The IST College welcomes 9 new professors

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pennsylvania – Nine new full-time faculty members have joined Penn State College of Information Science and Technology (IST) this year, enhancing the college’s academic programs and strengthening its research portfolio.

“The diversity of backgrounds, teaching methods and research topics brought by IST’s new faculty will reinforce the cutting-edge, interdisciplinary and collaborative expertise and education that form the foundation of the college,” said Andrew Sears, Dean of the College of IST. “Their work will contribute significantly to our efforts to produce students and scholars capable of meeting the most pressing challenges that exist at the intersection of information, technology and society.”

New faculty members joining the College of IST include:

  • Jie Cai, a research assistant professor, comes to IST after earning a doctorate in information systems and human-centered computing from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. His main research interests focus on phenomena in new and interactive online communities in human-computer interaction and computer-assisted cooperative work, such as games, shopping and content moderation. He also has a broad interest in digital technology, including telecommuting and social music. Cai holds a master’s degree in marketing research from Hofstra University and a dual bachelor’s degree in marketing and organizational leadership from Shenyang Normal University and Fort Hays State University.

  • Jonathan Dodge, assistant professor, recently received his Ph.D. from Oregon State University. His research addresses problems in artificial intelligence explainable from both the human and system side. Dodge earned a master’s degree in computer graphics from Oregon State and a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Harvey Mudd College. He worked as a software developer for the Hatfield Marine Science Center and as a graduate research intern at IBM Research AI.

  • Chris Gamrat, assistant professor, previously served as a senior instructional designer at Penn State College of IST, where he collaborated with faculty to develop and revise courses in information science and technology, cybersecurity analytics and operations , Data Science and Professional Masters. study programs. He also developed, delivered, and supported faculty instructional resources, such as new instructor orientation, and served as an adjunct instructor for eight semesters. He holds three degrees from Penn State – a doctorate in learning, design and technology; a Master of Education in Instructional Systems; and a bachelor’s degree in management information systems. Gamrat’s research interests include inclusive education, professional learning, and lifelong learning.

  • Taegyu Kim, assistant professor, joined the college in the spring of 2022 from Purdue University, where he was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Computer Science. His research interests focus on system safety, robotic vehicle safety and program analysis. Kim holds a doctorate in electrical and computer engineering from Purdue, a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, and an undergraduate degree from Kwangwoon University in South Korea.

  • Aron Laszka, assistant professor, comes to Penn State from the University of Houston, where he was an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science. His research interests revolve around artificial intelligence, cyber-physical systems and cybersecurity. Its goal is to improve the efficiency and security of society-wide cyber-physical systems, such as smart and connected communities, by applying AI and data science. To ensure broader societal impact, Laszka works closely with community actors, such as transit agencies and researchers from other disciplines. Prior to the University of Houston, Laszka was a research assistant professor at Vanderbilt University and a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley. He previously worked as a visiting scholar at Penn State College of IST under Jens Grossklags. Laszka received his doctorate in computer science from the Budapest University of Technology and Economics, from where he also obtained a master’s and a bachelor’s degree.

  • Cindy Lin, Assistant Professor, recently earned a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan School of Information, where she also holds a graduate certificate in the Science, Technology, and Society (STS) program. Prior to joining IST, she was a Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow at Cornell Tech’s Digital Life Initiative as well as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability and Cornell’s Department of Information Science. Lin’s research draws from postcolonial and feminist STS, critical data studies, and social computing to examine how the vision and practice of AI and data-driven futures shape environmental governance and inequality. social in postcolonial regions.

  • Lu Lin, assistant professor, recently earned a doctorate in computer science from the University of Virginia. She also holds a master’s and bachelor’s degree in computer science from Beihang University. Lu has worked as a machine learning research intern with DiDi AI Lab, LinkedIn, and Pinterest Labs. His research interests broadly include AI, machine learning, and data mining, with a focus on graph-structured data. It focuses on using the graphical structure of data to advance machine learning reliably and responsibly, addressing multiple aspects including robustness, fairness, explainability, and efficiency. His research papers have been published in high impact machine learning, data mining and AI venues such as ICML, AISTATS, KDD, WWW, WSDM and TKDE.

  • Jhon Bueno-Vesga, an associate professor of education, recently earned a Ph.D. from the School of Information Science and Learning Technologies at the University of Missouri-Columbia. A Fulbright Scholar, Bueno-Vesga’s research interests focus on computer science education and human-computer interaction. He brings 10 years of industry experience in all aspects of information systems, and he has designed and tested virtual reality games and learning simulations and worked in usability and user experience. Bueno-Vesga has extensive experience teaching face-to-face undergraduate technology courses and has also designed and taught online courses for several universities, including the University of Missouri. He holds an MBA from the Asia-Pacific International University, a Masters in Information Technology and a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Systems Engineering from the Industrial University of Santander.

  • Urjaswala Vora, an associate professor, came to Penn State in the spring of 2022 from the Center for Development of Advanced Computing, an autonomous Indian government research and development corporation, where she served as associate director. In this role, she worked as Program Manager for Biometrics and Internet of Things, was a member of the research and development planning team for Internet of Everything and Trusted and Secure Computing , and has taught and mentored postgraduate students and professionals. His research interests include complex systems, software architecture, software evolution, distributed computing, analysis and design modeling, and software engineering. She earned a PhD in Computer Science and Engineering from IIT Bombay and a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Pune.

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