Cornell CIS
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Cornell CIS Welcomes New Faculty


Cornell Computing and Information Science is excited to have 10 new faculty join its ranks. “As we enter into our 20th anniversary year for CIS, we continue to attract the very best faculty who will contribute to the teaching and research excellence that has defined Cornell Computing and Information Science for the past two decades,” said Interim CIS Dean Jon Kleinberg. Hired in 2017-18 but joining CIS for the first time this academic year are Assistant Professor Nika Haghtalab (CS) and Volodymr Kuleshov (Jacobs Technion at Cornell Tech).

2019-20 New CIS Faculty

Computer Science Department:

Nika Haghtalab will join Cornell Computer Science as an Assistant Professor this fall after completing a postdoc at Microsoft New England. Haghtalab’s research focuses on the theoretical aspects of machine learning and economics. She recently interned at Microsoft Research in NYC and in Redmond and is the recipient of a Microsoft Research PhD Fellowship, an IBM PhD Fellowship and a Siebel Scholarship. She received her PhD in computer science from Carnegie Mellon.

Sasha Rush will join Cornell Tech as an Assistant Professor this fall. Rush was an associate professor in computer science at the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard and a Postdoctoral Fellow with Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research (FAIR) in New York. Sasha received his PhD from MIT in 2014. His research interests lie in data-driven methods for understanding natural languages including modelling the structural aspects of language for tasks such as syntactic parsing, coreference resolution, and part-of-speech tagging.

Volodymyr Kuleshov will join the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute at Cornell Tech as an Assistant Professor in Spring 2020. His research focuses on machine learning and its applications in genomics and personalized medicine including developing a machine reading system for scientific literature that will help make biomedical knowledge easily accessible to scientists. Kuleshov received his PhD from Stanford and has had numerous research papers published in machine learning and genomics publications.

Wen Sun will join Computer Science as an Assistant Professor in Fall 2020 after a year as a postdoc researcher at Microsoft Research in New York City. He received a PhD in robotics from Carnegie Mellon University. His key research is in machine learning and focuses on design algorithms for efficient sequential decision making, understanding exploration and exploitation, and how to leverage expert demonstrations to overcome exploration.

Owolabi Legunsen will be welcomed into Computer Science as an Assistant Professor in Fall 2020. He received his PhD in computer science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Legunsen’s research interests are in software engineering and applied formal methods with a focus on software testing and runtime verification. Recent research includes runtime verification during testing and regression test selection.

Abe Davis will join Cornell Computer Science in Fall 2020. He completed his PhD at MIT in 2016 and later became a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford University. Davis’s research focuses on foundational problems in computer vision and graphics and involves using graphics, vision and HCI with a keen interest in converting research findings to everyday applications such as photography, sound and video.

Information Science Department:

Cristobal Cheyre will join Cornell Information Science as an Assistant Professor this fall after completing a post-doctoral fellowship at Carnegie Mellon University. Cheyre’s research focuses on the economic, strategic, and organizational implications of the technologies that are shaping the data economy. Following completion of his PhD in Engineering and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University, he spent two years in Chile as Executive Director of “The Clover 2030 Engineering Strategy,” a strategic initiative to propel the School of Engineering of P. Universidad Catolica de Chile (PUC) to world class standards.

Rajalakshmi Nandakumar will join Information Science as an Assistant Professor in January 2020. Her research focuses on developing and deploying computing technologies that can create an impact in the real world and improve the quality of life. Domains where she develops these technologies include mobile health, user interfaces and the Internet of Things. Nandakumar completed her PhD at the University of Washington has had numerous papers selected at major conferences, including “3D localization for sub-centimeter sized devices,” which won a Best Paper Award at ACM SenSys 2018.

Aditya Vashistha will join Information Science as an Assistant Professor this fall. His research spans human computer interaction, computing for development, and accessibility technology, with an aim to use social computing to achieve social good for people in low-resource environments. Vashistha completed his PhD at the University of Washington and has been published extensively at conferences including CHI, COMPASS, and ICTD.

Statistics and Data Science Department:

Jeremy Entner will join Cornell’s Department of Statistics and Data Science as a lecturer this fall. His research interests are ranking and selection, nonparametric statistics, data depth and multivariate analysis. Following completion of a PhD in mathematics and statistics from Syracuse University, Entner served as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Tennessee at Martin.