New Computer Science Faculty Add to Department’s Research Depth

This semester, Stony Brook University’s Department of Computer Science (CS) welcomes four new faculty members: Aruna Balasubramanian, Niranjan Balasubramanian, Michalis Polychronakis, and Fusheng Wang. These individuals add to the department’s teaching and research capabilities in the areas of natural language processing, mobile computing, system security and network monitoring, data management, and biomedical informatics.

Aruna Balasubramanian – A. Balasubramanian was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Washington in Seattle before coming to Stony Brook. She received her PhD in computer science from the UMass-Amherst in February 2011. A. Balasubramanian’s academic interests include systems, mobile computing, web performance, and networking. Her recent projects include MobileHub, which reduces energy consumption using heterogeneous hardware, WProf, which is a tool that identifies the bottlenecks during page load, and FindAll, which makes mobile applications less dependent on the cloud by building a local search engine on phones. “This is an exciting time to be doing mobile research,” A. Balasubramanian said. “While the reach and the capabilities of mobile devices are reaching a new high, the underlying mobile infrastructure is not as robust as one would expect. I look forward to working with my students and fellow faculty members at Stony Brook to tackle the research challenges in this space.”

Niranjan Balasubramanian- N. Balasubramanian is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science and an affiliate of the Department of Biomedical Informatics. His interests lie in Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Information retrieval.  N. Balasubramanian received his PhD in computer science from the UMass-Amherst. Before joining Stony Brook, he was a post-doctoral researcher in the Turing Center at the University of Washington, where he worked closely with the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI2). N. Balasubramanian says that his research is “motivated by the challenge of building systems that can extract, understand, and reason with information present in natural language texts.” At present, he is working on projects involving creating an Artificial Intelligence system that can pass 4th Grade Science exams, information extraction from news articles, and biomedical texts. “NLP and Machine Learning have made exciting advances in the last decade,” N. Balasubramanian said. “I am fascinated by the possibility of automatically extracting deep structured knowledge from text. I am looking forward to working closely with the talented faculty at CS and in the emerging BMI department to advance knowledge extraction and its application.”

Michalis Polychronakis- Polychronakis, whose interests include network and system security and network monitoring and measurement, received his PhD in computer science from University of Crete, Greece. While doing his doctorate work, Polychronakis was also working as a research assistant in the Distributed Computing Systems Lab at FORTH-ICS. Prior to coming to Stony Brook, Polychronakis was an associate research scientist at Columbia University. "The Computer Science Department at Stony Brook University is a great environment for pursuing my academic and research goals,” Polychronakis said. “I'm excited to be collaborating with such a bright group of students and colleagues on improving the security of computer systems and networks, building robust defenses against malicious software and online threats, reinforcing the privacy of our online interactions, and enhancing our understanding of the internet ecosystem and its darker sides."

Fusheng Wang- Wang, whose primary appointment is in the Department of Biomedical Informatics, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science. He earned his PhD in computer science from the UC-Los Angeles. Before coming to Stony Brook, Wang was an assistant professor at Emory University; he was a research scientist at Siemens Corporate Research before joining Emory University. Wang’s research interests include scalable big data management and analytics, spatial and temporal data management and analytics, medical imaging informatics, clinical natural language processing, data semantics and standardization.

“My research goal on big data management and analytics is to address the research challenges for delivering effective, scalable and high performance software systems for managing, querying and mining complex big data at multiple dimensions, including 2D and 3D spatial and imaging data, temporal data, spatial-temporal data, and sequencing data,” Wang said. “My research goal on biomedical informatics is to develop novel methods and software systems to optimize the acquisition, extraction, management, and mining of biomedical data with much improved efficiency, interoperability, accuracy, and usability to support biomedical research and the healthcare enterprise.” Joining Stony Brook’s Department of Computer Science, Wang is also bringing with him two recent NSF awards on building big data systems, for a total of $1.2M. One is an NSF CAREER award on "High Performance Spatial Queries and Analytics for Spatial Big Data", and another NSF CIF21 DIBBs: "Middleware and High Performance Analytics Libraries for Scalable Data Science".