PEOPLE

Jooyoung is a rising second year PhD 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 studying social and economic influences on privacy attitudes and behaviors online.

SAI DILEEP KONERU (PhD student)

Sai is an incoming PhD student in the College of Information Sciences and Technology at Penn State. Prior to joining the College, Sai was a Masters student in the Department of Industrial Engineering. Sai has also 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 an incoming PhD student in the College of Information Sciences and Technology at Penn State. She holds a Masters of Engineering in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research 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 an incoming PhD student in the College of Information Sciences and Technology at Penn State. She holds Bachelor, Master and Doctoral degrees in Electronics and Engineering Communication. Tatiana has prior work on machine learning applications for smart grid technologies and previously worked as an assistant professor at KL University in India.  At Penn State, Tatiana will work on natural language processing and AI in the context of our DARPA SCORE project.

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

Chandan is a second year masters 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.

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

Ajay is a second 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.

JORDYN DENNIS (Undergradate student; NSF REU Fellow)

Jordyn is a rising second year undergraduate student at Penn State in the College of Information Sciences and Technology. She is a Cybersecurity major and is in the Millennium Scholars Program at Penn State. She is researching cyber-physical attacks and their effect on megacities and critical infrastructure of the future.

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

Maggie is a rising third year student at Amherst College studying statistics and sociology. Maggie is interested in radicalization on social media. She is researching the role of narrative in the spread of disinformation.

ALUMNI

SREE LANKA

Sree received a Masters degree in Computer Science Engineering at Penn State in Fall 2020.  Her work explored extraction of statistical information from text, in service to enhanced understanding of confidence in research claims in published literature.

ASHISH SIMHACHALAM

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).

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 rising 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 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.  His new work explores inter-state disinformation efforts.

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

Maya is a rising second 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.  Her current work explores the strategies used by disinformation actors as they anticipate and adapt to moderation and shutdown.

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