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The Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences is pleased to introduce the following seven faculty who joined ICS in academic year 2020-21. These outstanding researchers and educators advance our school’s strategic priorities in the areas of bioinformatics, machine learning, and big data systems while strengthening our expanding collaborations across campus in the areas of health, accessibility and computational biology. With these new hires, the number of tenure-track faculty in ICS now surpasses 100, reflecting the unprecedented growth in our enrollments and research activity.

Elena AgapieElena Agapie

Assistant Professor, Informatics

Ph.D., Human Centered Design and Engineering, University of Washington

Agapie researches, designs and builds technologies that empower people to engage in positive behaviors through a human-centered approach. Her work draws on people’s lived experiences and practices from psychology, exercise science or mental health, as she designs tools to help people pursue healthy behaviors. For example, she developed an online system that uses crowdsourcing to help people access expert-quality exercise advice from peers. Agapie has worked on research teams at Microsoft Research, FXPAL, Intel Labs and JPL. She joined the ICS faculty in July 2020.

MohsenImaniMohsen Imani

Assistant Professor, Computer Science

Ph.D., Computer Science and Engineering, UC San Diego

Imani’s research interests are in the areas of computer architecture, brain-inspired computing and embedded systems. His research aims to design secure, real-time, robust computing systems that can natively support a wide range of learning and cognitive tasks on edge devices. Particularly, he is working to accelerate big data and machine learning applications by redesigning algorithms using strategies that more closely model the human brain. His Ph.D. has opened up a new interdisciplinary research on brain-inspired hyperdimensional computing that connects areas in machine learning, computer systems and neuroscience. Mohsen joined the ICS faculty in July 2020.

nawabfFaisal Nawab

Assistant Professor, Computer Science

Ph.D., Computer Science, UC Santa Barbara

Nawab’s research is in the areas of distributed cloud computing and big data management. He runs the EdgeLab, which focuses on solving distributed data management problems to enable edge technologies, such as Internet of Things (IoT), smart surveillance, augmented and virtual reality, smart cities, and autonomous vehicles. Recently, Nawab is utilizing advances in blockchain and serverless technology to build more efficient data management systems that span both edge and cloud computing infrastructures. He was an assistant professor of computer science and engineering at UC Santa Cruz, and will be joining the ICS faculty in January 2021.

Ioannis PanageasIoannis Panageas

Assistant Professor, Computer Science

Ph.D., Algorithms, Combinatorics and Optimization, Georgia Tech

Panageas is interested in the theory of computation, machine learning and its interface with non-convex optimization, dynamical systems, probability and statistics. More specifically, his research focuses on addressing questions about equilibration, robustness and performance of algorithms and complex systems. Some applications include regression from dependent/censored data, min-max optimization, online learning and learning in games. Panageas is the recipient of the 2019 NRF Fellowship for AI. He was an assistant professor at the Information Systems Department of Singapore University of Technology and Design, before joining the ICS faculty in October 2020.

AnneMariePiperAnne Marie Piper

Associate Professor, Informatics

Ph.D., Cognitive Science, UC San Diego

Piper’s research in human-computer interaction and accessible computing aims to create more equitable and inclusive digital experiences for people of all ages and abilities. Her prior and ongoing work focuses on designing new technologies for collaborative work among ability-diverse teams of professionals and academics; developing accessible content production tools for artists, writers and musicians who are blind; and leveraging the arts as a form of expression and resource for designing alongside people with dementia or speech-language impairments. She joined the ICS faculty in July 2020.

Tianchen Qian

Tianchen Qian

Assistant Professor, Statistics

Ph.D., Biostatistics, Johns Hopkins University

Qian’s research focuses on answering causal questions from novel experimental design and complex data. He develops efficient and robust statistical procedures for settings where the data is high-dimensional and longitudinal, the treatment is time-varying, and missing data is present. His work on designing and analyzing micro-randomized trials helps the development of digital and behavior change interventions. He is interested in causal inference, clinical trials, machine learning, mobile health, precision medicine and semiparametric models. Before joining UCI, he was a postdoc at Harvard University’s Department of Statistics. Qian joined the ICS faculty in July 2020.

Jing ZhangJing Zhang

Assistant Professor, Computer Science

Ph.D., Electrical Engineering and Molecular and Computational Biology, USC

Jing’s research interests are in the areas of bioinformatics and computational biology. She was previously a postdoc at Yale University. During her postdoc, she was one of the coordinating trainees in international consortia, such as ENCODE and psychENCODE, where she leveraged various machine learning technologies and novel high-throughput sequencing assays to decipher the gene regulation “grammar.” She led the current release of the ENCODEC deep annotation resource for cancer in ENCODE3. Her current research focus is on developing computational methods to understand how genetic variations can result in phenotypic changes. Zhang joined the ICS faculty in July 2020.