Five new faculty join the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Sarah Small
October 10, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Five new faculty members joined the Penn State School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) this fall.

Daniel Cullina joined the Department of Electrical Engineering as an assistant professor on Aug. 15. Prior to joining Penn State, he was a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Princeton University. He received his doctoral degree in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his bachelor of science in electrical engineering from the California Institute of Technology.

Cullina’s research focuses on problems at the intersection of learning, security and privacy, and seeks to characterize fundamental limits of learning algorithms in these settings. His research interests include statistical learning, information theory, coding theory, combinatorics and graph theory.

Arzoo Katiyar will join the Department of Computer Science and Engineering as an assistant professor on Aug. 15, 2020. Katiyar is a doctoral candidate in computer science at Cornell University, where she is advised by Claire Cardie. Her recent interests include natural language processing and machine learning. In particular, she is interested in developing neural network models for structured prediction problems in natural language processing for information extraction. Previously, she received her BTech-MTech degree in computer science and engineering from IIT Kanpur.

Morteza Kayyalha will join the faculty in the electrical engineering department as an assistant professor on Jan. 1, 2020. Kayyalha is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Physics at Penn State. He received his doctoral degree from Purdue University in 2018 and his master of science and bachelor of science degrees from the University of Tehran in Iran in 2011 and 2009, respectively — all in electrical and computer engineering. Kayyalha’s research revolves around harboring novel properties of topological insulators and two-dimensional materials for applications in quantum computing, nanoelectronics and energy harvesting devices.

The results of his research are published in various journals, including Physical Review Letters, Nature Communications, npj Quantum Materials and Applied Physics Letters. Kayyalha is a recipient of the Ross Fellowship (Purdue University, 2011-2015) and Faculty of Engineering Award (University of Tehran, 2005-2006). He is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers' Electron Devices Society, the American Physical Society and the Iranian American Physicists Network Group.

David Koslicki was hired on Aug. 15 as associate professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, the Department of Biology and the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences. Koslicki is interested in developing efficient algorithms to extract insight from high-throughput biological sequencing data. He focuses on developing new compressive sensing, probabilistic and optimization algorithms for this task, as well as proving results about their properties. His specialty is in the analysis of metagenomic data — the study of microbial communities through their sampled DNA. He is passionate about fostering an interdisciplinary community of methods developers in computational biology and helps to run the Computational Genomics Summer Institute at UCLA. He also is a member of the Critical Assessment of Metagenomic Interpretation consortium, which helps to set standards and protocols in metagenomic analysis.

Koslicki earned his doctorate in the mathematics department at Penn State. He subsequently held postdoctoral positions at Drexel University (math and EECS) and Ohio State University (Mathematical Biosciences Institute) before taking an assistant professor position in the mathematics department at Oregon State University.

Yan Li, assistant professor of electrical engineering, joined the Penn State faculty on Aug. 15. Her research interests include cyber-physical microgrids, stability analysis, cybersecurity, formal analysis, software-defined networking, and learning-based optimization and control. She has contributed to two books, more than 40 papers, and four patents on microgrids and active distribution systems. Due to her contributions to the renewable energy landscape, Li received the IEEE-PES Outstanding Engineer Award in 2019, the Connecticut Women of Innovation Award in 2019, and the Connecticut Power and Energy Rising Star Award in 2018.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated October 10, 2019