategies for hedging financial derivatives and setting prices in securities markets. Jake aims to explore further collaboration with researchers in Economics, Statistics, Operations Research, and Mathematics.

Jia Deng, Assistant Professor
PhD, Computer Science, Princeton University, 2012

Jia Deng has joined the faculty at Michigan, beginning September 2014. He is currently a postdoctoral scholar in the Vision Lab at Stanford University, where his research centers around harvesting, understanding, and harnessing big visual data for object recognition, activity recognition, scene understanding, image and video retrieval, and other applications. He has built datasets and tools used by more than 1,000 researchers worldwide and his work has appeared in popular press such as The New York Times. He has been the lead student organizer of the ImageNet Large Scale Visual Recognition Challenges since 2010. He was also the lead organizer of the first BigVision workshop at NIPS 2012.

Jason Mars, Assistant Professor
PhD, Computer Science, University of Virginia, 2012

Jason Mars joins the faculty from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at University of California San Diego, where he recently held the position of Peggy and Peter Preuss Assistant Professor. He has been an active researcher in the areas of computer architecture, system software, and cross-layer system design. His research interests include cross-layer systems architectures for emerging applications, datacenter and warehouse-scale computer architecture, and hardware / software co-design. His work focuses on native application performance, energy efficiency, and system utilization, particularly in the context of the latest innovations in microarchitectural design, runtime systems, and cloud/mobile computing.

Jason’s work has been featured as an IEEE Micro Top Pick, and he recently received Best Paper Awards at HPCA ’12 and CGO ’12. He received a UVA Research Award in 2012.

Rada Mihalcea, Associate Professor
PhD, Linguistics, Oxford University, 2010
PhD, Computer Science and Engineering, Southern Methodist University, 2001

Rada Mihalcea joins the faculty from the Department of Computer Science at the University of North Texas. Her research interests are in computational linguistics, with a focus on lexical semantics, graph-based algorithms for natural language processing, and multilingual natural language processing. She is currently involved in a number of research projects, including modeling of word meaning, monolingual and crosslingual semantic similarity, subjectivity, sentiment, and emotion analysis, multimodal affect analysis, text summarization, and computational humor. She serves or has served on the editorial boards of the Journals of Computational Linguistics, Language Resources and Evaluations, Natural Language Engineering, Research in Language in Computation, IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing, and Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics. She was a program cochair for the two leading conferences in Computational Linguistics: the Conference of the Association for Computational Linguistics (2011), and the Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (2009). She is the recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER award and a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. In 2013, she was made a honorary citizen of her hometown of Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

Barzan Mozafari, Assistant Professor
PhD, Computer Science,, University of California Los Angeles, 2011

Barzan Mozafari joins the faculty from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he has been a Postdoctoral Associate. He is passionate about building large-scale data-intensive systems that are more scalable, more robust, and more predictable, with a particular interest in database-as-a-service clouds, distributed systems, and crowdsourcing. In his research, he draws on advanced mathematical models to deliver practical database solutions, adapting concepts and tools from applied statistics, complexity theory, automata theory, and machine learning. He has won several awards and fellowships, including SIGMOD 2012 and EuroSys 2013’s best paper awards.

Lingjia Tang, Assistant Professor
PhD, Computer Science, University of Virginia, 2012

Lingjia Tang joins the faculty from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at University of California San Diego, where she was a research faculty member. Her research focuses on computer architecture and compiler and runtime systems, especially such systems for large scale data centers. Recently, her publication at Micro ’11 was selected for IEEE Micro Top Picks. She received a best paper award at the IEEE/ACM International Conference of Code Generation and Optimization (CGO) ’12. In addition, her publication at International Symposium of Computer Architecture was selected as one of the excellence papers of 2011 by Research at Google.