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. Dr. Rajtmajer’s research analyzes how information is shared and spread, as well as how it is manipulated and weaponized by adversaries. Her focus is understanding how sharing is influenced by values like privacy, trust, and truth, and the trade-offs involved in managing related solutions. Approach to this work is both theoretical and data-driven, integrating machine learning, network science and game theory.  

In addition, Dr. Rajtmajer is interested in understanding fundamental issues around credibility and reproducibility in 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.  

Before joining the Penn State faculty, she served as a consultant to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency 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 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 third 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 with a Bachelor of Science in Security and Risk Analysis.  Taylor is interested in researching trust in social media and vulnerabilities of such trust that may be exploited by malicious actors.  His newest work explores inter-state disinformation efforts.

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

Maya is a second year PhD student in the College of Information Sciences and Technology at Penn State.  She holds a B.S. in Physics from Lycoming College.  During her undergraduate studies, Maya 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.  Her current work explores the strategies used by disinformation actors as they anticipate and adapt to moderation and shutdown.

SAI DILEEP KONERU (PhD student)

Sai is a first year PhD student in the College of Information Sciences and Technology at Penn State.  Prior to joining the College, Sai was a Masters students in the Department of Industrial Engineering.  Sai has worked as a design engineer at Robert Bosch LLC.  Sai's research interests include machine learning and network science.  His current work develops novel methodologies for understanding scholarly output and metascience.

XINYU WANG (PhD student)

Xinyu (Ginny) is a first year PhD student in the College of Information Sciences and Technology at Penn State and recipient of the College's prestigious University Graduate Fellowship.  She holds a Masters of Engineering from University of California at Berkeley and a Bachelors in Industrial Engineering from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  Ginny is interested in machine learning to understand social phenomena.  Her first project will explore the role of narrative in disinformation campaigns.

TATIANA CHAKRAVORTI (PhD student; co-advised by Dr. C. Lee Giles)

Tatiana is a first year PhD student in the College of Information Sciences and Technology at Penn State.  She holds Bachelor, Masters and Doctoral degrees in Electronics and Engineering Communication.  Tatiana has prior work on machine learning applications for smart technologies and previously worked as an assistant professor at KL University in India.  At Penn State, Tatiana is working on natural language processing and AI in the context of our DARPA SCORE project.

LAXMAAN BALAJI (Masters student; co-advised by Dr. C. Lee Giles)

Laxmaan is a second year Masters student in Computer Science and Engineering at Penn State.  He holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science and Engineering from Anna University in Chennai. At Penn State, Laxmaan is working on experiments designed to evaluate the potential of synthetic prediction markets for evaluating confidence in scientific findings.

SUMIT KUMAR (Masters student; co-advised by Dr. C. Lee Giles)

Sumit is a first year Masters student in Computer Science and Engineering at Penn State.  He holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science from Birla Institute of Technology and has worked as a research assistant at UC Berkeley and Carnegie Mellon University on projects related to natural language processing and computational social science.  At Penn State, Sumit is working on natural language processing and AI in the context of our DARPA SCORE project.

RAJ RATN PRANESH (Masters student; co-advised by Dr. C. Lee Giles)

Raj is a first year Masters student in Computer Science and Engineering at Penn State.  He holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science from Birla Institute of Technology and has worked as a research assistant at UC Berkeley and Carnegie Mellon University on projects related to natural language processing and computational social science.  At Penn State, Raj is working on natural language processing and AI in the context of our DARPA SCORE project.

VAIBHAV SINGH (Masters student; co-advised by Dr. C. Lee Giles and Dr. Christopher Griffin)

Vaibhav is a first year Masters student in Computer Science and Engineering at Penn State.  He holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Information Science and Engineering from P.E.S. Institute of Technology in Bangalore.  Vaibhav has extensive experience in software engineering.  At Penn State, Sumit is working on design and development of synthetic prediction markets in the context of our DARPA SCORE project.

JORDYN DENNIS (Undergradate student; NSF REU Fellow Summer 2021)

MAGGIE WU (Undergradate student @ Amherst College; NSF REU Fellow Summer 2021)

ALUMNI

CHANDAN AKITI - Masters CSE - Summer 2021

SAI AJAY MODUKURI - Masters CSE - Summer 2021

RAJAL NIVARGI - Masters CSE - Summer 2021

NEIL AHUJA - Bachelors IST - Spring 2021

SREE LANKA - Masters CSE - Fall 2020

ASHISH SIMHACHALAM - Masters EE - Spring 2020