Dr. Nick Duffield is a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Texas A&M University, holder of the Royce E. Wisenbaker Professorship I, and Director of the Texas A&M Institute of Data Science. He is co-Director of the NSF TRIPODS Research Institute on the Foundations of Interdisciplinary Data Science at Texas A&M, serves on the Executive Committee of the Texas A&M Center for Geospatial Sciences, Applications and Technology (GEOSAT), and holds a courtesy appointment in the Texas A&M Department of Computer Science and Engineering. His research combines the foundations and applications of data science and computer networking, currently graph stream sampling, network measurement and resilience, and applications of data science to transportation, agriculture, hydrology, infrastructure and operations. In his TAMIDS role he directs the MS in Data Science in collaboration with the Colleges of Science and Engineering, He is an ACM Fellow, IEEE Fellow, and IET Fellow, and was a co-recipient of the ACM Sigmetrics Test of Time Award in both 2012 and 2013 for work in Network Tomography. From 1995 to 2013 Duffield worked at AT&T Labs, Florham Park, NJ, where he was a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff and an AT&T Fellow, and prior to that held faculty and postdoctoral positions in Germany and Ireland. He received his PhD in Physics from the University of London, UK in 1987 and the MMath and BA in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge, UK, in 1983 and 1982 respectively.
TAMIDS Program Management
TAMIDS Associate Director of External Academic Engagement
After earning a Masters of Engineering from Ecole Centrale Paris, Simon Foucart received his PhD in Mathematics from the University of Cambridge in 2006. He took two postdoctoral positions, at Vanderbilt University and at Paris 6 University, before joining Drexel University in 2010 and moving to the University of Georgia in 2013. Since 2015, he has been with Texas A&M University, where he became Professor and Presidential Impact Fellow in 2019. He also held short visiting appointments at University of Bonn, University of South Florida, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, CNRS Toulouse, and University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Dr. Foucart’s most influential work to-date revolves around the field of Compressive Sensing. His contribution was recognized by the 2010 Best Paper Award from the Journal of Complexity. His current interests include the mathematical aspects of Metagenomics, Optimization, Deep Learning, and Data Science at large. He serves on the editorial board of Journal of Approximation Theory, of Journal of Numerical Mathematics, and of Sampling Theory, Signal Processing, and Data Analysis.
Aside from 50+ peer-reviewed research articles, Dr. Foucart has written two graduate-level textbooks: ‘A Mathematical Introduction to Compressive Sensing’ (with Holger Rauhut, Birkhauser) and ‘Mathematical Pictures at a Data Science Exhibition’ (to appear, Cambridge University Press).
TAMIDS Assistant Director for Industry Engagement
Location: BLOC 227E
Brandon Green joined the Texas A&M Institute of Data Science as Assistant Director for Industry Engagement. Brandon comes to us from TAMU Engineering where he has been part of the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station’s Professional Education group. Before coming to TAMU 5 years ago, Brandon spent a variety of roles in Industry ranging from groups involved in education, entertainment, research as well as the medical community. Brandon obtained his undergraduate from Rice University and his Masters in Leadership in Higher Education from Pepperdine University. Outside of work Brandon spends time with his 4 kids (Jackson 10, Olivia 8, Brody 6 & Guy 4) and wife Kara. Brandon enjoys sports and almost any outdoor activity. Brandon is a native Texan and has expressed his excitement to join the TAMIDS team in helping advance the mission of TAMIDS and the people we serve in the State of Texas.
TAMIDS Associate Director for Education Initiatives
Dr. Krishna Narayanan is TAMIDS Associate Director for Education Initiatives and Eric D. Rubin ’06 Professor in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering. Dr. Narayanan leads the academic design of new education and training programs, both within TAMIDS and collaboratively with Texas A&M faculty and academic units.
After earning a Bachelor’s degree from Coimbatore Institute of Technology, Masters of Electrical Engineering degree from Iowa State University, Krishna Narayanan received his PhD in Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1998. Since1998, he has been with Texas A&M University, where he became Professor in 2008 and Eric D. Rubin ’06 Professor in 2016., He also held short visiting appointments at University of California at Berkeley, Institut Eurecom, Sophia Antipolis, France and University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Dr. Narayanan’s research interests include coding theory and information theory, machine learning, signal processing for big data, next-generation wireless systems including 5G/6G cellular systems, Internet of Things, data storage, and distributed computing.
Aside from numerous publications, editorial positions, and invited talks, Dr. Narayanan has been recognized with a variety of prestigious awards for both his teaching and research including the 2014 Professional Progress in Engineering Award from the College of Engineering at Iowa State University, the 2018 Texas A&M Association of Former Students university-level teaching award, the 2009 Halliburton professorship, the 2020 and 2006 Best Paper Awards in data storage from the IEEE communications society and the 2001 National Science Foundation CAREER award, and in 2015, Dr. Narayanan was elected IEEE Fellow for his research and educational contributions.
Location: BLOC 227B
Christi coordinates TAMIDS Educational Programs, including the new MS in Data Science program which will welcome its first cohort of students in Fall 2021. Christi has been working in higher education for the past twelve years. She worked at the University of Houston for five years as an international transfer credit analyst and then spent seven years at the University of Texas Medical Branch as a graduate admissions coordinator for the School of Nursing, and as a graduate program coordinator for the Institute for Medical Humanities. Christi received her Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Design/Visual Arts from the University of Houston-Clear Lake, and her MBA from Texas Woman’s University. Outside of work Christi enjoys traveling, wine tasting, home and art projects, and spending time with her three nephews.
TAMIDS Assistant Director for Project Development & TAMIDS Digital Twin Lab Director
Assistant Professor, Visual Computing and Creative Media Section, School of Performance, Visualization & Fine Arts
Affiliated Faculty, Electrical and Computing Engineering, Nuclear Engineering, and Multidisciplinary Engineering, College of Engineering
Website: Jian Tao Profile
Location: BLOC 224C / ARCA 314
Dr. Jian Tao is an Assistant Professor in the School of Performance, Visualization and Fine Arts at Texas A&M University. Dr. Tao also holds courtesy appointments at the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, the Department of Nuclear Engineering, and the Department of Multidisciplinary Engineering. Dr. Tao has been a key contributor to TAMIDS programs in education, training, and research engagement, and served as the Associate Director of TAMIDS SciML Lab. At TAMIDS, Dr. Tao leads the development and execution of Data Science collaboration between TAMIDS and Texas A&M academic and operational partners.
Tao received his Ph.D. in Computational Astrophysics from Washington University in St. Louis in 2008 and worked on computational frameworks for numerical relativity, computational fluid dynamics, coastal modeling, and other applications at Louisiana State University before he joined Texas A&M in 2016. In 2018, Tao led the Texas A&M team to the final of both the ASC18 and SC18 student cluster competitions. He currently serves as a faculty advisor of the Texas A&M 12th Unmanned Team for the SAE/GM AutoDrive Challenge Competition and leads a project funded by the Department of Commerce to build a digital twin for the Disaster City at Texas A&M University. Tao is an NVIDIA DLI University Ambassador and XSEDE Campus Champion at Texas A&M and a contributor to the SPEC CPU 2017 benchmark suite.
His research interests include numerical modeling, machine learning, data analytics, distributed computing, visualization, digital twin, and workflow management.
Senior Administrative Coordinator II
Location: BLOC 227F
Jennifer South is Senior Administrative Coordinator II at TAMIDS. Jennifer has worked at TAMIDS since December 2018, where she coordinates TAMIDS many programs and events, administers its operations, and is the liaison with our organizational partners throughout Texas A&M. Jennifer joined TAMU in 1989. Prior to joining TAMIDS, Jennifer spent the past 18 years working as Assistant to the Department Head (2000-2014) and Assistant to the Director for Online Programs and MS Analytics program (2014-2018) for the Department of Statistics. Jennifer’s vast experience in her past roles in coordinating administrative support, project management in the area of development and distance education, make her an invaluable member of our staff.
Administrative Coordinator I
Location: BLOC Suite 227
Angie Rollins joined the Texas A&M Institute of Data Science (TAMIDS) team on November 1, 2022 as Administrative Coordinator I. In this position, Angie will provide administrative support to TAMIDS leadership and staff, provide general office support and assist with event coordination and planning. Angie comes to us from the Department of Entomology, Texas A&M Agrilife, where she worked in administrative positions for the past 13 years. Outside of work, Angie enjoys spending time with her family and stays busy trying to keep up with her 11yr old daughter, Summer. Angie is passionate about cooking, spontaneous getaways with family & friends and her cats! Welcome to TAMIDS Angie! We are excited to have you on board!
Student Web Developer
Allie Saxton is a Computer Science Student at Texas A&M, and has been working with TAMIDS since May 2022 as a student technician. Alongside maintaining the TAMIDS website, Allie helps out with the Coffee Connections program by matching participants. In her free time, she loves baking and going on hikes.
TAMIDS Research Staff
Associate Research Scientist, Operational Data Science & TAMIDS / GEOSAT Operational Data Science Lab Director
Dr. Yalong Pi is an Associate Research Scientist in the Texas A&M Institute of Data Science (TAMIDS) at Texas A&M University since 2020. During 2013-2016, he worked as a project manager at Gree Real Estate Co. Ltd, Zhuhai City, China. He also worked as a junior architect at Shanghai Water&Rock Group in 2017. He obtained a Ph.D. in Architecture from Texas A&M University (2020), a Master’s Degree of Civil Engineering (2013) from Wuhan Institute of Technology, and a Bachelor Degree of Mechanical Engineering (2011) from Wuhan Textile University. He is a certified Architectural Engineer in mainland China. His research focuses on machine learning (computer vision) and data mining, applications in domains including disaster reconnaissance, transportation, construction automation, and building information modeling.
TEES Research Engineer III
Location: BLOC 221E
Dr. Haoyu Niu joined the Texas A&M Institute of Data Science (TAMIDS) on January 1, 2023,as a TEES Research Engineer III. Haoyu will work at the intesection of Data Science and cyberinfrastructure for smart agriculture. He joins a team of researchers from TAMIDS, Texas A&M’s Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, AgriLife Research, AgriLife Extension, and the School of Performance, Visualization and Fine Arts on a project to develop data-driven infrastructure that enables efficient irrigation using AI-derived crop-growth model based in UAS imaging and environmental data.
Haoyu received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of California, Merced in 2022. Among many honors and awards, most recently Haoyu won first place for the 2021 CITRIS Aviation Prize and in 2020 was awarded the GRAD-EXCEL Award for Peer Mentorship. Haoyu’s research interests are in Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Big Data, Precision Agriculture, and sUAS Remote Sensing/Application, such as water stress detection, early detection of nematodes, yield estimation, and evapotranspiration (ET) estimation.
TEES Research Engineer III
Snehashis Chakraborty joined the Texas A&M Institute of Data Science (TAMIDS) on February 1, 2023, as a TEES Research Engineer III. Snehashis will work to develop innovative Data Science and AI applications for infrastructure and operational project, including a NIST-supported collaboration to develop data and tools for planning for Public Safety Radio services.
Snehashis received his Masters in Statistics from the Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata in 2014. He worked as a data scientist in industry from 2014 to 2018 for a ride-sharing start up, as well as multinational banks. More recently, Snehashis spent the last four years as an Industry Research Fellow at the National University of Singapore. Among his many achievements, Snehashis won the best project award at ICICI Bank for location based intelligence models in 2015. Snehashis research interests lie in statistical modeling, text mining, machine learning and computer vision.
Postdoctoral Research Associate, Digital Twin Lab
Location: BLOC 221B
Dr. Suparno Bhattacharyya holds a Ph.D. in Engineering Science and Mechanics from Penn State University, an M.Tech in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, and a BE in Mechanical Engineering from Jadavpur University, India.
His doctoral research centered on the model order reduction of dynamical systems using Proper Orthogonal Decomposition (POD). This work produced a novel physics-informed criterion that effectively determined the dimension of reduced-order models, ensuring accurate representation for both linear and nonlinear structural vibration systems.
Subsequent to his doctoral studies, Dr. Bhattacharyya undertook a postdoctoral position at Clemson University where he focused on topology optimization for bandgap maximization in 2D lattice structures, and purely data-driven model discovery of structural vibration systems using neural ordinary differential equations.
In August 2023, he transitioned to the TAMIDS Digital Twin Lab as a Postdoctoral Research Associate, working closely with Drs. Jian Tao, Jean Ragusa, and Eduardo Gildin on the reduced-order modeling of nonlinear systems.
Outside of these research endeavors, Dr. Bhattacharyya has exhibited a commitment to professional growth, securing certifications in both machine learning and online teaching, further enhancing his multifaceted skill set.
Beyond his academic achievements, Dr. Bhattacharyya is an Indian classical vocalist, reflecting his commitment to cultural traditions. Additionally, he possesses a keen passion for traveling, allowing him to immerse himself in diverse cultures and landscapes.
Postdoctoral Research Associate, Urban AI Lab
Location: BLOC 221B
Dr. Suphanut Jamonnak joined the TAMIDS Urban AI Lab in August 2023 as a Postdoctoral Research Associate working with Dr. Xinyue Ye, Lab director and Professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning. His research interests include geospatial analysis, visual analytics, Human-computer interaction (HCI) and eXplainable AI (XAI). Dr. Suphanut received his Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from Kent State University in 2021. Before joining TAMIDS, Suphanut worked as Postdoctoral Research Scientists at Research and Technology Center North America, Robert Bosch LLC. His works have been published in multiple leading conferences and journals, e.g. IEEE TVCG, EuroVis, IJGIS and CVPR.
TAMIDS Thematic Lab Directors
TAMIDS SciML Lab Director
Dr. Ulisses Braga-Neto is a Professor at the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department of Texas A&M University. He received his Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from The Johns Hopkins University in 2002. His research focuses on Statistical Signal Processing and Machine Learning, with applications in diverse scientific and engineering problems. Dr. Braga-Neto has proposed novel algorithms in these areas, such as the Bolstered Classifier Error Estimator, the Boolean Kalman Filter, and Self-Adaptive Physics-Informed Neural Networks. He is Director of the Scientific Machine Learning Lab at the Texas A&M Institute of Data Science (TAMIDS). He is currently Associate Editor of the IEEE Signal Processing Magazine and a member of the Machine Learning for Signal Processing Technical Committee at the IEEE Signal Processing Society (SPS). He is a former President of the Mid-South Computational Biology and Bioinformatics Society (MCBIOS). Dr. Braga-Neto has authored more than 140 peer-reviewed publications, including two books. He received the NSF CAREER Award in 2009 and the Outstanding Professor Award from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Texas A&M University in 2013.
TAMIDS VIVID Lab Director
Dr. Ann McNamara is the Associate Dean for Research and Professor in the School of Performance, Visualization & Fine Arts at Texas A&M University. Her research focuses on advancing computer graphics and data visualization through novel approaches for optimizing an individual’s experience when creating, viewing, and interacting with data, particularly using new paradigms for immersive virtual and augmented spaces.
TAMIDS / GEOSAT Operational Data Science Lab Director
See listing above
TAMIDS Data Justice Lab Director
Dr. Lu Tang is an Associate Professor of Health Communication at the Department of Communication, Texas A&M University. She received her doctorate in communication from the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California. She taught at University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and the University of Alabama before joining TAMU in 2017.
Her research shows how people understand and communicate about health and illness and how such understanding and communication are enabled and constrained by social, political, cultural, and technological factors. Currently, her research focuses on the spread of health misinformation on social media, especially misinformation related to vaccines. Her work has been covered in major news outlets including CNBC, Time, Bloomberg Law, and Houston Chronicle.
TAMIDS Digital Twin Lab Director & TAMIDS Assistant Director for Project Development
See listing above
TAMIDS Urban Artificial Intelligence Lab Director
Dr. Xinyue Ye holds Harold Adams Endowed Professorship at Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning at Texas A&M University. His research focuses on geospatial artificial intelligence, big data, smart cities, and urban computing. According to Google Scholar Citation Global Ranking, Dr. Ye is ranked as: Urban Informatics (#7) and Spatial Econometrics (#11). Because of his innovative research on integrating geography, planning, and computational science, Dr. Ye was the most junior faculty and only the second planning faculty elected as a Fellow of the American Association of Geographers (AAG).
Prof. Ye received the Regional Development and Planning Distinguished Scholar Award from AAG in 2022. He was the recipient of annual research awards from both computational science (New Jersey Institute of Technology) and Geography (Kent State University). He was named one of the top 10 young scientists by The World Geospatial Developers Conference 2021. His work has been funded by National Science Foundation, National Institute of Justice, Department of Commerce, Department of Energy, Department of Transportation, Department of Health and Human Services, Microsoft, and Canada Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.
Prof. Ye directs the focus of smart cities and transportation in the PhD program of Urban and Regional Science at Texas A&M University. At TAMIDS, he leads Urban Artificial Intelligence Lab. In addition, he is supported by Data Science Course Development Grant Program and Faculty Research Collaboration Program by TAMIDS.
TAMIDS Associate Staff
Research Specialist V
Matthew Hielsberg is a Research Specialist V currently employed full-time by the Mathematics Department at Texas A&M University and is affiliated with the Institute for Scientific Computation (ISC) and the Institute of Data Science (TAMIDS). Over the past 19 years, Mr. Hielsberg has worked to support many research efforts with graphics software, simulation, tool generation and support, cluster support and administration as well as student mentoring and training. He has also collaborated with many researchers from several universities and businesses, and made contributions to many successful MURI’s, SBIR’s, STTR’s and other projects.
From 2002 to 2010 Mr. Hielsberg worked for the Interdisciplinary Mathematics Institute at the University of South Carolina. During his time at USC Mr. Hielsberg focused on creation of visualization tools, custom research applications and algorithm development. He created tools for the real-time manipulation of molecules in Visual Molecular Dynamics (VMD) using USC’s stereographic CAVE and 6D mouse. As part of the AVCAAF program he designed and developed several packages for feature tracking, structure from motion (SFM), and the real-time approximation of terrain from large point cloud data sets using mathematical learning theory. Additionally, he created the USC Simulator, which enabled researchers to use common tools, including Matlab and the USC CAVE, to place simulated cameras and lidar-like sensors in 3D virtual environments for data generation and scenario development.
Mr. Hielsberg was loaned to Texas A&M University in the fall of 2009 for the purpose of designing and developing both algorithms and software for hybrid implicit/explicit terrain learning from point clouds. In 2010 Texas A&M University hired Mr. Hielsberg as an Associate Research Specialist. Since that time he has worked with the Group for Analysis, Imaging and Numerics (GAIN) to develop software for visualizing and analyzing hyperspectral lidar, constrained optimization, parameter estimation of elliptic pde’s, data assimilation, compressive sensing, and deep learning. He has also developed an introductory video series on the R programming language for the TAMIDS Biomedical Data Science Online Training Program, as well as a Python series directed towards the Math Graduate Program. He has made contributions to the TAMU visualization center and to the PCL community, where he organized and maintained a repository of freely available research data and software. In 2020 Mr. Hielsberg took over as administrator of the Whistler Computing Cluster for the Numerical Analysis and Scientific Computation group within the Mathematics Department.
Postdoctoral Research Associate
Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering (Mentor: Xiaoning Qian)
TAMIDS Postdoc Project Program
Dr. Shaogang Ren joined the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering in Oct. 2022 as a Postdoctoral Researcher with Prof. Xiaoning Qian. Dr. Ren received his Ph.D. degree in computer engineering from Texas A&M University in 2017. His research interests include deep generative models, causal inference using neural networks, optimization, and their applications in computer vision, medical data analysis, bioinformatics, etc. His works have been published in multiple leading conferences and journals, e.g. NeurIPS, AIStats, TPAMI, WWW, KDD, and so on.
TAMIDS Student Researchers
Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning
TAMIDS Data Science Ambassador
Jiaxin Du is a PhD candidate in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning. His research expertise includes GeoAI, urban informatics, and spatial decision support. During the past two years, he has published in six peer-reviewed journals such as the International Journal of Geographical Information Science, Environment and Planning B, and Transactions in GIS. Jiaxin received Robert Raskin Student Paper Award in AAG, Melbern G Glasscock Humanities Award in TAMU, and was a member of the second placed team in the TAMIDS 2023 Wildfire Data Science Challenge. He also serves as a Data Science Ambassador at the Texas A&M Institute of Data Science and received multiple university scholarships. He has been the lead Student Organizer for the 3rd-5th ACM SIGSPATIAL International Workshop on Advances in Resilient and Intelligent Cities. He is the Student Board Director for the Spatial Decision Support Consortium.
MS in Data Science, Computer Science & Engineering Track
Isaias Negassi is a Masters student in the Data Science program at Texas A&M University. He is a graduate research assistant with TAMIDS working on Machine Learning and Computer Vision applications. Isaias is excited to join Dr. Nick Duffield and Dr. Yalong Pi on the point-based spore detection using P2PNet, and the Texas One Gulf projects.
Isaias joined Texas A&M in the fall of 2022, after earning his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from the Higher Colleges of Technology in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. As an undergraduate student, he developed a smart car plate recognition gate that allowed or denied entrance, and a large-scale empirical formula for a 2.4 GHz outdoor wireless network. This work was published in IEEE. He also developed a real-time driver drowsiness detection system using deep learning which was published in the International Journal of Artificial Intelligence.
TAMIDS Former Members
- Mohsen Aghashahi (Research Engineer), Data Scientist, USAA
- Jin Cao (Postdoc), Assistant Professor, Department of Statistics, University of Houston
- Jisu Cao (Postdoc), Assistant Professor, Department of Information Systems, Arizona State University
- Hee Cheol Chung (Postdoc), Assistant Professor, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
- Sutanoy Dasgupta (Visiting Professor), Senior Data Scientist, Intuit
- Yu Ding (Associate Director for Research Engagement), Anderson-Interface Chair Professor, Georgia Institute of Technology
- Liang Ding (Postdoc), Assistant Professor, Fudan University
- Zachary Handshoe (Student Web Developer), Software Engineer, ExxonMobil
- Jianhua Huang (Associate Director), Associate Dean and Presidential Professor Chair, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen
- Shahina Rahman (Coordinator for Student Initiatives & Faculty Fellow) AI Research Scientist, Amazon
- Dehao Liu (Postdoc) Assistant Professor, Binghamton University
- Diego Rodriguez (Assistant Director for Educational Programs), Director, Multicultural & International Student Support and Engagement, University of Iowa
- Carlie Schmidl (Administrative Associate), Event Coordinator, Infinity Hospitality, Nashville, TN
- Sree Kiran Prasad Vadaga (Research Specialist), AI/ML Engineer, PayPal
- Ming Zhong, (Assistant Research Scientist) Assistant Professor, Illinois Institute of Technology
- Research Interests: Scientific Machine Learning, Inverse Problems, Image/Signal Processing, Numerical ODE/PDE, Modeling and Simulation. In his new role, Ming continues to collaborate with TAMIDS SciML Lab, working with Prof. Braga-Neto on his recently awarded NSF grant on Bayesian PDE with Physics Informed Machine Learning, with Prof. Lifan Wang and Prof. Braga-Neto on using Physics Informed Machine Learning for applications in astrophysics, and with Prof. Braga-Neto and Prof. Elaine Oran and her former postdoc on using Physics Informed Machine Learning for applications in aerospace engineering