College of IST welcomes eight new faculty for fall 2021

August 17, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Eight new faculty members will join the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) this fall, strengthening the college’s research portfolio and enhancing IST’s growing number of academic programs — including a residential master’s degree in cybersecurity analytics and operations and bachelor’s degree in enterprise technology and integration, both launched in fall 2020.

“As industry and technology evolve, so does the well-rounded and innovative educational experience we provide for our students as we seek to address the demand for experts who can advance technology and study its impact on people, organizations and society,” said Andrew Sears, dean of the College of Information Sciences Technology. “The varied backgrounds and broad expertise of our incoming faculty members compliments that of our current faculty and will benefit our students in the classroom while strengthening the college’s research agenda.”

The College of IST’s newest faculty members include:

  • Miguelangel Bustamante, assistant teaching professor, comes to Penn State from Saint Cloud State University in Saint Cloud, Minnesota. He served as a professor in the Herberger Business School's Department of Information Science. He has experience teaching technical information systems content, including databases, systems analysis, programming and data communication at several U.S. institutions. Bustamante's research aims to create innovative tools that will allow practitioners to improve the use of large amounts of data, such as texts and videos, to turn such data into useful information and knowledge. He holds a doctorate in management information systems and a master's degree in computer science, both from the University of Nebraska, and a bachelor's degree in manufacturing engineering and computer information systems from Catholic University and California Polytechnic University. He completed a postdoctoral appointment in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the State University of New York at Buffalo. In addition, Bustamante has a certification in Oracle: SQL and PL/SQL. He also completed two certificates at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, one in Data Science and Big Data Analytics: Making Data-Driven Decisions, and one in Machine Learning with Python-From Linear Models to Deep Learning. Currently, he is finishing the MIT MicroMasters program in Statistics and Data Science. Before returning to academia, Bustamante worked as a programmer, consultant, programmer analyst and project leader.

     
  • Jinghui Chen, assistant professor, received a doctorate in computer science this spring from the University of California, Los Angeles, during which time he also interned at IBM Research, Twitter and Microsoft Research. At UCLA, he received the Outstanding Graduate Student Research Award. His research interests broadly include the theory and applications in different aspects of machine learning, such as robustness, efficiency and safety. Chen holds a bachelor’s degree in electronic engineering and information science from the University of Science and Technology of China.

     
  • Carl Cotner, associate teaching professor, has been an adjunct instructor at Penn State in the College of Information Sciences and Technology and the Department of Mathematics since 2012, during which time he also served as a senior research associate at the Applied Research Lab. He has professional and teaching experience in computer and network security, computer programming and software architecture, data analysis, machine learning and mathematics. He has also launched several startup companies, worked in the defense industry and consulted for various local and national firms. He has led or contributed to the design of three courses at Penn State, including the University’s first course on computers, which he developed with now-emeritus IST faculty member Gerry Santoro. Cotner earned a bachelor’s degree with honors in mathematics from Penn State and a doctorate in mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley.

     
  • Kelley Cotter, assistant professor, recently completed an appointment as a postdoctoral scholar at the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Arizona State University. Her research explores how data and algorithms shape and are shaped by social, cultural and political life. Her most recent work focuses on how people learn about and make sense of algorithms, and how such insight may be mobilized in efforts to govern platforms. Her work draws on an array of methods and scholarly domains—including human-computer interaction, science and technology studies, and feminist theory—to consider how technologies can function better for individuals and society. Her teaching background includes several theory- and methods-driven courses, covering topics such as the governance of technology, networked life, power and technology, and the role of social technologies in civic and political life. Cotter earned a doctorate in information and media from Michigan State University, a master’s degree in library and information science from Drexel University, and bachelor’s degrees in English and Spanish from Temple University.

     
  • Priya Kumar, assistant professor, recently earned a doctorate in information studies from the University of Maryland, where her dissertation examined the privacy implications of parents posting pictures of their children on social media, also known as "sharenting." Through her research, Kumar aims to shift digital technology design and discourse away from a focus on individual control and toward more networked understandings of privacy and agency. Previously, Kumar was a researcher with Ranking Digital Rights, which evaluates global technology companies on their commitments to freedom of expression and privacy. She earned a master’s degree from the University of Michigan School of Information, where she designed her own curriculum in data storytelling. She holds bachelor’s degrees from the University of Maryland in journalism and government and politics.

     
  • Ying Lu, associate teaching professor, joins the college from Pfeiffer University in Misenheimer, North Carolina, where she was an associate professor of computer information systems. She has more than 15 years of higher education teaching experiences in both undergraduate and graduate education, primarily in the area of computer information systems, at Pfeiffer, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Lu has significant experience in designing and developing student-centered curriculum in data analytics and in teaching a variety of undergraduate computing courses in both traditional and online settings. She also has private industry experience in bioinformatics, marketing, and AI/ML consulting. Her current research focuses on applied research on AI/ML applications and AI/digital transformation. She has published papers in leading journals including MIS Quarterly, European Journal of Information Systems and Computers in Human Behavior, and in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings. She holds a doctorate in management information systems from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, a master’s degree from Penn State and a bachelor’s degree from Sichuan University in China.

     
  • Daniel Richert, assistant teaching professor, joins Penn State from Indiana University-Bloomington, where he was a senior lecturer in the informatics department. At IU-Bloomington, he helped develop the curriculum for the human-computer interaction design minor and participated in faculty research groups focused on both creating effective classrooms to support active learning with students and exploring and reporting teaching methods to improve student academic success and retention. Prior to his work as an instructor, Richert worked in the information technology field for more than 20 years, including in his own startup consulting firm. He holds a master’s degree in human-computer interaction design from Indiana University-Bloomington and a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems from the University of Wisconsin.

     
  • Qingyun Wu, assistant professor, comes to Penn State from Microsoft Research, where she served as a postdoctoral researcher. Her research interests lie primarily in machine learning, with a special focus on methods that involve online decision making, such as multi-armed bandit, contextual bandits and more generally reinforcement learning. During her doctoral study at the University of Virginia, Wu completed internships at Yahoo Research, Adobe Research and Microsoft Research. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the Department of Telecommunications Engineering at Xidian University in Xi’an, China.
Last Updated August 18, 2021