ICS Welcomes 8 New Faculty for 2019

October 14, 2019

The Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences is pleased to introduce the following eight faculty who joined ICS in calendar year 2019. These outstanding researchers and educators advance our school’s strategic priorities in the areas of data science, artificial intelligence, and big data systems while strengthening our expanding collaborations across campus in the areas of health informatics and computational science and engineering. With these new hires, the number of tenure-track faculty in our school has increased by 40% within three years, bringing the total count to an all-time high of 93, and reflecting the unprecedented growth in our enrollments and research activity.

Sangeetha Abdu Jyothi

Assistant Professor, Computer Science
Ph.D., Computer Science, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Abdu Jyothi’s research interests are in the areas of computer networking and systems, with a focus on building application-aware self-optimizing systems through automated resource management. Her work leverages learning and optimization techniques for achieving resource efficiency in large-scale networked systems. It is also concerned with problems in the intersection of systems and machine learning, including network scheduling for accelerating ML systems and network flow prediction using ML in data center environments. Her recent focus is on optimizing machine learning systems and designing resource management frameworks for micro data centers at the edge. Abdu Jyothi is currently a postdoc at VMware Research and will be joining the ICS faculty in September 2020.

Veronica Berrocal

Associate Professor, Statistics
Ph.D., Statistics, University of Washington

Berrocal was a National Research Council postdoc research associate at the Environmental Protection Agency and a postdoc research associate at Duke University and the Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute (SAMSI) before spending the last nine years on the faculty at the University of Michigan. Her research interests are in spatial/spatio-temporal, environmental, and Bayesian statistics with an emphasis in environmental sciences, environmental health, and atmospheric and geophysical sciences applications. Berrocal has served as an ad-hoc member in several scientific advisory panels for the EPA, held various officer positions in the Section on Statistics and the Environment (ENVR) of the American Statistical Association (ASA), and received the Early Investigator Award from the ENVR section of ASA. She joined the ICS faculty in September 2019.

Mine Dogucu

Assistant Professor of Teaching, Statistics
Ph.D., Quantitative Research, Evaluation, and Measurement, The Ohio State University

Dogucu focuses on designing the modern statistics curriculum. Her work in curriculum design includes integration of data science topics and making advanced statistics topics accessible to novice statisticians. Her focus for the latter is making Bayesian statistics accessible, specifically at the undergraduate level. Dogucu also advocates for pedagogical training for anyone who teaches for the first time, and she has extensive experience in teaching teachers. In addition to pedagogical research, her work includes collaborative research in applications of survey design, measurement, and missing data. Dogucu was a visiting assistant professor of data analytics at Denison University prior to joining the ICS faculty in September 2019.

Roy Fox

Assistant Professor, Computer Science
Ph.D., Computer Science and Engineering, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Fox is the founder of the Intelligent Dynamics Lab at UCI’s Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences. He was previously a postdoc in UC Berkeley’s BAIR, RISELab, and AUTOLAB, where he developed algorithms and systems that interact with humans to learn structured control policies for robotics and program synthesis. Fox’s research interests include theory and applications of reinforcement learning, dynamical systems, information theory, and robotics. His current research focuses on structure, exploration, and optimization in deep reinforcement learning and imitation learning of virtual and physical agents. Fox joined the ICS faculty in September 2019.

Milena Mihail

Associate Professor, Computer Science
Ph.D., Computer Science, Harvard University

Mihail’s research areas are theoretical computer science and networks. Her theory work focuses on spectral graph methods in algorithms, randomized and approximation algorithms, efficient Monte Carlo sampling, and rapidly mixing Markov chains, an area that she has pioneered. Her work in networking spans from the design of classical backbone networks to the study of structure, function, and mathematical modeling of distributed networks that arise in technology and society. Mihail has been a director and senior scientist at Bell Communications Research, and an associate professor of computer science at Georgia Tech. Mihail joined the ICS faculty in September 2019.

Annie Qu

Professor, Statistics
Ph.D., Statistics, Pennsylvania State University

Qu’s research focuses on solving fundamental issues regarding unstructured large-scale data. She works to develop cutting-edge statistical methods and theory in machine learning and algorithms for text sentiment analysis, automatic tagging and summarization, recommender systems, tensor imaging data, and network data analyses for complex heterogeneous data. Her work helps extracting essential information from large-volume high-dimensional data. Before joining UCI, Qu was Data Science Founder Professor of Statistics and the Director of the Illinois Statistics Office at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She received an NSF Career Award and is a fellow of both the Institute of Mathematical Statistics and the American Statistical Association. Qu will join the ICS faculty in January 2020.

Michael Shindler

Assistant Professor of Teaching, Computer Science
Ph.D., Computer Science, UCLA

Shindler, who received his B.S. from ICS, spent the last five years teaching theory, machine learning and systems courses at USC, where he played a major role in the creation of the undergraduate Machine Learning, course and the Concepts of Programming Languages elective. Shindler also served as the faculty advisor for AthenaHacks, a student organization that annually hosts Southern California’s premiere all-female hackathon. His research was formerly in theory and machine learning, but now he focuses on computer science education, with an eye toward teaching at scale, particularly promoting feedback and engagement. Shindler joined the ICS faculty in September 2019.

Sean Young

Associate Professor, Informatics and Emergency Medicine
Ph.D., Psychology, Stanford University

Young studies digital behavior and prediction technology, examining how and why people use social media, mobile apps, and wearable devices. As executive director of the UC Institute for Prediction Technology, he leverages social and behavioral data to detect real-world problems. His research applies insights from psychology to online behavior change interventions, transforming time-consuming and expensive community-based interventions into online variants that more efficiently reach the masses. Working with public health officials, he is now developing tools that mine social data to identify potential areas of disease outbreak, crime, and poverty. Young joined the ICS faculty in June 2019.