Eight new faculty join the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

by Jane Stoyle Welch

Published November 8, 2021

The University at Buffalo School of Engineering and Applied Sciences welcomed eight new experts to it growing roster of more than 250 full-time faculty.

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“We welcome an exceptional group of faculty who are thought leaders in engineering and applied sciences to our SEAS community."
Kemper Lewis, dean
School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

They enhance the school’s research enterprise in a wide variety of research areas, from cognitive computing and human behavior modeling to large-scale data management systems to nano-fluidics.

“We welcome an exceptional group of faculty who are thought leaders in engineering and applied sciences to our SEAS community.  I look forward to the impact that their research, teaching and leadership is going to have on our scholarly excellence.” says Kemper Lewis, dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Below are mini-biographies of each faculty member.

Computer Science and Engineering

Jinjun Xiong, SUNY Empire Innovation Professor

Jinjun Xiiong

Joins UB from: IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center, where he was the program director for Cognitive Computing Systems Research. Xiong was responsible for defining the scientific agenda and strategic directions for advanced cognitive computing systems research across industries, academia and governmental agencies.

Research interests: Cognitive computing, big data analytics, deep learning, smarter energy, and application of cognitive computing for industrial solutions.

Noteworthy: Xiong won top awards from various international competitions, including the recent Championship Award for the IEEE GraphChallenge on accelerating sparse neural networks, and the Championship Awards for the DAC'19 Systems Design Contest on designing an object detection neural network for both edge FPGA track and the edge GPU track. He has published more than 150 peer-reviewed papers in top AI conferences and systems conferences, and has won seven Best Paper Awards.

Education: PhD, Electrical Engineering, University of California at Los Angeles.

Home state or country: China.

Ifeoma Nwogu, Associate Professor

Ifeoma Nwogu

Joins UB from: Rochester Institute of Technology, where she was an assistant professor in the Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences.

Research interests: Human behavior modeling, sign language understanding and probabilistic modeling.

Noteworthy: She received an NSF CAREER award to use machine learning to better understand human behavior and social interaction.

Education: PhD, Computer Science, University at Buffalo.

Home state or country: Nigeria.

Zhuoyue Zhao, Assistant Professor

Zhuoyue Zhao

Joins UB from: The University of Utah, where he earned his PhD in 2021.

Research interests: Large-scale data management systems, with an emphasis on approximate query processing and query optimization, OLTP and OLAP systems, and streaming processing.

Noteworthy: Zhuoyue received the best paper award in SIGMOD 2016, and a Google PhD Fellowship in 2019.

Education: PhD, Computer Science, University of Utah.

Home state or country: China.

Paul Dickson, Assistant Professor of Teaching

Paul Dickson

Joins UB from: Ithaca College, where he was an associate professor of computer science. Prior to that, he taught at Hampshire College, an institution with no grades and no major.

Research interests: Computer science education with an emphasis on introductory computer science courses.

Noteworthy: His favorite class to teach is video game development, and he spent a month cycling across the U.S. starting from California and ending in Georgia a month before defending his PhD dissertation.

Education: PhD, Computer Science, University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Home state or country: Maryland.

Nazmus Sakib, Assistant Professor of Teaching

Nazmus Sakib

Joins UB from: Marquette University, where he was a PhD student and graduate teaching/research assistant.  

Research interests: Clinical data science, medical informatics, mHealth, ethics of data science, and computational sustainability.

Noteworthy: He was named a Richard W. Jobling Distinguished Research Fellow, which is one of the most prestigious awards to recognize outstanding academic and research activities at Marquette University, and received the Graduate School Dean's Research Enhancement Award, also from Marquette University.

Education: PhD, Computational Sciences, Marquette University.

Home state or country: Bangladesh.

Alina Vereshchaka, Assistant Professor of Teaching

Alina Vereshchaka

Joins UB from: She has been a teaching assistant at the University at Buffalo, where she developed and offered courses in Reinforcement Learning and Applied Deep Learning, along with leading Introduction to AI course while earning her PhD.

Research interests: Optimal control in complex systems, including social behavior modeling, deep reinforcement learning, multi-agent settings, deep learning, adversarial machine learning, transportation and large-scale social system dynamics.

Noteworthy: She was a panel moderator at SBP-BRiMS, and organizer of the Applications in Reinforcement Learning Workshop and the Ethics in AI Workshop at UB. She received the Graduate Teaching Award in 2019 and the Faculty Choice Graduate Award from the CSE Department in 2021.

Education: PhD, Computer Science and Engineering, University at Buffalo.

Home state or country: Ukraine.

Engineering Education

Jill Mariniuk, Assistand Professor of Teaching

Jill Martiniuk

Joins UB from: The University of South Florida, where she was a visiting instructor and digital teaching fellow in the Department of English.

Research interests: Digital pedagogy; inclusive online learning; user experience; social media and the woman question; 20th Century post-modern Russian literature; travel narratives.

Noteworthy: She has received several Fellowships, most recently the Global Faculty Fellowship from the University of South Florida and the New York Public Library Short Term Fellowship.

Education: PhD, Slavic Languages and Literatures, University of Virginia.

Home state or country: New Jersey.

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Sangwoo Shin, Assistant Professor

Sangwoo Shin

Joins UB from: The University of Hawaii at Manoa, where he was an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering and investigated various problems related to energy, environmental, and biological systems.

Research interests: Complex fluids and soft matter, transport phenomena, micro/nanofluidics, electrokinetics, drug delivery, bioseparation, bacterial motility, and hydrocarbon recovery.

Noteworthy: He is the co-founder of Phoresis Inc., a start-up company that tackles low-cost, energy-efficient, and sustainable water treatment technologies. The technology is largely based on his recent publication, where he used CO2 gas to separate suspended contaminants from water without using any physical filters. This technology was covered in numerous popular news media, including The Economist and Nature. With this technology, he was also selected as the Finalist for the Falling Walls Lab Conference in 2017.

Education: PhD, Mechanical Engineering, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea.

Home state or country: Korea.