About ICDS

Meet the Penn State ICDS Faculty Co-Hires

Building a Computing Community at Penn State

Penn State ICDS collaborates with internal colleges and departments across the University to support a cadre of ICDS Faculty Co-Hires—talented researchers who are doing data-intensive work in a range of disciplines. From astrophysics and chemistry to psychology and political science, these scholars are making major strides in their fields.

To learn how your Penn State department might collaborate with ICDS on creating a Co-Hire position, please contact Wayne Figurelle, ICDS Assistant Director.

In addition to supporting ICDS Co-Hires, we also have an Affiliates & Associates Program for Penn State faculty, researchers, staff, students, and external collaborators.

ICDS Faculty Co-Hires


Jean Paul Allain

  • Head of the Ken and Mary Alice Lindquist Department of Nuclear Engineering
  • Lloyd and Dorothy Foehr Huck Chair in Plasma Medicine in the Huck Institutes for Life Sciences
  • Professor of biomedical engineering
  • ICDS Co-Hire

Department: Nuclear Engineering; Biomedical Engineering

Office: 206 Hallowell Building

Email: jma6442@psu.edu

Phone: 814-863-8575

Research Focuses: Surface and interface science, in-situ surface characterization techniques, plasma-surface interactions, radiation Interactions with soft matter, magnetic nuclear fusion boundary physics, inorganic surface-biomatter interface response to radiation, laser-based post-ionization techniques, soft X-ray sources for detection, compact plasma-based neutron and photon sources, nanolithography, ultra-thin oxide films for advanced semiconductors, advanced materials for radiation detection

Website: Visit Jean Paul's Website


Timothy Brick


Timothy Brick

  • Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies
  • ICDS Co-Hire

Department: Human Development and Family Studies

Office: 231 HHD Building, University Park

Email: tbrick@psu.edu

Phone: 814-865-4868

Research Focuses: Human-environment interaction, interpersonal interaction, statistics to analyze these kinds of interactions, data collection and analysis

Website: Visit Timothy's Website


Guido Cervone


Guido Cervone

  • Professor of Geography and Meteorology and Atmospheric Science
  • Interim Director, Institute for Computational and Data Sciences
  • ICDS Co-Hire

Department: Geography

Office: 205 Walker Building, University Park

Email: cervone@psu.edu

Phone: 814-863-0179

Research Focuses: Remote sensing, environmental hazards, geoinformatics, social media

Website: Visit Guido's Website



Keith Cheng

  • Distinguished Professor of Pathology, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Pharmacology
  • ICDS Co-Hire

Department: Pathology

Office: Room C7866A, Penn State Hershey College of Medicine

Email: kcheng@psu.edu

Phone: 717-531-5635

Research Focuses: Cancer genetics, genomic instability, cell differentiation, genetics of human pigmentation, web-based zebrafish atlas, image informatics, SNP database analysis

Website: Visit Keith's Website


Bruce Desmarais


Bruce Desmarais

  • Professor of Political Science
  • ICDS Co-Hire

Department: Political Science

Office: 230 Pond Lab, University Park

Email: bbd5087@psu.edu

Phone: 814-863-8859

Research Focuses: Development and application of statistical methods to study of social and political systems, interdependence and structural complexity, network analysis, international conflict and cooperation among countries, campaign finance and co-sponsorship networks in the US Congress, digital communication networks in local government, diffusion of public policies across the US states, the interconnectedness of scientific research and US regulatory policymaking

Website: Visit Bruce's Website



Tonya M. Evans

  • Full Professor of Law
  • ICDS Co-Hire

Department: Penn State Dickinson Law

Email: tme5309@psu.edu

Phone: 717-241-3508

Research Focuses: Dr. Evans (aka @IPProfEvans) focuses her research on the legal, policy, and economic justice implications of new technologies and innovation; specifically, distributed ledger technologies, cryptocurrencies and other cryptographically secured digital assets including non-fungible tokens (NFTs), decentralized finance (DeFi), and decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs). Legal considerations include intellectual property, regulatory frameworks, and cross-border dispute resolution mechanisms.

Website: Visit Tonya M.'s Website



Zoltan Fodor

  • Professor of Physics
  • ICDS Co-Hire

Email: zxf5098@psu.edu

Research Focuses: Elementary particle and nuclear physics, fundamental quark and hadron properties, quantum chromodynamics (QCD) and QCD at non-vanishing temperatures and densities.



Eric Ford

  • Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • ICDS Co-Hire

Department: Astronomy and Astrophysics

Office: 428A Davey Laboratory, University Park

Email: ebf11@psu.edu

Phone: 814-863-5558

Research Focuses: Extrasolar planetary systems, planet formation and orbital evolution, detection & characterization of exoplanets, astrobiology, astrostatistics, cyberscience & high-performance scientific computing

Website: Visit Eric's Website


Melissa Gervais


Melissa Gervais

  • Assistant Professor of Meteorology and Atmospheric Science
  • ICDS Co-Hire

Department: Meteorology and Atmospheric Science

Office: 505 Walker Building, University Park

Email: mmg62@psu.edu

Phone: 814-863-3920

Research Focuses: Climate simulation, ocean temperatures, sea ice cover, atmospheric impacts of climate change

Website: Visit Melissa's Website



Samuel Grauer

  • Assistant Professor
  • ICDS Co-Hire

Department: Mechanical Engineering

Email: sjg6056@psu.edu

Research Focuses: Laser-based fluid flow and combustion diagnostics; 2D and 3D background-oriented schlieren (BOS); Sensor fusion; Data assimilation; Design-of-experiments; Statistical inverse analysis and uncertainty quantification

Website: Visit Samuel's Website



Helen Greatrex

  • Assistant Professor of Remote Sensing and Geostatistics
  • ICDS Co-Hire

Department: Geography; Statistics

Email: hlg5155@psu.edu

Phone: 814-865-1596

Research Focuses: Interactions between humans and rainfall, impact of rainfall on livelihoods, the nature of rainfall and its measurements, and sparse data environments.

Website: Visit Helen's Website


Steven Greybush


Steven Greybush

  • Associate Professor of Meteorology
  • ICDS Co-Hire

Department: Meteorology and Atmospheric Science

Office: 618 Walker Building, University Park

Email: sjg213@psu.edu

Phone: 814-867-4926

Research Focuses: Data assimilation, numerical weather prediction, weather and climate of Mars, atmospheric modeling, ensemble forecasting predictability, statistical and artificial intelligence applications

Website: Visit Steven's Website


Chad Hanna


Chad Hanna

  • Professor of Physics
  • ICDS Co-Hire

Department: Physics

Office: 104 Davey Lab #253, University Park

Email: crh184@psu.edu

Phone: 814-865-2924

Research Focuses: Gravitational-wave astrophysics, multimessenger astrophysics, compact binary systems, black holes, neutron stars

Website: Visit Chad's Website


John Harlim


John Harlim

  • Professor of Mathematics and Meteorology
  • ICDS Co-Hire

Department: Mathematics, Meteorology

Office: 214 McAllister Building, University Park

Email: jharlim@psu.edu

Phone: 814-863-9024

Research Focuses: Applied mathematics related to data-driven estimation and prediction problems; filtering multi-scale dynamical systems, stochastic parameterization, uncertainty quantification, diffusion maps, non-parametric modeling

Website: Visit John's Website


Vasant Honavar


Vasant Honavar

  • Professor and Edward Frymoyer Chair of Information Sciences and Technology
  • Associate Director, Institute for Computational and Data Sciences
  • ICDS Co-Hire

Department: Information Sciences and Technology

Office: 301A Westgate Building, University Park

Email: vuh14@psu.edu

Phone: 814-865-3141

Research Focuses: Artificial intelligence, machine learning, data mining, big data analytics, bioinformatics and computational molecular and systems biology, discovery informatics, knowledge representation and semantic web, applied information integration and informatics

Website: Visit Vasant's Website



Reuben Kraft

  • Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering
  • ICDS Co-Hire

Department: Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering

Office: 320 Leonhard Building, University Park

Email: reuben.kraft@psu.edu

Phone: 814-867-4570

Research Focuses: Mechanical sciences, biomechanics, bioengineering

Website: Visit Reuben's Website


Soundar Kumara


Soundar Kumara

Department: Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering

Office: 222 Leonard Building, University Park

Email: skumara@psu.edu

Phone: 814-863-2359

Research Focuses: Intelligent systems, sensor data representation and fusion, process data monitoring and diagnostics; smart manufacturing; graph analytics; big data analytics

Website: Visit Soundar's Website



Joel Leja

  • Assistant Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • ICDS Co-Hire

Department: Astronomy and Astrophysics

Office: 515 Davey Lab

Email: joel.leja@psu.edu

Phone: 814-863-6039

Research Focuses: Research interests include a focus on understanding the processes of galaxy formation across cosmic time and working with data to build models to interpret data from surveys of galaxies in the distant universe.



Laifang Li

  • Assistant Professor of Meteorology and Atmospheric Science
  • ICDS Co-Hire

Department: Meteorology and Atmospheric Science

Office: 505 Walker Building

Email: lfl5240@psu.edu

Phone: 814-867-4750

Research Focuses: Climate (Multidecadal climate variability, Subtropial high dynamics, Bayesian inference on extreme events); Oceanography (Salinity and the oceanic water cycle, Forcing mechanisms on North Atlantic SST variability)

Website: Visit Laifang's Website



Daryl Lim

  • H. Laddie Montague Jr. Chair in Law
  • Associate Dean for Research and Innovation, Penn State Dickinson Law; Founding Director, Intellectual Property Law and Innovation Initiative
  • ICDS Co-Hire

Email: dfl5478@psu.edu

Phone: 717-241-3537

Research Focuses: IP law, antitrust law, artificial intelligence, data security and privacy, the architecture of innovation

Website: Visit Daryl's Website



Xiaofeng Liu

  • Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • ICDS Co-Hire

Department: Civil and Environmental Engineering

Office: 223B Sackett, University Park

Email: xliu@engr.psu.edu

Phone: 814-863-2940

Research Focuses: Computational fluid dynamics (CFD), environmental fluid mechanics, sediment transport and erosion control, land surface process and morphodynamics, multiphase flow, water quality modeling

Website: Visit Xiaofeng's Website



Xiao Liu

  • Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering
  • ICDS Co-Hire

Department: Biomedical Engineering

Office: 315 Hallowell Building, University Park

Email: xxl213@engr.psu.edu

Phone: 814-863-4419

Research Focuses: Multi-modal neuroimaging techniques, computational neuroscience, brain activity and consciousness, network dynamics of the brain, neural basis of resting-state fMRI connectivity



Fenglong Ma

  • Assistant Professor of Information Sciences and Technology
  • ICDS Co-Hire

Department: College of Information Sciences and Technology

Email: ffm5105@psu.edu

Research Focuses: Data mining and machine learning, including healthcare data mining, deep learning, truth discovery, and probabilistic graphical models.

Website: Visit Fenglong's Website



Romit Maulik

  • ICDS Co-Hire

Department: IST



Jessica Menold

  • ICDS Co-Hire

Department: ENG



Elia Merzari

  • ICDS Co-Hire

Department: ENG


Edward O'Brien


Edward O’Brien

  • Professor of Chemistry
  • ICDS Co-Hire

Department: Chemistry

Office: 402 Chemistry Building, University Park

Email: epo2@psu.edu

Phone: 814-867-5100

Research Focuses: Ribosome-associated protein folding, macromolecular self-assembly and chaperone interactions in living cells

Website: Visit Edward's Website



Olumide Ogunmodimu

  • ICDS Co-Hire

Department: EMS


Zita Oravecz


Zita Oravecz

  • Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies
  • ICDS Co-Hire

Department: Human Development and Family Studies

Office: 216 Health and Human Development Building, University Park

Email: zita@psu.edu

Phone: 814-865-1546

Research Focuses: Individual differences, process modeling, state-of-the-art statistical approaches, emotion, cognition, Bayesian statistics

Website: Visit Zita's Website



Wes Reinhart

  • Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Engineering
  • ICDS Co-Hire

Department: Materials Science and Engineering

Office: 303 Steidle Building

Email: reinhart@psu.edu

Research Focuses: Research interest includes engineered materials, statistical mechanics, and light-matter interactions, software prototyping and algorithm design for many computing architectures.

Website: Visit Wes's Website



Ashwin Renganathan

  • Assistant Professor Aerospace Engineering
  • ICDS Co-Hire

Department: Aerospace Engineering

Email: akr6198@psu.edu

Phone: 814-863-8125

Research Focuses: Interested in developing scalable computational methods for the design of next-generation complex engineered systems, e.g., aircraft, spacecraft, and rotorcraft. Specifically, I am interested in developing simulation-based design methods, where the goal is to make system-level design decisions in the presence of uncertainty and high-dimensional design spaces, with computationally expensive models of the system.

Website: Visit Ashwin's Website



Marcos Rigol

  • Professor of Physics
  • ICDS Co-Hire

Department: Physics

Office: 104 Davey Lab

Email: mrigol@phys.psu.edu

Phone: 814-865-6460

Research Focuses: Non-equilibrium quantum dynamics, strongly correlated systems, ultracold gases, magnetism, disorder, computational physics

Website: Visit Marcos's Website



Justin Silverman

  • Assistant Professor of Information Sciences and Technology
  • ICDS Co-Hire

Email: Justin.Silverman@psu.edu

Research Focuses: Justin's work focuses on longitudinal modeling and experimental design of host-associated microbiota surveys.

Website: Visit Justin's Website



Susan Sinnott

  • Department Head and Professor, Materials Science and Engineering and Chemistry
  • ICDS Co-Hire

Department: Materials Science and Engineering

Office: 221A Steidle Building

Email: sinnott@matse.psu.edu

Phone: 814-863-3117

Research Focuses: Computational Materials

Website: Visit Susan's Website



Hyungsuk Tak

  • Assistant Professor of Statistics and Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • ICDS Co-Hire

Department: Statistics; Astronomy and Astrophysics

Email: tak@psu.edu

Research Focuses: Astronomical time series and imaging data, developing practically motivated data analytic tools, time delay cosmography for the Hubble constant estimation, statistical computation (data augmentation/missing data/Markov chain Monte Carlo), robust inference on pulsar timing array for detecting gravitational waves, and Bayesian hierarchical modeling with frequency coverage evaluation.

Website: Visit Hyungsuk's Website


Gang Tan


Gang Tan

  • Professor of Computer Science and Engineering
  • ICDS Co-Hire

Department: School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Office: W358 Westgate Building, University Park

Email: gxt29@psu.edu

Phone: 814-865-7364

Research Focuses: Software security; programming languages; computer security; software engineering; formal methods; program verification

Website: Visit Gang's Website



Ashton Verdery

  • Associate Professor of Sociology
  • ICDS Co-Hire

Department: Sociology and Criminology

Office: 716 Oswald Tower, University Park

Email: amv5430@psu.edu

Phone: 814-863-5385

Research Focuses: Social networks; computational sociology; quantitative methodology; social demography

Website: Visit Ashton's Website



Christelle Wauthier

  • Associate Professor of Geosciences
  • Associate Director, Institute for Computational and Data Sciences
  • ICDS Co-Hire

Department: Geosciences

Office: 311 Deike Building, University Park

Email: cuw25@psu.edu

Phone: 814-863-6649

Research Focuses: Magma and volcanic processes; natural hazards; magma-tectonic interactions; remote-sensing and InSAR

Website: Visit Christelle's Website


Xiang Zhang


Xiang Zhang

  • Associate Professor of Information Sciences and Technology
  • ICDS Co-Hire

Department: Information Sciences and Technology

Office: E332 Westgate Building, University Park

Email: xzhang@ist.psu.edu

Phone: 814-865-1004

Research Focuses: Big data analytics; data mining; machine learning; database informatics; biomedical informatics

Website: Visit Xiang's Website



Minghui Zhu

  • Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering
  • ICDS Co-Hire

Department: School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Office: 227E Electrical Engineering West, University Park

Email: muz16@psu.edu

Phone: 814-865-5315

Research Focuses: Systems and control; multi-agent networks; distributed algorithms; robotics

Website: Visit Minghui's Website



Wenting "Ellen" Zou

  • Assistant Professor of Education
  • ICDS Co-Hire

Department: Department of Educational Psychology, Counseling, and Special Education

Email: wpz5135@psu.edu

Research Focuses: Online Learning, Learning Analytics, Computational Linguistics, Knowledge Communities, Serious Games

Website: Visit Wenting "Ellen"'s Website