Eight faculty members recently joined the Department of Computer Science, bringing the total number of faculty close to 60. In addition, there are five faculty members who have accepted offers with start dates for future semesters.

“This group will add energy and new ideas to continue to grow and improve our teaching and research missions,” said Cal Ribbens, computer science department head. “With great support from the College of Engineering, this year is the first of what we expect to be several years of significant growth in our faculty.”

“We are excited to welcome this highly qualified faculty to our department, “ said Ali Butt, associate department head for faculty development. “We have a number of mentoring, guidance, and development programs in place for the new faculty to establish and sustain world-class research programs.”

Meet our new faculty members:
 

Taejoong (Tijay) Chung, Assistant Professor 
Prior to joining Virginia Tech, Chung spent two years at the Rochester Institute of Technology as an assistant professor, after completing his Ph.D. in computer science and engineering from Seoul National University. His research focuses on Internet security, privacy implications, and Internet measurement. Chung has received the IRTF Applied Networking Research Prize (2019), ACM IMC Distinguished Paper Award (2019), NSF CRII Award (2019), USENIX Security Distinguished Paper Award (2017), and Best Paper Award at IEEE Computer Society (ComSoc) Seoul Chapter (2010).

Taejoong (Tijay) Chung
Taejoong (Tijay) Chung

Bob Edmison, Collegiate Assistant Professor 
Edmison recently completed his Ph.D. in computer science from Virginia Tech. He pursued that degree while working full time for Virginia Tech’s Technology-Enhanced Learning and Online Strategies group. His research interests are in data-driven tools and approaches for digital education. In addition to teaching courses in the department, Edmison will serve as the department’s coordinator for online teaching & learning.

Bob Edmison,
Bob Edmison,

Muhammad Ali Gulzar, Assistant Professor 
Gulzar received his Ph.D. from the Department of Computer Science at the University of California, Los Angeles in 2020. His research brings together a unique combination of ideas from software engineering, distributed systems, and databases to accelerate the development of reliable big data applications. Gulzar plans to continue improving the developer tooling support to keep up with the explosive growth and advancement in data analytics. 

Muhammad Gulzar
Muhammad Gulzar

Sara Hooshangi, Collegiate Associate Professor
Hooshangi joined the faculty in January of this year as the director of the masters of engineering in computer science degree program. She received her Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Princeton University and previously served as an associate professor at the George Washington University. Her research interests are in computer science education. 

Sara Hooshangi
Sara Hooshangi

Lifu Huang, Assistant Professor 
Huang received his Ph.D. from the Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2020. Huang’s primary research interests are in the fields of natural language processing, machine learning and artificial intelligence. He is specifically interested in building efficient models and benchmarks that can encourage machines to perform human-level intelligence. As a graduate student, he was a research intern at Microsoft Research Asia; IBM Watson Research; U.S. Army Research Center; and Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI2), where he was recipient of the 2019 AI2 Fellowship.

Lifu Huang
Lifu Huang

Bo Ji, Associate Professor
Prior to joining Virginia Tech, Ji served as an associate professor in the Department of Computer and Information Sciences at Temple University. He received his Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering from the Ohio State University. Ji’’s research interests are in the modeling, analysis, control, optimization, and learning of computer and network systems. He is a recipient of the NSF CAREER Award (2017), the NSF CISE Research Initiation Initiative Award (2017), and an IEEE INFOCOM Best Paper Award (2019).

Bo Ji
Bo Ji

David McPherson, Advanced Instructor
McPherson returns to the Department of Computer Science, most recently serving as an instructor for the Bradley Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering from 2011-2020.  He holds master’s degrees in special education (1996) and computer science (2002). McPherson has extensive experience in curriculum development and teaching over a wide range of computer science courses.

David McPherson
David McPherson

Mohammed Seyam, Collegiate Assistant Professor
Seyam received his Ph.D. in computer science from Virginia Tech in 2017. His research interests are in human-computer interaction, software engineering, and computer science education. In addition to teaching courses, Seyam will serve as the department’s coordinator for experiential learning.

Mohammed Seyam
Mohammed Seyam