Department of Computer Science celebrates research, faculty achievements and more
As the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the globe in early 2020, Binghamton University’s Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science went virtual for students, faculty and staff.
The Department of Computer Science stepped up to the challenges and attained notable achievements during the 2019-20 academic year.
NSF CAREER Awards
The department earned an unprecedented three NSF CAREER Awards, which the National Science Foundation gives to support early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education.
- Assistant Professor Yao Liu won a five-year, $486,169 grant for her work on immersive media. Her work centers on area-of-focus projections, which are generated by analyzing human behavior to decide which parts of a 360-degree image get most of a user’s attention.
- Assistant Professor Guanhua Yan was awarded $498,879 to develop three-layered, proactive defenses for the next-generation mobile communication infrastructures.
- Assistant Professor Yifan Zhang has received a five-year, $485,244 grant to fund his research into edge computing and unikernel-based lightweight virtualization, which should offer a better user experience than cloud computing.
Other faculty and staff news
- Kanad Ghose, who has been a faculty member for the Department of Computer Science for more than 30 years, was honored as a SUNY distinguished professor. It is the highest faculty rank that SUNY awards, and a first in the department. He has been hailed as an internationally recognized academician and a thought leader in key technology areas, including energy-aware computing and architectures, systems security and sensors for monitoring human biometric parameters.
- Professor Madhusudhan “Madhu” Govindaraju, associate chair for the Department of Computer Science, was appointed vice provost for international education and global affairs, effective June 1. In his new role, Govindaraju oversees international recruitment efforts, as well as provides guidance and oversight to the International Student and Scholar Services Office (ISSS), education abroad and student exchange initiatives.
- Professor Zhongfei “Mark” Zhang has been named an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) fellow “for contributions to multimodal data content understanding and mining.” Zhang directs the Multimedia Research Laboratory at Binghamton, and has published more than 200 peer-reviewed academic papers in international journals and conferences.
- Weiyi Meng, chair of the Watson School’s Department of Computer Science, received the University Award for Excellence in International Education. Watson School Dean Krishnaswami “Hari” Srihari said, “This recognizes the superb work that he has done to help advance Binghamton’s interests across the globe. He has been (and continues to be) a tireless champion for Binghamton University.”
- April St. John, senior assistant to the chair, received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service.
- Two new faculty members will join the department in fall 2020: Hoda Naghibijouybari and Sujoy Sikdar. Naghibijouybari will receive her PhD from University of California at Riverside, and Sikdar received his PhD from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
- Binghamton University has been designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Research (CAE-R) by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. Leading the team is Associate Professor Ping Yang.
- A preliminary study from Assistant Professors Arti Ramesh and Anand Seetharam looks at a snapshot of the U.S. coronavirus response on Twitter. The collected tweets from March 14 to March 24 numbered more than 530,000. Ramesh and Seetharam tracked popular hashtags and topics, and collated them to spot trends in the early days of the pandemic.
- Professor Lijun Yin is assembling a fifth database of 3D human faces. The first four have been used by Hollywood blockbusters and best-selling video game over the past 15 years to create realistic computer-generated faces. In 2019, Yin received the Lois B. DeFleur Faculty Prize in Academic Achievement for his work.
- Assistant Professor Shiqi Zhang is creating AI algorithms that will help service robots in everyday environments to gain knowledge from the humans around them and develop their own reasoning abilities. Zhang’s work is being supported by the NSF, the Ford Motor Co. and OPPO.
- Jeremy Philemon, a 2+2 computer science student splitting his education between Binghamton and the Vellore Institute of Technology in India, is helping India keep track of COVID-19 infection rates. Built using health data from all over India, covid19india.org received more than 1.75 billion page visits between March and May.
- The Girls Who Code chapter continued to teach high school students from the Binghamton region after in-person meetings stopped in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic. A “graduation” ceremony online gave the high schoolers a chance to show off their final projects.
- Priti Prabhakar Wakodikar was the first recipient of the Chandra Family Scholarship. It was established by Subhachandra Chandra, MS ’95, and his wife, Nandita Dukkipati, for first-year international graduate students studying computer science, with priority given to female students.
- Nicole (Mitchell) Armstrong ’91 has combined her heart for service with her love of technology throughout her career. Earlier this year, she was appointed the CEO of TechBridge Inc., an Atlanta-based company that provides tech solutions to nonprofits, including Goodwill and Feeding America.