PEOPLE

SARAH RAJTMAJER (PI)

Sarah Rajtmajer is an assistant professor in the College of Information Sciences and Technology and research associate in the Rock Ethics Institute at Penn State. Before joining the Penn State faculty, she served as a consultant to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency (IARPA) on scientific programs aimed at breakthrough technologies for national security, with specific focus on initiatives in big data and computational social science.  Prior to her work in consulting, Dr. Rajtmajer was an Intelligence Community Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Applied Research Laboratory and a Postdoctoral Scholar in the Department of Mathematics at Penn State.
Dr. Rajtmajer’s research integrates graph theory, game theory, and machine learning, with applications to social and biological phenomena.  Recent work aims at characterization and modeling of behavior within evolving social networks both in the abstract as evolutionary games on structured populations, and in applied, data-driven scenarios related to privacy decision making, deviance, and abuse. Current focus includes implications of these behaviors for emerging topics in defense and intelligence. In addition, Dr. Rajtmajer is interested in understanding fundamental issues around credibility and reproducibility in big data science. In particular, the large datasets considered in computational social science bring additional challenges as privacy protection dovetails with the usual conversations around methods, reporting and dissemination standards, evaluation and incentives.  
Dr. Rajtmajer has a PhD in Mathematics from the University of Zagreb, Croatia, and a BA in Mathematics from Columbia University.

TAYLOR BLOSE (PhD student)

Taylor is a second year PhD student in the College of Information Sciences and Technology at Penn State. Prior to enrolling, Taylor was an Intelligence Analyst with the Federal Bureau of Investigation where he supported National Security and Criminal investigations while also aiding the growth of the FBI's geospatial intelligence program. Before joining the FBI, Taylor graduated from Penn State University with a Bachelor of Science in Security and Risk Analysis. Taylor is interested in researching social media use during crisis situations, trust in social media, and the vulnerabilities of such trust that may be exploited by malicious actors.

ASHISH SIMHACHALAM (Alumnus)

Ashish received a Masters degree in Electrical Engineering at Penn State in Spring 2020.  His work explored models of information spread online. Ashish now works as a software development engineer at Amazon Web Services (AWS).

SAI AJAY (Masters student; co-advised by Dr. Lee Giles)

Ajay is a first year Masters student in Computer Science Engineering at Penn State. Prior to his arrival, he worked as a software engineer at Samsung R&D Institute - Bangalore. His work at Samsung involved design and development of the software architecture for Bixby-Personal Assistant. Ajay's current research interests include machine learning and its applications. He is working on our DARPA SCORE program.

Chandan is a second year PhD student in Computer Science Engineering at Penn State.  He graduated with a B. Tech in CSE from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. He gained 4 years experience at Samsung R&D Institute-Delhi, where he worked on projects including fashion recognition and retrieval (computer vision, deep learning), remote healthcare (computer vision, machine learning), and automated content recognition (large-scale back-end). Chandan's primary area of interests are deep learning in Vision and NLP.  He is currently developing deep learning tools for understanding privacy and disclosure.

SREE SAI TEJA LANKA (Masters student; co-advised by Dr. Lee Giles)

Sree is a second year Masters student in Computer Science Engineering at Penn State. She received her Bachelor of Science and MBA in Computer Science from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University. Sree is interested in machine learning, natural language processing and AI.  She is working on our DARPA SCORE program.

Maya is a first year PhD student in the College of Information Science and Technology at Penn State. She graduated with a B.S. in Physics from Lycoming College in 2020. During her undergraduate studies she completed research projects in the areas of solar physics, galaxy evolution, and complex systems analysis. Her primary research interests are the spread of misinformation on social media, opinion and influence dynamics, and modeling online behavior. 

CHANDAN AKITI (Masters student; co-advised by Dr. Anna Squicciarini)

JOOYOUNG LEE (Masters student; co-advised by Dr. Shomir Wilson)

Jooyoung is a first year Masters student in the College of Information Sciences and Technology at Penn State.  She received her Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science from Sookmyung  Women's University in Seoul.  Jooyoung is interested in machine learning and natural language processing. She is currently studying socioeconomic influences on privacy attitudes and behaviors online.

TIANQI KOU (PhD student; co-advised by Dr. Anna Squicciarini)

Tianqi is a first year PhD student at the College of Information Sciences and Technology at Penn State. Before enrolling, he worked as a data scientist in a fintech company developing an automated prediction platform. Tianqi graduated from Harbin Institute of Technology with BS in Economics and Fordham University with MS in Statistics and Machine Learning. His research experience includes machine learning, digital health, and big data. Tianqi’s research interests include network science, machine learning, multi-agent system, smart city, and the philosophy of science. He also enjoys film making, climbing, and biking. 

MAYA MERHI (PhD student; co-advised by Dr. Dongwon Lee)

©2019 Sarah Rajtmajer, PhD