Faculty News

Jun 16 2021

Portrait of ERIC H. BALKANSKI

ERIC H. BALKANSKI

Assistant Professor, Industrial Engineering and Operations Research
PhD, Harvard University, 2019; BS, Carnegie Mellon University, 2014

 

Eric Balkanski’s research lies at the intersection of algorithms and machine learning. He is interested in developing novel optimization frameworks that are motivated by applications in machine learning. In particular, his research focuses on data-driven algorithm design, combinatorial optimization, and mechanism design. He develops novel models and algorithmic machinery to address modern challenges of decision-making. He is the recipient of an ACM SIGecom Doctoral Dissertation Honorable Mention, a Google PhD Fellowship, a Smith Family Graduate Science and Engineering Fellowship, and a Best Paper Award at the 18th International Conference on Implementation and Application of Automata in 2013. He co-founded Robust Intelligence, an AI security startup.

 

Portrait of RACHEL A. D. CUMMINGS

RACHEL A. D. CUMMINGS
Assistant Professor, Industrial Engineering and Operations Research
PhD, California Institute of Technology, 2017; MS, Northwestern University, 2013; BA, University of Southern California, 2011

 

Rachel Cummings’s research interests lie primarily in data privacy, with connections to machine learning, algorithmic economics, optimization, statistics, and information theory. Her work has focused on such problems as strategic aspects of data generation, incentivizing truthful reporting of data, privacy-preserving algorithm design, impacts of privacy policy, and human decision-making. Before Columbia, she was an assistant professor at the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Georgia Tech. Cummings is the recipient of an NSF CAREER Award, a J. P. Morgan AI Research Faculty Award, a Google Research Fellowship for the Simons Institute program on data privacy, a Mozilla Research Grant, a Caltech Leadership Award, and the Best Paper Award at the 2014 International Symposium on Distributed Computing. She also serves on the ACM U.S. Public Policy Council’s Privacy Committee and the Future of Privacy Forum’s Advisory Board.

 

Portrait of CHRISTOPHER J. DOLAN

CHRISTOPHER J. DOLAN
Lecturer in the Discipline, Industrial Engineering and Operations Research
PhD, Columbia University, 2011; MS, New York University, 2010; BS, New York University, 2007

 

Christopher Dolan is a statistician with expertise in risk and performance analysis. He worked as a data scientist at Hinge from 2019 to 2020. Before that, he was a quantitative researcher at Bloomberg and a data scientist at Google. At Columbia, he was a graduate instructor from 2011 to 2017.

 

Portrait of RAYMOND S. FARINATO

RAYMOND S. FARINATO
Professor of Professional Practice, Earth and Environmental Engineering
PhD, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 1976; BS, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1971

 

Raymond Farinato worked in industry for 39 years at American Cyanamid, Cytec Industries, Kemira, and Solvay. He is experienced in surface and interfacial science and polymer physical chemistry and translates fundamental science and engineering principles into industrial-scale technologies. Over his industrial career Farinato worked predominantly in the areas of water-soluble polymers, surface and colloid science, and adhesion science, with an emphasis on applications in the water-treatment, waste-management, oilfield, materials, and mineral-processing industries. He was a postdoc in biophysics at UC Berkeley and consulted at the Lawrence Berkeley Labs on radiation damage to DNA. Farinato will be working with department colleagues to form the foundation for a sustainable mining, minerals, and materials program. Research will be directed at developing the next generation of mineral-processing methods and chemistries from a “mines of the future” perspective.

 

Portrait of JOSE L. MCFALINE-FIGUEROA

JOSE L. MCFALINE-FIGUEROA
Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering
PhD, MIT, 2014; BS, University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, 2006

 

José McFaline-Figueroa’s research focuses on defining the molecular changes induced in cancer cells after exposure to anticancer therapy, how those changes alter response to treatment, and how they difer as a function of the genetic background of individual cancer cells. His approach includes the development and application of tools centered around single-cell genomics, multiplex genome editing, and chemical genetics. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Washington (2015–2020) and is the recipient of an NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award.

 

Portrait of D. R. NAGARAJ

D. R. NAGARAJ
Henry Krumb Professor of Professional Practice of Mining, Earth and Environmental Engineering
PhD, Columbia University, 1979; MSc, Indian Institute of Science, 1974; BEng, Indian Institute of Science, 1972; BSc, Bangalore University (India), 1969

 

D. R. Nagaraj started his career at American Cyanamid in 1979 and held various positions there and at Cytec Industries and Solvay over the years. He was previously an adjunct professor and visiting scholar at the Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Centre at the University of Queensland in Australia. Nagaraj is a globally recognized scientist and a practicing engineer in the mining and mineral resource industry and the research community. He joined Columbia to develop, in collaboration with other faculty, an educational and research program in sustainable mineral resource management to prepare the next generation of engineers and leaders to transform the field. His work integrates advanced extraction, separation, and purification technology with sensors, smart molecules and materials, data analytics, water-energy efficient processing, and improved legacy in a “mines of the future” paradigm. Among his honors are election to the International Mining Technology Hall of Fame (2016) and the National Academy of Engineering (2006) and awards from the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration, the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers as well as from American Cyanamid and Cytec Industries.

 

Portrait of CARLOS A. PAZ-SOLDAN

CARLOS A. PAZ-SOLDAN
Associate Professor, Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics
PhD, University of Wisconsin–Madison, 2012; MS, University of Wisconsin– Madison, 2009; BScE and BA, Queen’s University at Kingston (Canada), 2007

 

Carlos Paz-Soldan focuses on plasma physics and fusion energy, with an emphasis on the control of of-normal events in tokamaks. His research targets understanding and controlling the transient of-normal events that can prevent the efficient and reliable operation of the tokamak. Specifically, he studies non-axisymmetric (3D) field interactions, core and edge magnetohydrodynamic instabilities, and relativistic electrons in tokamak plasmas. In 2012, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Oak Ridge Associated Universities, sited at General Atomics, and since 2014, he has been a scientist working on controlled thermonuclear fusion research at General Atomics as part of the DIII-D research program.

 

Portrait of WENPIN TANG

WENPIN TANG
Assistant Professor, Industrial Engineering and Operations Research
PhD, UC Berkeley, 2017; Diplôme d’ingénieur, Ecole Polytechnique, France, 2013

 

Wenpin Tang’s work lies at the intersection of stochastic analysis, machine learning, and quantitative finance. His primary research areas are continuous-time stochastic processes and probabilistic ranking models. His current research interests are to improve the efficiency of machine learning algorithms using stochastic tools and to develop a robust AI methodology for the emerging fintech market. Tang was a postdoctoral researcher in the IEOR Department at UC Berkeley from 2019 to 2020 and an assistant adjunct professor in the Department of Mathematics at UCLA from 2017 to 2019. He received the Prize for Excellence in Financial Markets from Morgan Stanley in 2017.

 

Portrait of KAIZHENG WANG

KAIZHENG WANG
Assistant Professor, Industrial Engineering and Operations Research
PhD, Princeton University, 2020; BS, Peking University, 2015

 

Kaizheng Wang’s work lies at the intersection of optimization, machine learning, and statistics. He develops and studies scalable algorithms for analyzing massive data that are unstructured, incomplete, and heterogeneous. The methodologies have wide applications in signal processing, network analysis, recommendation systems, and distributed computing. He is also interested in uncertainty quantification and robustness certification for complex systems. A main focus of Wang’s research is efficient extraction of key structures from high-dimensional data, which greatly reduces complexity and enhances interpretability. This includes dimensionality reduction, representation learning, clustering, ranking, and other weakly supervised machine-learning problems where labeled data are scarce and difficult to obtain.

 

Portrait of ZHOU YU

ZHOU YU
Assistant Professor, Computer Science
PhD, Carnegie Mellon University, 2017; BS, BA, Chu Kochen Honors College, Zhejiang University, 2011

 

Zhou Yu designs algorithms for real- time intelligent interactive systems that coordinate with user actions that are beyond spoken languages, including nonverbal behaviors to achieve efective and natural communications. In particular, she optimizes human-machine communication via studies of multimodal sensing and analysis, speech and natural language processing, machine learning, and human- computer interaction. She aims to bring together all of these areas to design, implement, and deploy end-to-end real-time interactive intelligent systems that are able to plan globally considering interaction history and current user actions to achieve better user experience and task performance. Before Columbia, Yu was an assistant professor in the Computer Science Department at UC Davis, where she directed the Davis NLP Lab. She is the winner of a Google GCP Credit Award and the 2018 Amazon Alexa Prize, and was named to the 2018 Forbes 30 Under 30 in Science list.

 

Portrait of HENRY S. YUEN

HENRY S. YUEN
Assistant Professor, Computer Science
PhD, MIT, 2016; BA, University of Southern California, 2010

 

Henry Yuen is a theoretical computer scientist whose goal is to understand the fundamental principles of computation and communication in a universe governed by quantum physics (such as ours). He studies questions at the interface of quantum information theory, computational complexity theory, and cryptography. In his research, Yuen utilizes ideas and tools from a variety of disciplines, ranging from complexity theory to quantum physics to information theory. He has made a number of contributions to the theory of quantum multiprover interactive proofs, including the discovery that such interactive proofs can verify solutions to uncomputable problems. Yuen also works on quantum cryptography; some of his contributions include designing protocols for infinite randomness expansion using untrusted quantum hardware. He was a postdoctoral associate at UC Berkeley from 2016 to 2018 and an assistant professor in computer science and mathematics at the University of Toronto between 2018 and 2020. He is the recipient of a Simons-Berkeley Research Fellowship and a Google Quantum Research Award.

 

Portrait of LU ZHANG

LU ZHANG
Ju Tang Chu and Wui Ping Chu Assistant Professor of Applied Mathematics, Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics
PhD, Southern Methodist University, 2020; MS, Southern Methodist University, 2017

 

Lu Zhang’s research interests lie in the area of numerical and theoretic analysis of partial diferential equations (PDEs), which serve as the basic languages that describe the spatial-temporal dynamics of the phenomena within the physical and biological sciences, and applied mathematics in general. In particular, she focuses on developing high order discontinuous Galerkin methods in studying various PDEs with physical and biological backgrounds, such as advective wave equations, semi- linear wave equations, chemotaxis models, and population dynamics models

 

Appointments to Endowed Professorships

 

Portrait of PIERRE GENTINE

PIERRE GENTINE
Maurice Ewing and J. Lamar Worzel Professor of Geophysics
Earth and Environmental Engineering

 

Portrait of RONGHUI GU

RONGHUI GU
Tang Family Assistant Professor of Computer Science
Computer Science

 

Portrait of ELIZABETH HILLMAN

ELIZABETH HILLMAN
Herbert and Florence Irving Professor at the Zuckerman Institute
Biomedical Engineering

 

Portrait of IOANNIS “JOHN” KYMISSIS

IOANNIS “JOHN” KYMISSIS
Kenneth Brayer Professor of Electrical Engineering
Electrical Engineering

 

Portrait of HELEN H. LU

HELEN H. LU
Percy K. and Vida L. W. Hudson Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Biomedical Engineering

 

Portrait of ANDREW W. SMYTH

ANDREW W. SMYTH
Robert A. W. and Christine S. Carleton Professor of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics
Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics

 

Promotion to Full Professor

 

Portrait of KYLE J. M. BISHOP

KYLE J. M. BISHOP
Chemical Engineering

 

Portrait of PIERRE GENTINE

PIERRE GENTINE
Earth and Environmental Engineering

 

Portrait of ZORAN KOSTIC

ZORAN KOSTIC
Electrical Engineering

 

Portrait of TAL G. MALKIN

TAL G. MALKIN
Computer Science

 

Portrait of AH-HYUNG “ALISSA” PARK

AH-HYUNG “ALISSA” PARK
Earth and Environmental Engineering

 

Portrait of DANIEL RUBENSTEIN

DANIEL RUBENSTEIN
Computer Science

 

Promotion To Associate Professor

 

Portrait of MICHAEL P. BURKE

MICHAEL P. BURKE
Mechanical Engineering

 

Portrait of TAL DANINO

TAL DANINO
Biomedical Engineering

 

Portrait of SHARON XUAN DI

SHARON XUAN DI
Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics

 

Portrait of ADAM ELMACHTOUB

ADAM ELMACHTOUB
Industrial Engineering and Operations Research

 

Portrait of SUMAN JANA

SUMAN JANA
Computer Science

 

Portrait of XIAOFAN “FRED” JIANG

XIAOFAN “FRED” JIANG
Electrical Engineering

 

Portrait of MATTHIAS PREINDL

MATTHIAS PREINDL
Electrical Engineering

 

PROMOTION TO TENURE

 

Portrait of SHIPRA AGRAWAL

SHIPRA AGRAWAL
Associate Professor
Industrial Engineering and Operations Research

 

Portrait of MATEI CIOCARLIE

MATEI CIOCARLIE
Associate Professor
Mechanical Engineering

 

Portrait of DANIEL ESPOSITO

DANIEL ESPOSITO
Associate Professor
Chemical Engineering

 

Portrait of ROXANA GEAMBASU

ROXANA GEAMBASU
Associate Professor
Computer Science

 

Portrait of CHRISTINE HENDON

CHRISTINE HENDON
Associate Professor
Electrical Engineering

 

Portrait of DANIEL HSU

DANIEL HSU
Associate Professor
Computer Science

 

Portrait of JOSHUA JACOBS

JOSHUA JACOBS
Associate Professor
Biomedical Engineering

 

Portrait of ETHAN KATZ-BASSETT

ETHAN KATZ-BASSETT
Associate Professor
Electrical Engineering

 

Portrait of SHIHO KAWASHIMA

SHIHO KAWASHIMA
Associate Professor
Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics

 

Portrait of IOANNIS KOUIGIOUMTZOGLOU

IOANNIS KOUIGIOUMTZOGLOU
Associate Professor
Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics

 

Portrait of KWAI HUNG HENRY LAM

KWAI HUNG HENRY LAM
Associate Professor
Industrial Engineering and Operations Research

 

Portrait of NIMA MESGARANI

NIMA MESGARANI
Associate Professor
Electrical Engineering

 

Portrait of JOHN W. PAISLEY

JOHN W. PAISLEY
Associate Professor
Electrical Engineering

 

Portrait of CARLOS PAZ-SOLDAN

CARLOS PAZ-SOLDAN
Associate Professor
Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics

 

Portrait of MINGOO SEOK

MINGOO SEOK
Associate Professor
Electrical Engineering

 

Portrait of WAICHING SUN

WAICHING SUN
Associate Professor
Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics

 

Portrait of QI WANG

QI WANG
Associate Professor
Biomedical Engineering

 

Portrait of NANFANG YU

NANFANG YU
Associate Professor
Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics

 

Portrait of CHANGXI ZHENG

CHANGXI ZHENG
Associate Professor
Computer Science