Intelligent Systems Division

ISD Visiting Students

Saurabh Birari

Saurabh is a Computer Science graduate student at USC. He completed his Bachelors of Engineering (Computer) from PICT, India. He is currently working on a Directed Research project under Dr. Aram Galstyan on topic modeling using Correlation Explanation. His research interests include Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and Natural Language Processing. His hobbies include playing soccer, watching movies and series and listening to music.



Lucas Augusto Carvalho

Lucas is a Brazilian Ph.D. student at the University of Campinas, Brazil. He holds an MSc and a BSc in Computer Science. In his Ph.D., Lucas is working on the problem of reproducibility of scientific computational experiments under the supervision of Prof. Claudia Bauzer Medeiros. He has been developing a framework, W2Share, to consolidate his contributions, which have already been published in international and national conferences. Currently, he is working as a visiting scholar under the supervision of Prof. Yolanda Gil for a period of 12 months in a project involving versioning models, provenance, semantic web, and scientific workflows. In his spare time, he enjoys watching TV series with his wife, playing games with friends, and doing Taekwon-Do.

Yining Chen

Yining Chen is an undergraduate student from Dartmouth College. She is broadly interested in theoretical computer science and machine learning, especially learning theory and provable algorithms in deep learning. This summer she is working in the Natural Language Group with Professor Kevin Knight and Professor Jonathan May on language theory (understanding the representation power of Recurrent Neural Networks). 

Chi Wang "Ken" Cheong

I am a third-year student from computer science department, Hong Kong Baptist University.  Currently, I'm working with Dr. Yolanda Gil on an auto machine learning project call DSbox(Data scientist in a box) during the summer.

I am interested in data mining, machine learning, and particularly interested in probabilistic modeling and inference for knowledge discovery.



Leon Cheung

Leon is a second-year undergraduate in computer science from UC San Diego. His
research interests are centered mostly around natural language processing:
machine translation, dialogue systems, and meaning representation. Recently he
has worked on machine translation using word embeddings, but now he works with Kevin Knight and Jonathan May on neural machine translation for low-resource languages. His broader academic interests include cryptography and information
theory. In the future, he hopes to attend graduate school and eventually earn a PhD. In his free time, he enjoys mixing electronic music, learning new (natural) languages, traveling, and skating around the city.

Jiayuan Ding

I am working here as a summer intern on the project - Domain-specific Insight Graphs under Professor Pedro. I have been in USC for half I am working here as a summer intern on the project - Domain-specific Insight Graphs under Professor Pedro. I have been in USC for half a year majoring in computer science. Before I participated in the project Sentiment Analysis based on Chinese wei-bo, Citation Disaggregated Classification, Research on Key Techniques of Extraction and Consolidation of Query Results in Deep Web Data Integration. I would like to get involved in the field of Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning. I want to pursue a doctorate in computer science after graduation. My hobbies are body-building, basketball and golf.




Sindhu Ernala

Sindhu is a visiting researcher from Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta where she is pursuing a PhD in Computer Science. Currently, she is working with Prof. Emilio Ferrara on forecasting evolving cyber threats using novel, unconventional sensors. Sindhu’s research interests broadly lie in Computational Social Science (Social Computing), Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning. A lot of her work focuses on using quantitative methods to study human behavior and social phenomena on the internet.  Prior to ISI, she has research experience from Xerox Research and INSIGHT Center for Data Analytics, Ireland. 



Lisette Espin

During the summer of 2017, Lisette joined the Intelligent Systems group at USC-ISI for a 3-month internship to work on the analysis of influential nodes in complex networks. She works together with Kristina Lerman and Peter Fennell.

Lisette is pursuing her doctoral studies at the Data Science Group at the Computational Social Science Department at GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, under the supervision of Markus Strohmaier. Her research is focused on analyzing attributed networks to understand and explain edge formation using Bayesian inference. In January 2017, Lisette was a Visiting Student Researcher at the BMIR research group at Stanford University for 2 months to work on the analysis of user browsing behavior in biomedical ontologies. She worked together with Simon Walk and Mark Musen.

Lisette likes volleyball and dancing (she used to be a Zumba trainer during her Masters).

She also likes classical music, and enjoys attending Philharmonic concerts.

Susan Fennell

Susan Fennell is a PhD student in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Limerick, Ireland, who is developing statistical models for social interaction data. She is working with Dr. Kristina Lerman at ISI to develop a measure of network diversity. Susan has an MSc degree in Mathematical Modelling from the University of Limerick and a BSc degree in Mathematical Sciences from University College Cork, Ireland.

Ryan Gallagher 

Ryan Gallagher is an incoming network science PhD student at Northeastern University. He comes to network science after making the challenging, but rewarding, transition to computational social science, after studying theoretical mathematics at the University of Connecticut and the University of Vermont. Broadly, his research focuses on intertwining techniques from network science and natural language processing in order to study the interplay between language and social interactions. Ryan is currently working with Greg Ver Steeg to develop information-theoretic topic modeling algorithms with plans to apply them to the study of online social movements and other next generation social science projects

Sharayu Gandhi

I am Masters student at USC, Computer Science major. I have done my Bachelors in Computer Science from India. I am working under Gully and Pedro as Full stack developer and have developed research interests in semantic data modelling and Information Extraction and Integration. I would like to pursue specialization in the same field. Some hobbies apart from the curriculum is I have played several state level chess matches back in my country(It's my hobby as well). 





Sorcha Gilroy 

Sorcha Gilroy is a second year PhD student in the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh. She is part of the EPSRC Center for Doctoral Training in Data Science and the Edinburgh NLP group. Her primary interests lie within the intersection of formal language theory and NLP. Her PhD has mostly focused on formal languages of graphs such as hyperedge replacement grammars under the supervision of Dr Adam Lopez. At ISI, she is looking at what weighted languages recurrent neural networks can capture

Hrayr Harutyunyan

Hrayr is an Applied Mathematics and Informatics graduate student at Yerevan State University. While working as a machine learning researcher at YerevaNN research lab he had several projects in natural language processing, computer vision and speech recognition. Hrayr collaborated with researchers from ISI on medical time series analysis. The project included the establishment of four clinical prediction benchmarks and analysis of the impact of multitask learning on the quality of predictions. Hrayr has strong track record in competitive programming. He enjoys reading, traveling and thinking about existence

Eric Heiden

 I am a Computer Science Master's student at the University of Southern California. At ISI, I am working with Prof. Knoblock and Prof. Szekely on extracting knowledge from company websites. Our goal is to analyze how companies change their products and services in reaction to their competitors, and how these developments affect whole industries over time.

Besides data mining and machine learning, I am also interested in artificial intelligence and robotics. Since November 2015, I am working at the Robotic Embedded Systems Laboratory (RESL) where I am developing applications for object recognition and other tasks related to Computer Vision.

I obtained my Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from the University of Rostock in Germany. In my spare time, I enjoy taking thousands of photos while hiking or traveling.

I-Hui Huang

Hi, I am I-Hui. I come from Taiwan and had my undergraduate degree in Information Management and Finance at National Taiwan University. Currently, I am a graduate student under Data Informatics program at USC. Here at ISI, I work with Prof. Szekely, Dr. Kejriwal and Dr. Ke-Thia Yao under data profiling and cleaning part of the dsbox project. I love cooking and I am a fan of Japanese animation.



Amy MiHyun Jang

Amy MiHyun Jang is a rising senior at Troy High School in Fullerton. During her junior year, she has helped with the building of an automatic heart-valve building machine for Edwards Lifesciences at CSUF. She is currently working on building a semantic wiki for the ENIGMA project. In her free time, she enjoys playing the piano and in the winter, she enjoys snowboarding.


Jie Ji

Jie is a rising junior at USC majoring in Computer Science. He is now working with Prof. Yolanda Gil and Dr. Daniel Garijo on developing wikibots for LinkedEarth Wiki.



Aparna Joshi

I am an undergraduate junior studying at National Institute of Technology, Karnataka, India. I am here at ISI for the summer and, I am working with Prof. Craig Knoblock on geospatial and temporal modelling of data. I am interested in machine learning and NLP and always eager to explore new arenas. Some of my hobbies include traveling, reading, and creative writing.


Fiona Khatana

I am a masters student at USC working with Professor Knoblock on building survivable software systems that can automatically adapt to new environments. I am interested in Big Data and Machine Learning. In my free time I enjoy painting and running. In the future, I would like to get involved in the field of Big Data and Machine Learning and apply these techniques to solve social problems.




Sneha Kudugunta

Sneha is in her third year of study towards a bachelor's in Computer Science at Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad, researching bot detection with Dr. Emilio Ferrara at the Information Sciences Institute. Her interests include Deep Learning and Data Science, and she can't wait to delve deeper into these areas at grad school. Massive amounts of data give her joy, and she believes in the usefulness of useless knowledge. In her free time she enjoys reading, working out and doodling on her table.

Haowen Lin 

Haowen Lin is a rising junior Computer Science student at USC. Right now she works with Professor Kevin Knight to develop a universal number translation system. She is a lover of music, board games, and travel.



Nelson Liu

Nelson Liu is an undergraduate at the University of Washington, where he works with Professor Noah Smith. His research interests lie at the intersection of machine learning and natural language processing, and he's working with Professors Kevin Knight and Jonathan May on the translation of out-of-vocabulary words in low-resource settings. Previously, he was a research intern at the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence, where he worked on machine comprehension. Outside of work, he enjoys contributing to open source, blogging, and just programming for fun. Beyond computer-related things, he likes hiking, photography, and attempting to cook.

Fanghao Luo

I am working here as a summer intern on the DSBox project, supervised by Professor Szekely and Dr. Kejriwal. Received B.Eng degree from Xi'an JiaoTong-Liverpool University and The University of Liverpool. Worked on Deep Learning and Computer Vision in SenseTime (Beijing, China) as an R&D intern. I am interested in to know more history and culture of different countries and areas.


Sasha Mayn 

Sasha Mayn is a summer intern at ISI’s Natural Language Group. She just completed her junior year at Carleton College in Minnesota, where she is studying Linguistics and Computer Science. She is particularly interested in machine translation and language generation. Last summer Sasha interned at the PanLex Project, where she was responsible for processing digital dictionaries and entering them into PanLex's multilingual database. This summer she is working on improving machine translation strategies for low-resource languages under the supervision of Jon May and Kevin Knight.

Tirth Rajen Mehta

Tirth is a Masters student in Computer Science at the University of Southern California. This summer (from May until the end of August), Tirth is working with Professor Yolanda Gil at ISI in the Intelligent Systems Division. He is working on the publishing workflows as web objects to create a workflow catalog. He enjoys working on the implementation of research ideas and is doing the same here. He loves participating in Hackathons and has won a few including LA-Hacks. Besides his work, he likes playing table-tennis and even plays the electronic keyboard.


Abhishek Megotia

I am a Masters student at USC and am originally from Bangalore, India. I am currently working under Prof. Craig Knoblock in a project involved in geospatial modelling.

I love playing outdoor sports like Racquet Ball, Soccer, and cricket. I also like watching TV shows of all genres.


Daye Nam 

Daye Nam is a MS student at the University of Southern California. At ISI, she is working with Prof. Szekely and Dr. Kejriwal on THOR project and developing a scalable and effective embedding model for domain-specific data.







Tejal Kumar Patted

I am a second-year Masters student at USC majoring in Informatics. I am currently working at ISI in the Intelligent Systems Division with Professor Yolanda Gil on Ontologies and Semantic Web. My project is for the ENIGMA network, which is a neuroscience-based research group at USC. I love traveling and adventure sports.



Hao Peng

Hao is a PhD student in the School of Information at the University of Michigan. He obtained a Master degree in Data Science at Indianan University Bloomington in 2017. His work lies at the intersection of machine learning, statistics, and social science. His research interests include computational social science, network science, and natural language processing. Previously, he worked at the World Well-Being Project at the University of Pennsylvania studying people’s psychological well-being using social media data. Now he is a visiting research assistant at the Information Science Institute at USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering, working with Prof. Emilio Ferrara on a project trying to understand human behavior in online game platforms. He is a photographer who loves swimming.

Jing Peng

Jing is a master student at USC, majoring in data informatics. Currently she is working on project Lorelei supervised by Prof. Szekley and Dr. Kejriwal in Information Integration Group, focusing on the part of building and training classification model. She has grown great interest in working as a data engineer, and works hard towards this direction. In her spare time, she enjoys running, swimming and reading.


Minh Pham

I am a PhD student in Department of Computer Science, University of Southern California. I am currently advised by Prof. Craig Knoblock. Before joining USC in Fall 2015, I got my B.S in Ho Chi Minh University of Technology, Vietnam in 2014.


Iacopo Pozzana 

Iacopo Pozzana got his Master's in Physics from the University of Pisa, Italy; his thesis introduced a new model of the temporal activity-driven network and investigated the unfolding of dynamical processes on it. Afterward he moved to London to start a PhD at Birkbeck Computer Science. There, his research focuses on improving community detection methods by using information regarding the temporal structure of the network, with applications to online social networks in particular. At ISI he works with Emilio Ferrara to devise new methods for the identification of bots operating on social networks.

Florian Quinkert

Florian Quinkert is a PhD student at the Chair for Systems Security of Ruhr University Bochum, Germany. Currently, he works as visiting research assistant at ISI's Intelligent Systems Division under the supervision of Kristina Lerman. Prior to joining Ruhr University Bochum, he studied Computer Science and holds a Master in Computer Science from University of Muenster, Germany. His research focuses on analyzing IT security incidents and related data sources to predict upcoming events. Additionally, he works on the development of honeypot concepts to get insights into attackers' behavior.

Mohsen Sayyadi 

Mohsen Sayyadi is a PhD student in Computer Science at Indiana University with minor in data science. His research interests are data mining and machine learning particularly semi-supervised learning and ensemble learning techniques.

His recent project was how to use machine learning techniques for ontology learning at Indiana University. He works in ISI in the area of automatic prerequisite mining of concepts related to BigdataU project.

Mohsen is doing an internship in ISI, under supervisor Prof. Kristina Lerman.

Runqi Shao

I am a graduate student in Data Informatics at USC. I am working on developing data extraction tools for DIG project under Prof. Pedro Szekely. My areas of interest include Machine Learning, big data processing, and analytics.



Ashwin Shreyas

Ashwin Shreyas is an under graduate student at PES Institute of Technology, Bangalore, India and is a research intern at the Information Sciences Institute. He has worked as an intern at the Gas Turbine Research Establishment Lab (GTRE) division of the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), Bangalore in which the Particle Swarm Optimization Algorithm was implemented to find out optimal values of a Fractional Order Partial Integrator Differentiator in the fuel control circuitry for the Kaveri Engine (KADECS) being indigenously developed for the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force. He aspires to pursue Masters and PhD. He is currently working on Sentiment Analysis based on Twitter data collected from the Los Angeles County.

Onzali Suba

My name is Onzali Suba and I am pursuing my Masters degree at USC in Data Informatics. I have joined as a summer intern at ISI, working under Prof. Craig Knoblock on the project EFFECT. I have done my Bachelors in Computer Science from Manipal Institute of Technology, Karnataka, India and have three years of work experience prior to joining USC.

My interests include Big Data and Data Science and my hobbies are dancing, trekking and swimming.

Regina Wang

Regina is a rising senior at Troy High School. She is working with Yolanda Gil on transforming Jupyter notebooks into workflows on Wings and back into notebooks in order to display the flow of work in the notebook. Regina plans to pursue computer science in college and beyond and enjoys playing with her dog and cat.




Jin Yang 

Jin Yang is an undergraduate student at USC, and this summer I will be working under Professor Kevin Knight on a NLP project on poetry generation.


Jingyun Yang

Jingyun Yang is an undergraduate at the University of Southern California majoring in Computer Science. He has been working as a research assistant at USC’s Integrated Media Systems Center. His research interest is data mining and machine learning. At ISI, he is part of Professor Yolanda Gil’s semantic workflow project. From May to July 2017, he will be working on developing a visualization program on the web that helps users visually interpret workflow results.




Amir Yazdvar

Amir is a Ph.D. Researcher at Kno.e.sis Center Wright State University, OH under the guidance of  Prof. Amit P. Sheth, the founder and executive director of Kno.e.sis Center. He is broadly interested in machine learning (incl. deep learning) and semantic web (incl. creation and use of knowledge graphs) and their applications to NLP/NLU and social media analytics. He has a particular interest in the extraction of subjective information with applications to search, social and biomedical/health applications.

At Kno.e.sis Center – He is working on several real world projects mainly focused on studying human behavior on the web via Natural Language Understanding, Social Media Analytics utilizing Machine learning (Deep learning) and Knowledge Graph techniques. In particular, my focus is to enhance statistical models via domain semantics and guidance from offline behavioral knowledge to understand user’s behavior from unstructured and large-scale Social data. 

Shashikiran Yellappa

I am a graduate student at the University of Southern California, working with Prof. Craig Knoblock for this summer. My interests are not limited to any field as such. I like exploring new domains which are challenging and new to me. I am like a kid who is curious to learn how things work in the world. At ISI, I am working on extracting information about companies and associating CPEs with them. I will also be working on forecasting cyber-attacks. I love playing cricket and table tennis, hiking (have been to the Himalayan range twice) and exploring new places. World tour and Mt.Everest are the top two items on my bucket list.