Faculty Directors

Titus Brown, Associate Professor of Veterinary Medicine

Professor Brown serves as DataLab’s Director of Community Engagement.  The Brown lab focuses on genomic, transcriptomic, and metagenomic sequence analysis. The lab is the primary developer of the khmer software, for faster and more efficient sequence analysis of high-throughput sequencing data. They also run quite a bit of training in data-intensive biology. Professor Brown serves on DataLab recruitment committees, teaches workshops, leads hackathons, and participates in our strategic activities and planning. His lab also runs the “Meet and Analyze (biological) Data” (aka MAD) weekly drop-in office hours.

Vladimir Filkov, Professor of Computer Science

Professor Filkov serves as DataLab’s Director of Translational Data Science.  He is a data scientist specializing in a number of applied areas including Empirical Software Engineering, Systems Biology and Gene Networks in Plants, Applied Network Theory, and Data Mining and Algorithms.

Bala Rajaratnam, Professor of Statistics

Professor Rajarantnam serves as DataLab’s Scientific Director.  He studies the theoretical and applied aspects of high dimensionality and extracting complex multivariate dependencies, including correlation-covariance estimation. His applied projects include applications in health and environmental sciences.

Senior Faculty Affiliates

Nick Anderson, Director of Informatics Research and Robert D. Cardiff Professor of Informatics, UC Davis Medical Center, Sacramento

Professor Anderson leads the development of the research informatics capabilities across the health system. His primary focus is on access to clinical data for research and secondary use, data policy and data sharing, and sustainable informatics infrastructure development. His research examines deidentified large-scale clinical data sharing including the processes, technologies and ethical impact of biomedicine data sharing for the advancement of “translational” science. Dr. Anderson has served as the DataLab liaison to the Health Sciences and provides advising on informatics projects.

Andrew Fox, Assistant Professor of Psychology

Professor Fox studies the neuroscience of social and emotional behavior in humans and non-human primates with a focus on emotional and social decision-making. He uses Python in his teaching and runs an informal Python Users Group through the DataLab. He teaches PSC 290 (Introduction to scientific programming for psychology). Professor Fox leads DataLab’s Python User Group, which meets weekly for drop-in Python help and community building throughout the academic year.

Seth Frey, Assistant Professor of Communication, Computational Communication Group

Professor Frey studies human decision behavior in designed social environments, such as sports, games, and laboratory settings. He works between data science, behavioral experiments, and modeling. He teaches programming for social scientists, modeling of social systems, web science, and data analysis in R, Python, and database. Professor Frey teaches workshops at DataLab and is involved in the Computational Social Sciences designated emphasis.

Sean Peisert, Staff Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; Associate Adjunct Professor of Computer Science, UC Davis; and Associate Adjunct Professor, Health Informatics, UC Davis School of Medicine

Dr. Sean Peisert leads computer security research and development at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He is also chief cybersecurity strategist for CENIC; both an associate adjunct professor of Computer Science at the University of California, Davis and of Health Informatics at the University of California, Davis School of Medicine; and is a senior fellow in the Berkeley Institute for Data Science at UC Berkeley. His current research and development interests cover a broad cross section of usable and useful computer security and privacy solutions, particularly in enabling secure and privacy-preserving scientific data analysis in distributed, high-performance, and cloud computing environments. In recent years, Dr. Peisert’s R&D has focused on improving security in high-performance computing systems and power grid control systems. At CENIC, he is responsible for cybersecurity strategy and implementation for CENIC’s enterprise as well as for CalREN, a high-capacity network designed to meet the unique requirements of CENIC’s constituent population of over 10,000 institutions and 20 million users. Professor Peisert is associate editor-in-chief of IEEE Security & Privacy; a steering committee member and past general chair of the New Security Paradigms Workshop (NSPW); steering committee member and past program co-chair of the USENIX Workshop on Cyber Security Experimentation and Test (CSET); past chair and vice chair of the IEEE Computer Society Technical Committee on Security & Privacy; and past general chair for the IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy, the flagship conference for security research. Previously, Dr. Peisert was an I3P Research Fellow and was a computer security researcher at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC). He received his Ph.D.Masters, and Bachelors degrees in Computer Science from UC San Diego.

Lindsay Poirier, Assistant Professor of Science & Technology Studies

Professor Poirier’s research examines the history, culture, and expertise of data infrastructure design work. She has ethnographically studied communities that design standards for structuring, describing, and linking data and has examined the cultural and political histories of several civic datasets. She teaches Introduction to Data Studies (STS 101) and Data Sense and Exploration (STS 115). She leads DataLab’s Hack for California research cluster (ongoing) and co-lead DataLab’s Data Feminism research cluster (2019-2020).

Duncan Temple Lang, Professor of Statistics and Associate Dean of Graduate Studies

Professor Temple Lang develops and applies statistical and scientific computing infrastructure and technologies. His research includes technologies and algorithms for parallel and distributed computing. His teaching and writing focuses on data technologies, visualization, the data science research pipeline, and research replicability and reproducibility. Professor Temple Lang is a core developer of the R statistical programming language. Prior to joining UC Davis he worked in the Statistics and Data Mining group at Bell Labs. At UC Davis he designed and taught the fundamentals of statistical data science series at UC Davis (STA 141A-C) and teaches a data science capstone course (STA 160: practice in statistical data science). He has coauthored several books including XML and Web Technologies for Data Science with R and Data Science in R: A Case Studies Approach to Computational Reasoning and Problem Solving. Professor Temple Lang was the Director of the Data Science Initiative, DataLab’s precursor, from 2016-2019 and is a member of the DataLab advisory group. He routinely teaches DataLab workshops including the advanced R Fundamentals series, reviews start-up proposals, assists with recruitments, and advises student affiliates.

Faculty Affiliates

Tom Beamish, Professor of Sociology

 Professor Beamish’s research and expertise include: risks, hazards, and the environment; community politics and social movements; institutions, organizations and the economy; and science, technology and innovation studies. His research interests also include developing analytic approaches to using social media data for studies of environmental and community politics.

Hemant Bhargava, Professor, MBSA Program Chair, Jerome and Elise Suran Chair in Technology Management.

Professor Bhargava is an expert in technology management and the information technology industry. He also studies the use of IT in clinical health care, and has previously worked on data-driven and analytical decision making in organizations.

Marianne Bitler, Professor of Economics

 Professor Bitler’s research focuses on the effects of government safety net programs on disadvantaged groups, economic demography, health economics, public economics, and the economics of education.

Gina Bloom, Professor of English

 Professor Bloom’s research interests include early modern English literature, especially Shakespeare and drama, gender and feminist theory, theater history and performance, sound studies, digital arts/humanities, and education. She collaborates on the ModLab Shakespearean video game project Play the Knave, on which she is leading a collaborative research project with the DataLab.

Amber Boydstun, Associate Professor of Political Science

 Professor Boydstun conducts research on media framing and public opinion data. She has a collaborative project with the DataLab looking at patterns in media frames in newspapers throughout the USA over time. Her projects have involved text mining, machine learning, and interactive visualization for exploratory data analysis.

Colin Cameron, Professor of Economics.

Professor Cameron’s research speciality is economic theory and microeconmetrics for cross-section data, especially count data, with applications to labor and health economic data.

Chen-nee Chuah, Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering

Professor Chuah studies communications and computer networks, and wireless/mobie computing. Her research focuses on internet measurement and network management, data acquisition (e.g., sampling, streaming, online learning), data analytics (e.g., anomaly detection), routing & traffic engineering, and software defined networks. She is interested in collaborative, interdisciplinary research approaches applying data science to emerging societal-scale applications including massive online social platforms, intelligent transportation systems, and digital health. She teaches EEC274 (Internet Measurements, Modeling, and Analysis).

James Crutchfield, Professor of Physics

Professor Crutchfield’s research focuses on nonlinear dynamics, condensed matter physics, physics of computation, evolutionary dynamics, pattern discovery, dynamics of learning, and distributed robotics. He is a faculty memeber of the Complexity Science Center. He teaches Physics 256A (Physics of Information) and Physics 256B (Physics of Computation).

Paul Dodd, Associate Vice Chancellor for Interdisciplinary Research and Strategic Initiatives, Office of Research

Dr. Dodd’s background is in nanoscale materials science and applied physics, and has worked at the interface of industry, academia for over 20 years. He administers the ten UC Davis Organized Research Units and is responsible for developing interdisciplinary research activities for the Davis campus including initiating, supporting and coordinating the development of new strategic research partnerships. You can read more about his background and the UC Davis interdisciplinary research and strategic initiatives, here.

Brittany Dugger, Assistant Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Dr. Dugger’s research focus on understanding heterogeneity within neurodegenerative diseases and the interaction of peripheral changes to aging and neurodegenerative diseases. She is a co-investigator of the neuropathology core at the UC Davis Alzheimer’s Disease Center. Prior to arriving at UC Davis she served as the neuropathology core leader for academic and drug discovery groups within the Institute of Neurodegenerative Diseases at the University of California San Francisco. She is interested in how developments in AI can revolutionize healthcare, and how to train clinicians to best utilize and interface with these emerging technologies.

Jonathan Eisen, Professor, Department of Evolution and Ecology, Genome Center, Center for Population Biology, Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine, Coastal and Marine Sciences Institute

 Professor Eisen studies the ecology, evolution and function of microbes and microbial communities, and develops phylogeny-driven computational tools to analyze genomic and metagenomic sequence data. He is interested in the integration between data sources, acquisition, analysis, eithics and workflow management.

Robert Faris, Associate Professor of Sociology

Professor Faris uses social network analysis to determine why teens bully each other, drink and do drugs, and engage in dating violence.

Emilio Ferrer, Professor of Psychology

Professor Ferrer is he is interested in how intra-individual dynamical information can be retained and used to explain inter-individual differences across a population. He is interested in methods deveopment and applications of of latent growth analysis and linear and nonlinear dynamical systems. In his Dynamics in Psychological Science Lab, he models dyadic interactions and multivariate processes associated wth reasoning and reading achievement from childhood to adolescence. Professor Ferrer is also a member of the Graduate Group in Biostatistics and an affiliate at the Center for Mind and Brain. He teaches psychology courses on statistics, longitudinal data analysis, and applied multivariate statistics.

Ryan Finnigan, Assistant Professor of Sociology

Professor Finnigan’s research examines how macro- and meso-level economic, demographic, and institutional changes influence poverty and inequality.

John Paul Graff, Assistant Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Dr. Graff ‘s research focuses on hematopathology including lymphoma, leukemia, and non-neopastic hematologic processes. He is interested in machine learning applications for pathology, including acute leukemia and flow cytometry, and in developing programs and computational models to improve pathology workflows and data collection.

James Griesemer, Professor of Philosophy

Professor Griesemer’s primary interests are philosophical, historical, and social understanding of the biological sciences, especially evolutionary biology, genetics, developmental biology, ecology and systematics. He is also a member of the Science and Technology Studies Program.

Jonathan Herman, Assistant Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering

Professor Herman’s research focuses on water resources planning and management. His research goal is to improve computational methods for simulation and optimization of water resources systems, including climate adaptation planning under uncertainty, multi-objective reservoir control, and parameter sensitivity in flood and drought prediction. He teaches ECI 273 (Water Resources Systems Engineering), which covers elements of web scraping, data cleaning and visualization with Python.

Jacob Hibel, Associate Professor of Sociology

Professor Hibel uses sociological and demographic approaches to study the sources and implications of educational stratification. His research focuses on: special education inequalities, immigration and educational inequality, school readiness and early educational stratification, and education expansion and social change in contemporary China. He is working with the DataLab on a collaborative project to extract data from California Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAPs), a state-wide reporting tool that seeks to improve student outcomes. He teaches SOC 106 (Intermediate Social Statistics) and SOC206 (Quantitative Data Analysis).

Martin Hilbert, Associate Professor of Communication

 Professor Hilbert studies the role of information, communication, and knowledge in the development of complex social systems. He teaches CMN150V (Computational Social Science graduate course on data science).

Robert Hijmans, Professor of Environmental Science & Policy

Professor Hijmans studies agriculture, ecology and and human health. He is particularly interested in the role of agricultural development in Africa, and in the role of biodiversity in agriculture. He specializes in spatial data science, ecological modeling and geo-informatics, and teaches spatial data analysis and modeling courses including GEO 200CN (“Quantitative geography”), and ABT181N and ABT182. He is author of a number of R packages, including ‘raster’, ‘dismo’, and ‘geosphere’, and maintains the the WorldClim, and GADM spatial databases.

Marcel Holyoak, Professor of Environmental Science & Policy

Professor Holyoak’s research focuses on questions about the importance of spatial dynamics to populations and communities. Specifically, he is interested in metacommunities and the role of spatial dynamics, conservation of threatened animal species, the ecology of organismal movement, and metapopulation persistence. His work addresses theories that are central to conservation and the maintenance of biodiversity, and combines field, laboratory and theoretical components.

Benjamin Houlton, Chancellor's Fellow, Professor of Global Environmental Studies, and Director of the John Muir Institute for the Environment, John Muir Institute for the Environment

Professor Houlton’s research interests include ecosystem processes, climate change and the growing risks of human alterations to the global carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous cycles for enhanced energy and food production. As Director of JMIE, Professor Houlton catalyzes research discovery across more than 300 faculty-experts from across UC Davis to devise innovative solutions to the environmental sustainability challenges of the 21st century.

Ryan Hubert, Assistant Professor of Political Science

Professor Hubert uses game theory, machine learning and text analysis to study U.S. political institutions, especially the federal courts. He is interested in how the predictive power of machine learning can be leveraged for descriptive research.

Yufang Jin, Associate Professor, Land, Air and Water Resources

Professor Jin uses remote sensing from satellite, airborne, and UAV/drone platforms to monitor ecosystem dynamics, crop conditions and yields, and to study the associtated drivers and feedbacks. She is interested in landscape and regional scale phenomena occuring in both natural and managed ecosystems ranging from croplands, rangelands, savannas, and forests. She contributes to sustainable agriculture and natural resource use by providing advanced geospatial tools and delivering observation-based information to resource managers and farmers.

Christine Kreuder Johnson, Professor of Veterinary Medicine

Professor Kreuder Johnson’s research focuses on wildlife epidemiology, with special emphasis on wildlife population health and emerging infectious diseases with significance to public health and health security. Her lab is working on a collaborative project with the DataLab to explore patterns in global zoonotic disease spillovers.

Patrice Koehl, Professor of Computer Science and Founding Director of the Data Science Initiative.

Professor Koehl’s interests lay at the interface of physics, geometry and biology. His research focuses on computational algorithmic developments and management of complex biological data as well as the quantification of biological systems (morphometry) and the formation (morphogenesis) and evolution (morphodynamics) of of molecular shapes. His research group develops new statistical algorithms for clustering post-genomic data, and geometric methods for processing image data for high-throughput comparisons of 3D-images.

Matthias Köppe, Professor of Mathematics

Professor Köppe’s research focuses on mathematical optimization (integer programming) and computational discrete mathematics. He teaches several courses on these topics, including MAT 168 (Optimization), MAT 258A (Numerical Optimization) and MAT 258B (Discrete and Mixed Integer Optimization). For more information on these and other classes (including some lecture recoredings), see his website.

Alison Ledgerwood, Professor of Psychology

Professor Ledgerwoodis a behavioral scientist investigating the contextual factors shaping people’s likes and dislikes. Here research focuses on negativity and positivity biases, attribute preferences, and improving scientific methods and practices. She has taught quantitative methods and contributed to development of syntax for generating simulations and estimating power for three-variable mediation models.

Tim Lenoir, Professor of Science & Technology Studies and Cinema & Digital Media

Professor Lenoir studies the history of biomedicine, particularly on areas related to the impact of of computer technologies such as bioinformatics, robotics and artificial intelligence on contemporary biomedicine. He is interested in how federal programs and university-industry collaborations stimulate innovation in science, technology and medicine.

Siwei Liu, Assistant Professor of Human Development & Family Studies

Professor Liu conducts research on statistical methods for analyzing intensive longitudinal data, in particular in the frameworks of multilevel modeling, structural equation modeling, time series analysis, and functional data analysis. Her research involves techniques for modeling synchrony and coregulatory processes in close relationships (e.g., parent-child, couples), and the applications of intensive longitudinal methods in health-related research (e.g., stress, physical activity, sleep). She has taught a course on Longitudinal Data Analysis in the Human Development Department.

Frank Loge, Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering

Professor Loge’s research focuses on the water-energy nexus including water and energy efficiency in urban and agricultural systems, sustainable building design, water reuse, conservation based water rate design, and data analytics.

Mark Lubell, Professor of Environmental Science & Policy

Professor Lubell studies cooperation problems and decision-making in environmental, agricultural, and public policy. His research topics include include water management, sustainable agriculture, adaptive decision-making, climate change policy, local government policy, transportation behavior, plant disease management, invasive species, and policy/social network analysis. In addition to field surveys he also uses simulations and behaivoral experiments to study cooperation.

Shiqian Ma, Assistant Professor of Mathematics

Professor Ma’s research interests include theory and algorithms for large-scale optimization, and its various applications in statistics, machine learning, bioinformatics, and image processing.

Emily Merchant, Assistant Professor of Science & Technology Studies

Professor Merchant is a historian of science, technology, and medicine. Her research combines methods of close and distant (algorithmic) reading of archival documents, oral history interviews, and published sources with approaches drawn from history, science and technology studies, the digital humanities, and the quantitative social sciences. She teaches an undergraduate course on Visualizing Society with Data, and a graduate level course on using R for text analyses and mapping. Professor Merchant co-lead DataLab’s Data Feminism research cluster in 2019.

Prasant Mohapatra, Professor of Computer Science, Dean of Graduate Studies and Vice-Provost of Graduate Education, Graduate Studies

Professor Mohapatra’s research interests focus on wireless networks, mobile communications, cybersecurity and internet protocols. Dr. Mohapatra is the Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing, and he has published over 300 research papers in his field.

Jason K. Moore, Faculty (LPSOE), Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering

Jason K. Moore is an assistant teaching professor with teaching and research interests in multibody dynamics, biomechanics, and engineering education. He is very active in the Scientific Python community where he is a core developer of the SymPy and PyDy projects. He has mentored numerous Google Summer of Code students over the last decade and hosts the College of Engineering’s JupyterHub for their computing courses. He is currently an editor for both The Journal of Open Source Education and The Journal of Open Engineering.

Viji Murali, Chief Information Office and Vice Provost of Information and Educational Technology (IET) at UC Davis.

Murali oversees IET and leads the development of a coordinated IT technology strategy across the university, including the Davis and Sacramento (Health System) campuses. With nearly three decades of experience in the field of information technology, Murali has led major initiatives in research, high-performance, instructional, administrative efficiency, and enterprise computing, as well as telecommunications. As a member of the UC Davis Health System IT Oversight Committee and the University of California IT Leadership Council, she works in partnership with the system-wide leadership to articulate goals and seek opportunities to address common IT challenges. She has a background in chemistry and a M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Arizona, Tucson.

Caitlin Patler, Assistant Professor of Land, Air & Water Resources

Dr. Patler’s reserch focuses on migration, inequality, and socio-legal studies. She is currently conducting two longitudinal and mixed-methods research studies on: 1) immigration detention, deportation, and the intersections of immigration and criminal law, and 2) the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Sean Peisert, Adjunct Associate Professor of Computer Science and Health Informatics

Professor Peisert is jointly appointed as a staff scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; as chief cybersecurity strategist for CENIC; and as adjunct faculty at UC Davis. His research covers a broad cross section of usable and useful computer and network security solutions. In recent years, his work has focused on developing techniques that improve and enable the secure and private function of distributed, high-performance, and cloud computing resources to conduct scientific research, and improving the secure functioning of power grid control systems. Dr. Peisert is chair of the IEEE Computer Society Technical Committee on Security & Privacy and associate editor-in-chief of IEEE Security & Privacy magazine.

Gerald Quon, Assistant Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology

 Dr. Quon’s research interests include using both classic machine learning and deep neural networks to build quantitative models of the cell and address a wide range of questions, including how genetics influences a person’s risk of complex diseases and how cells can be reprogrammed from one type to another for regenerative medicine.

Arman Rezaee, Assistant Professor of Economics

Professor Rezaee is a development economist focused on intersections of service delivery, political economy and technology. Professor Rezaee’s research makes use of large-scale field experiments that leverage cellular technology, as well as natural experiments using historical archival data. Much of his work focuses on Pakistan. He also has active projects in Uganda and the Philippines.

John Rundle, Professor, Physics, Earth and Planetary Sciences

Professor Rundle’s research focuses on developing the theoretical and computational methods needed to understand classes of driven, non-equilibrium threshold systems. These primarily include networks of earthquake faults, but also can be applied to neural networks, superconductors and semiconductors, the World Wide Web, and political, social and ecological systems. He is particularly interested in computational tool development to simulate these high-dimensional complex systems within the context of web-based, HPC and other types of parallel, SMP machines. Computational simulations represent a major tool and a major focus of his lab’s research.

Naoki Saito, Professor of Mathematics

Professor Saito’s research interests include topics including applied and computational harmonic analysis, statistical signal/image processing and analysis, feature extraction, pattern classification and recognition, and data compression. He teaches MAT 167 (Applied Linear Algebra), MAT 271 (Applied & Computational Harmonic Analysis), and MAT 280 (topics including: Harmonic Analysis on Graphs & Networks; Laplacian Eigenfunctions: Theory, Applications, and Computations).

Jim Sanchirico, Professor of Environmental Science & Policy

Professor Sanchirico applies empirical and theoretical quantitative methods to study the design and evaluation of policy instruments for the conservation of natural resources. His main research interests include the economic analysis of policy design, implementation, and evaluation for marine and terrestrial species conservation, and the development of economic-ecological models for forecasting the effects of resource management policies.

John Scott, Professor of Political Science

Professor Scott’s research focuses on the history of political philosophy, with a specialization in early modern political thought. He is also interested in experimental approaches to distributive justice, and related areas such as perceptions of legitimacy of Supreme Court decisions.

Tyler Scott, Assistant Professor, Environmental Science & Policy

Dr. Scott’s research focuses on institutional design and management strategies for improving environmental governance in complex institutional settings. A primary component of this work involves the use of inferential network analysis methods for understanding network governance processes and stakeholder coordination. Scott also uses computational methods such as automated text analysis to generate novel data from procedural documents and agent-based modeling to simulate policy system behavior.

James Sharpnack, Assistant Professor of Statistics

Professor Sharpnack develops and studies computationally efficient statistical methodology for understanding complex phenomena in large datasets. He holds a PhD in Machine Learning and Statistics from Carnegie Mellon University. Courses he teaches include STA 141B (Data & Web Technologies for Data Analysis), STA 208 (Statistical Machine Learning), and STA 131A (Introduction to Probability Theory).

Kimberlee Shauman, Professor of Sociology

Professor Shauman’s research focuses on social stratification, social demography, and family, kinship and gender. She is leading a collaborative project with the DataLab to explore biases in UC hiring practices. She teaches quantitative methods classes in the Sociology Department.

Cuihua (Cindy) Shen, Associate Professor of Communication

Professor Shen’s research and teaching interests revolve around the structure and impact of social networks in various online platforms. These sites include social networking apps (such as Facebook and WeChat), Massively Multiplayer Online Games (such as EverQuest II, World of Tanks, Eve Online), and other online communities designed for collaborative peer production, social support and political discussion. Her research frequently utilizes digital footprint data (so-called “big data”), in addition to “smaller data” collected from surveys and experiments.

Xiaoling Shu, Professor of Sociology and Director of East Asian Studies

Professor Shu studies the impact of market transition and globalization on gender inequalities, subjective sense of well-being, and gender, family, marriage and sexual behaviors and attitudes. She uses data scienc emodels on national and international data to study these factors within and across China and the United States. She is the author of Knowledge Discovery in the Social Sciences: A Data Mining Approach.

MacKenzie Smith, University Librarian at UC Davis

MacKenzie Smith creates and leads the strategic vision for the UC Davis libraries and oversees operations for the university’s four main libraries (Shields, Physical Sciences & Engineering, Carlson Health Sciences, and Blaisdell Medical). She leads the library’s efforts to integrate digital resources an information technology to serve the university’s academic community. She has published on information technology and digital knowledge management, and works toward creating and sustaining efforts that enhance efficient and effective access to knowledge. Smith leads the DataLab advisory group.

Dawn Sumner, Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences

Professor Sumner’s research focuses on reconstructing ancient environments on early Earth and Mars and the early evolution of bacteria, including the origin of oxygenic photosynthesis. Her group studies everything from the environmental settings, geochemistry and morphology of Archean microbialites to the morphology, climate response, and genomics of modern microbial communities growing in ice-covered Antarctic lakes to the stratigraphy and geochemistry of sedimentary rocks on Mars. Sumner is a member of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory, helping the rover Curiosity explore ancient environments in Gale Crater on Mars.

Mairaj Syed, Associate Professor of Religious Studies

Professor Syed’s research explores the history of Islamic legal and ethical thought, particularly areas dealing with public law, family law, and politics. He is also interested in the development of hadith literature and the social network that transmitted and preserved it in the first 250 years of Islamic history. He led a collaborative project with the DataLab focused on accurate dating of hadiths. He has taught RST 130 (Hadith, Social Networks, and Computational Analyses).

Tony Tyson, Distinguished Professor of Physics.

Tony Tyson, Distinguished Professor of Physics. Professor Tyson is an experimental physicist with research in cosmology including dark matter distribution, gravitational lens effects, cosmic shear, the nature of dark energy, and instrumentation for optical astronomy. He pioneered the field of weak gravitational lensing, and dark energy was discovered using one of his wide field CCD cameras. Prior to coming to UC Davis he worked in the physics division at Bell Labs.

Jiayi Young, Assistant Professor of Design

Professor Young teaches DES37 (Coding for Designers), which includes data visualization and generative design.

Zhou Yu 俞舟, Assistant Professor of Computer Science

Professor Yu designs algorithms for real-time intelligent interactive systems that coordinate with user actions that are beyond spoken languages, including non-verbal behaviors to achieve effective and natural communications. In particular, her research focuses on optimizing human-machine communication via studies of multimodal sensing and analysis, speech and natural language processing, machine learning and human-computer interaction. She teaches special topics in AI courses through the Department of Computer Science.

Professional Affiliates

John Daniels, Statistical Programming Consultant and Systems Administrator for the Social Science Data Service.

John Daniels maintains the SSDS central research systems and provides consulting for statistical and mathematical software applications used by social scientists. He has a background in political science and has worked for over 20 years in the fields of information technology and quantitative research support.

Sandra Taylor, Principal Statistician, Clinical and Transnational Science Center.

Sandy Taylor oversees the daily operations of the Biostatistics Program at the CTSC, which provides statistical assistance and education for health sciences investigators. She received her doctorate in Biostatistics from UC Davis and has a master’s degree in Zoology and Physiology.

Past Affiliates

Louise Kellogg, in Memoriam, Professor of Geophysics and Director of Computational Infrastructure for Geodynamics, Geology

Professor Kellogg studied the dynamics of the solid Earth and similar planets, focusing on mantle convection and crustal deformation using computational models rooted in observation. She established the W. M. Keck Center for Active Visualization in Earth Sciences (KeckCAVES) where her research includes interactive visualization of data from natural disaster sites, reconstructing paleoocean flow, and using virtual reality and augmented reality for research and outreach. Professor Kellogg passed away in April, 2019.

Deb Niemeier, currently Clark Distinguished Chair, University of Maryland

Professor Niemeier’s research focuses on integrating models for estimating mobile source emissions with transportation modeling. She is the PI on a NSF NRT grant on Data Science for the Built Environment. Dr. Niemeier is an AAAS fellow and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. She has taught ECI 298: Introduction to Transportation Data and Analysis Using R. Formerly Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering at UC Davis, Professor Neimeier is now at Univ. Maryland.

Chris Smith, currently Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Toronto

Professor Smith studies inequality in crime, criminal relationships, and criminal organizations. Her research specializations also include feminist criminology, historical research methods, police violence, sociology of gender, urban sociology, and social network analysis. At UC Davis she taught SOC 298 (Social Network Analysis for Social Scientists). She is currently faculty at the University of Toronto

Rick Wray, currently Nuclear Medicine Physician, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Dr. Wray is a molecular imaging specialist and nuclear medicine physician. His research focuses on machine learning and radiomics in oncologic molecular imaging. Utilizing novel dynamic PET/CT quantitative imaging features and biomarkers, he is creating imaging databases for use with modern ML/AI technologies to improve patient outcomes. He is currently at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.