A new crop of faculty with expertise in networking, theory, human-computer interaction, computer vision, machine learning, and more will join the University of Chicago Department of Computer Science for the 2018-19 academic year. The eight new faculty members continue the dramatic expansion of UChicagoCS, deepen departmental strengths in several subject areas, and introduce new research thrusts at the leading edge of data science, artificial intelligence, technology, and computational theory.

Eight new arrivals will join the department by the end of the year:

Rayid Ghani joins UChicagoCS this summer as research associate professor. Ghani brings his Center for Data Science and Public Policy (DSaPP) and the Data Science for Social Good Summer Fellowship (DSSG), continuing data-driven projects in education, criminal justice, public health, and economic development, and training the next-generation of socially-minded data scientists. Ghani received his MS in machine learning from Carnegie-Mellon University in 2001. He led the Obama campaign data science team that focused on boosting fundraising, volunteering, and voter turnout. 

Pedro Lopes will join UChicagoCS for the 2019 winter quarter as assistant professor. Lopes studies human computer interaction, including the creation of wearable devices that “actuate the user's body using computer-controlled electrical muscle stimulation.” His research has also crossed over to art projects, such as Ad Infinitum, an installation presented at several museums and conferences. He received a PhD in computer science this year from Hasso Plattner Institute in Germany.

Junchen Jiang joins UChicagoCS this summer as assistant professor. Jiang studies networked systems and machine learning, combining techniques and applications from both areas to improve the performance and reliability of large-scale systems, from video streaming applications to distributed sensor networks. He received a PhD in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University in 2017 and spent time with Microsoft Research. Read more about Jiang here.

Sanjay Krishnan joins UChicagoCS this August as assistant professor. Previously at University of California, Berkeley, where he received his PhD in computer science earlier this year, Krishnan studies intelligent learning systems, with applications ranging from databases to surgical robotics. He has published work on collecting, cleaning, visualizing, interpreting, and storing data, and collaborated on a project that turned seismic readings into artwork.

Michael Maire moves to UChicagoCS from the Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago. He joins as an assistant professor, after 3 years as research assistant professor at TTIC, a postdoctoral position at Caltech, and the completion of his PhD in computer science at University of California, Berkeley in 2009. Maire researches deep learning and convolutional neural networks, with applications for computer vision and image analysis. Read more about Maire here

Aaron Potechin also joins UChicagoCS this summer as assistant professor, after postdoctoral work at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden and the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University. His research interests are discrete mathematics and computational complexity theory, particularly proving lower bounds for computational models. He received a PhD in mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2015.

Lamont Samuels joined the department this summer as assistant clinical professor, teaching courses for the Masters Program in Computer Science, the Master of Science in Computational Analysis & Public Policy, and the College. Samuels is an alum of UChicagoCS, receving his PhD in computer science in 2016, and has previously worked as a software engineer with BRD, Tanvas, and AMD. In his current role, Samuels will help recruit students from under-represented groups into all UChicagoCS programs.

Rebecca Willett starts this fall as a professor co-appointed in computer science and statistics. Willett studies signal processing, machine learning, and large-scale data science, and has collaborated with researchers in astronomy, materials science, medicine, agriculture, and several other fields. She received a PhD in electrical and computer engineering from Rice University in 2005, and has previously worked at Duke University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

In-depth profiles of each new faculty member will be published in the coming weeks.