UT announces 21 new computing faculty hires

Largest computing recruitment in history expands campus expertise

new faculty

Aaron Dubrow

With growing enrollment and exploding student interest in computing on campus, The University of Texas at Austin hired 21 new computing faculty members across five departments and units this year. This represents the largest computing faculty recruiting efforts in the history of the University, welcoming members across multiple research areas to our world-class academic community.

The new UT faculty bring expertise in a range of topics from brain-machine interfaces to quantum computing to power electronics. Their research touches on a range of important applications, from health care to robotics.

"I am excited to welcome one of our largest group of new faculty in the increasingly interdisciplinary field of computer science,” said Tasha Beretvas, senior vice provost for faculty affairs. “From AI and machine learning to ethics in technology, this new group of faculty demonstrates that we are committed to meeting the current and future needs of our students, the industry, and research."

Of the 21 hires:

Nine will join the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, including new chair Diana Marculescu, a pioneer in energy-aware computing, who will be the department’s first female chair.

Eight will join the Department of Computer Science, supporting not only undergraduate and graduate students but also a new online master’s program that will make graduate education affordable and accessible for thousands of students.

Two will join the Department of Statistics and Data Sciences, including new chair Catherine Calder, previously co-director of the Mathematical Biosciences Institute at The Ohio State University and a widely published expert in the field of spatial and spatiotemporal statistics.

One faculty member — Min Kyung Lee, a research scientist in Human-Computer Interaction at Carnegie Mellon University — will join the Texas iSchool as an assistant professor starting in January 2020.

Additionally, one faculty member — Feliciano Giustino, an electronic structure theorist and computational materials scientist — joined the Oden Institute for Computation Engineering and Sciences as the W.A. “Tex” Moncrief, Jr., Endowment in Simulation-Based Engineering Sciences Chair. He is also a professor of physics and a member of the Materials Science and Engineering Program.

For Computer Science and Electrical and Computer Engineering, the new hires represent a 10 to 15 percent increase in faculty.

 

Meet the new faculty:

  • Joydeep Biswas joins Texas Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Carnegie Mellon University. His research interests include the perception and control of autonomous mobile robots. Through his work, Biswas wants to have autonomous mobile robots completing tasks in human environments.
     
  • James Bornholt  joins Texas Computer Science after worked as an applied scientist at Amazon. His research on program synthesis makes programmers radically more productive by automatically writing programs given a description of their behavior.
     
  • Catherine Calder joins UT as chair of the Department of Statistics and Data Sciences after serving as professor of statistics at The Ohio State University, where she co-directed the NSF-funded Mathematical Biosciences Institutes. Calder’s research interests include Bayesian modeling and computation, spatial and spatio-temporal statistics, multivariate analysis, and network analysis.
     
  • Siddhartha Chatterjee joins Texas Computer Science after a prestigious career in industry during which he earned eight patents, seven certifications, and had over 70 publications to his name. His research focuses on compiling data-parallel programs for efficient execution on shared-memory multiprocessors.
     
  • Swarat Chaudhuri comes to Texas Computer Science from Rice University He works in the intersection of formal methods and artificial intelligence (AI) and aims to build a new generation of AI systems that are designed from the ground up with the goals of reliability, transparency, and security.
     
  • Eunsol Choi joins Texas Computer Science from Google AI after completing her PhD at the University of Washington. She studies natural language processing, machine learning, and computational social sciences, with a particular focus on extracting and querying information about entities from text.
     
  • Feliciano Giustino, an electronic structure theorist and computational materials scientist, joins the Oden Institute from Oxford University and Cornell University. He specializes in electronic structure theory, high-performance computing, and the atomic-scale design of advanced functional materials.
     
  • Alex Hanson joins Texas Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) from MIT. His area of expertise is power electronics with emphasis on high-frequency magnetics and circuits.
     
  • Hyeji Kim joins Texas ECE as an assistant professor. Most recently she has served as a Researcher at Samsung AI Research Cambridge in the United Kingdom. Her area of expertise is in information theory and machine learning.
     
  • Min Kyung Lee joins the Texas iSchool after serving as a research scientist in Human-Computer Interaction at Carnegie Mellon University. Her research focuses on improving AI technology for human contexts by making AI more sensitive to human concerns and behavior.
     
  • Antonio Linero joined the UT Department of Statistics and Data Sciences from Florida State University. His research focuses on developing flexible Bayesian nonparametric methods, with applications in missing data and causal inference. His work is supported by the National Science Foundation.
     
  • Diana Marculescu joined Texas ECE as the new department chair in December 2019. Prof. Marculescu was the David Edward Schramm Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University.
     
  • Radu Marculescu will be joining Texas ECE as a professor in Spring 2020. He is the Kavčić-Moura Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University where he is an expert in the optimization of embedded systems, cyber-physical systems, social networks, and biological systems.
     
  • José del R. Millán joins Texas ECE from École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) where he has been a prestigious leader in the field of brain-machine interfaces.
     
  • Aryan Mokhtari joins Texas ECE as an assistant professor. He was most recently a Postdoctoral Associate in the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems (LIDS) at MIT. His area of expertise is in optimization and machine learning.
     
  • Tina Peterson joins Texas Computer Science after lecturing at Rice University on ethics in computer science and professional communication in engineering. Her research interests include media literacy, scientific literacy, and ethics in technology and engineering.
     
  • Emily Porter joins Texas ECE as an assistant professor. She was EU Marie-Curie Fellow and Adjunct Lecturer with the Translational Medical Device Laboratory at the National University of Ireland Galway. Her area of expertise is in electromagnetics and healthcare applications.
     
  • Shyam Shankar joins Texas ECE as an assistant professor. Most recently he was a Research Scientist in the Applied Physics department at Yale University. His area of expertise is in quantum information science and engineering.
     
  • Jon Tamir will be joining Texas ECE as an assistant professor in Spring 2020. Currently he is a research associate at the University of California, Berkeley. His research centers around computational magnetic resonance imaging, machine learning for inverse problems, and clinical translation.
     
  • John Wright will join the Texas Computer Science faculty after completing his postdoctoral studies at the California Institute of Technology in fall 2020. A quantum computing specialist, Wright’s research focuses on the hardness of approximation and the analysis of Boolean functions.
     
  • Yuke Zhu is a leading mind in robot vision and learning and received his PhD from Stanford University. His doctoral thesis centered around closing the perception-action loop to make robot intelligence more generalized and applicable to less-controlled environments.

The new faculty join UT Austin on the heels of the launch of Texas Computing, an effort that brings together exceptional faculty from across campus, unique interdisciplinary programs, and a large talented pool of students to create opportunities for learning and research unrivaled in the world.

New hiring is currently underway for 2020-2021 and will add as many as 20 more new faculty to UT Austin.

“UT Austin is a big place, with as much excellence in computing as anywhere in the world,” said Don Fussell, Chair of the Texas Computer Science Department. “With the number of different units involved, it's not always obvious to people just how much is going on and how rapidly our presence in computing is growing. When you look at it all together, it's really quite impressive.”