IST welcomes new faculty as enrollment surges

Jessica Hallman
August 15, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The College of Information Sciences and Technology recently welcomed nine new faculty to begin the 2018-19 academic year.

The new faculty members will support the college’s rapidly-growing student body, which will comprise a record number of incoming undergraduate students this fall. The addition of bachelor’s degrees in applied data sciences and cybersecurity analytics and operations in the last three years have helped the college attract students interested in these emerging career fields.  

“Graduates with expertise in the information sciences continue to be in high demand,” said Andrew Sears, dean of the College of IST. “I look forward to working with our faculty to shape the paths for highly-skilled students to ensure they are prepared for successful careers and futures.”

Incoming faculty members include:

  • Sharon Huang, associate professor, is a co-hire with the Huck Institute of the Life Sciences. She comes to Penn State from Lehigh University, where she worked as an associate professor in the computer science and engineering department. Her research focuses on robust medical imaging software that aids doctors in providing accurate and reproducible diagnoses and a better understanding the basic anatomical and physiological relationships in normal and diseased states. She earned her doctorate from Rutgers University.
  • Ting-Hao "Kenneth" Huang, assistant professor, is a former Yahoo!/Oath Fellow and recently earned his doctorate in the Language Technologies Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. His research focuses on real-time crowdsourcing and conversational agents.
  • Sarah Rajtmajer, assistant professor, also will spend time at Penn State’s Rock Ethics Institute. Prior to joining IST, she worked as a consultant to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency on programs related to computational social science. Sarah is returning to Penn State, where she was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Mathematics and a postdoctoral fellow at Penn State’s Applied Research Laboratory through the Intelligence Community Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Program. 
  • Marc Rigas, assistant teaching professor, is currently an affiliate assistant professor of IST and associate director of the Strategic Interdisciplinary Research Office. He holds a doctorate in biomedical engineering from Penn State and has over 15 years of experience in the application of information science and modeling to problems in the environment, health and policy.
  • Daniel Susser, assistant professor, is a former associate professor at San Jose University in California. At Penn State, he will be a research associate at the Rock Ethics Institute. His research focuses on social, political, and ethical dimensions of information technology and philosophy of technology, as well as science and technology studies. He holds a doctorate from Stony Brook University.
  • Suhang Wang, assistant professor, earned his doctorate at Arizona State University, where he recently worked as a research assistant in the university’s Data Mining and Machine Learning Lab. His research interests include machine learning and data mining and optimization.
  • Shomir Wilson, assistant professor, is a former assistant professor of computer science at the University of Cincinnati, a lecturer and postdoctoral researcher in Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science, and an NSF International Research Fellow in the University of Edinburgh’s School of Informatics. He earned his doctorate from the University of Maryland.
  • Aiping Xiong, assistant professor, earned her doctorate in cognitive psychology from Purdue University. Her research applies basic principles and theories from cognitive psychology to understand and solve applied human factors problems and issues.
  • Amulya Yadav, assistant professor, recently earned his doctorate from the University of Southern California. He has spent his career in research fields with Microsoft, Amazon, and several universities, with a focus on artificial intelligence.

“The diversity of backgrounds from which these faculty members come will enhance the constantly evolving programs and curriculum in the College of IST,” said Sears. “Their classroom teaching, combined with their research activities, will help advance the mission of the college to prepare students to meet the challenges of a rapidly-changing information age.”

Last Updated August 21, 2018