About ICDS

Meet the Penn State ICDS 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 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 a faculty co-hire, please contact Wayne Figurelle, ICDS Assistant Director.

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


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

Visit Jean Paul's website


Timothy Brick


Timothy Brick

  • Assistant 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

Visit Timothy's website


Guido Cervone


Guido Cervone

  • Professor of Geography and Meteorology and Atmospheric Science
  • Associate 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

Visit Guido's website



Ian Czekala

  • ICDS Co-hire

Research Focuses: Planet formation, radio astronomy, protoplanetary disks, pre-main sequence stellar evolution


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

Visit Bruce's website



Zoltan Fodor

  • Professor
  • ICDS Co-hire

Email: zxf5098@psu.edu

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


Eric Ford


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

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

Visit Melissa'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.

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

Visit Steven's website


Chad Hanna


Chad Hanna

  • Associate 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

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

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

Visit Vasant's website



Margaret Hu

  • Associate Dean for Non-JD Programs
  • Professor of Law
  • Professor of International Affairs
  • Co-Hire of the Institute for Computational and Data Sciences
  • Faculty of the Institute for Network and Security Research, College of Engineering at The Pennsylvania State University
  • ICDS Co-hire

Department: Penn State Law

Email: mkh6004@psu.edu

Research Focuses: Her research interests include the intersection of immigration policy, national security, cybersurveillance, and civil rights.

Visit Margaret's website


Alexander Klippel


Alexander Klippel

  • Professor of Geography
  • ICDS Co-hire

Department: Geography

Office: 204 Walker Building, University Park

Email: klippel@psu.edu

Phone: 814-865-2324

Research Focuses: visualizing climate change; immersive analytics; designing environmental decision support systems; immersive learning; storytelling in 360 degrees; digital humanities; place; spatial cognition; wayfinding; embodiment

Visit Alexander's website


Reuben Kraft


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

Visit Reuben's website



Joel Leja

  • ICDS Co-hire



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)

Visit Laifang's website


Xiaofeng Liu, Asst. Prof. CEE


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

Visit Xiaofeng's website


Xiao Liu


Xiao Liu

  • Assistant 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.

Visit Fenglong's website


Edward O'Brien


Edward O’Brien

  • Associate 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

Visit Edward's website


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

Visit Zita's website



Wes Reinhart

  • Assistant Professor
  • ICDS Co-hire

Research Focuses: Research interest includes domains, such as: - Engineered materials, statistical mechanics, and light-matter interactions - Software prototyping and algorithm design for many computing architectures



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

Visit Marcos's website



Justin Silverman

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

Department: information science and technology

Email: jsilve24@gmail.com

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

Visit Justin'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.

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

Visit Gang's website



Ashley Villar

  • ICDS Co-hire


Christelle Wauthier


Christelle Wauthier

  • Associate Professor of Geosciences
  • 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

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

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

Visit Minghui's website