People

Mary Lou Maher,   Director
My academic career has taken a path that started in Engineering, through Architecture and Design Computing, and more recently Computer Science and Information Studies. My research and teaching has centered on the design and evaluation of innovative digital/physical environments and new media that enhance information systems, creativity and design. My current focus is on developing models and new technology as we scale up from human-computer interaction, through collaborative systems, to large-scale collective intelligence in design.
Karen Bean,   Associate Director
Karen Bean is responsible for developing processes and project design as needed to meet the programming goals of the Center for Education Innovation. Her career path has included working as a designer in Architectural and Graphic Design firms, as a project manager in the development of Knowledge Management systems for financial centers and call centers, and as a project manager in Diversity in Information Technology programs to broaden participation in computing. Karen received a M.A. in Sociology at UNC Charlotte with a research focus in gender and domestic violence, a M.A. in Graphic Design from Western Carolina University, and a Bachelors of Environmental Design from North Carolina State University.
Aubrae Collins,   Program Coordinator
Aubrae Collins is responsible for implementing existing and new programs within the Diversity in Information Technology Institute. She comes to UNC Charlotte from UNC Greensboro, where she completed her Master’s in Public Affairs, with a concentration in Nonprofit Management. While at UNC Greensboro, she served as the Program Coordinator for the Make a Difference House, a living/learning community on campus. There she was responsible for implementing all aspects of the program, including facilitating reflection activities and advising students on community service opportunities. In her spare time, Aubrae enjoys reading, doing crafts and spending time with her family.
Audrey Rorrer,   Evaluation Researcher
Audrey Smith Rorrer is the Lead Evaluator for the Center for Education Innovation in the College of Computing and Informatics at UNC Charlotte, where she also directs assessment for the College. Dr. Rorrer specializes in assessment of student learning outcomes and educational program evaluations within computing disciplines. She has been a key member of evaluation teams for more than a dozen National Science Foundation funded projects exceeding $12 million dollars in funding, all of which focus on academic engagement of students and faculty, such as the STARS Alliance, Research Experiences for Undergraduates in Computing and Information Sciences and Engineering, and the UNC Charlotte ADVANCE IT project. She bases her assessment and evaluation experience upon a 10 year career in student development, having been a career and mental health counselor at the University of Tennessee Knoxville, Lees McRae College, Appalachian State University, and also UNC Charlotte. She has taught courses in evaluation, psychology and education, and has created evaluation toolkits to build the capacity for other faculty and students to undertake evaluation initiatives. Her professional service has included serving as Co-Chair of the Assessment in Higher Education Topical Interest Group of the American Evaluation Association, journal reviewer for the Cooperative Education International Association, and is currently serving as President of the Charlotte Evaluator Forum. Dr. Rorrer received her doctorate in Counselor Education from UNC Charlotte, her masters degree from Appalachian State University in Student Development, and her bachelors degree from Guilford College, with a double major in Psychology and Religious Studies.

Researchers

Diane Cassidy,   Senior Lecturer
Diane Cassidy is a Senior Lecturer in the Computer Science Department. Diane brings a wealth of teaching experience spanning forty years on all levels including college teaching at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Central Piedmont Community College, public and private school instruction in multiple states, corporate education at International Business Machines (IBM) Corporation, and professional development training at Education Connection, an organization serving public schools in Connecticut. Diane’s education includes a BS in education, an MS in computer science, numerous graduate credits in business and education, and she is currently enrolled in a doctoral program at North Carolina State University. Diane’s passion for quality teaching and learning extends to online instruction formats including both fully online and hybrid environments. Diane has taught online at UNC Charlotte for the past ten years and is a certified Distance Education instructor.
Keh-Hsun Chen,   Professor and Associate Chair
Dr Chen is a mathematician, computer scientist and professor and associate chair at the Department of Computer Science, College of Computing and Informatics at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. His research interests covers Artificial Intelligence, Heuristic Search, Computer Go, and Knowledge-Based Systems.
Bill Chu,   Professor
Bill Chu received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Maryland at College Park. His research interest includes software security, information security education, and configuration security.
Yong Ge,   Assistant Professor
Dr. Yong Ge received his Ph.D. in Information Technology from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey in 2013, the M.S. degree in Signal and Information Processing from the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) in 2008, and the B.E. degree in Information Engineering from Xi'an Jiao Tong University in 2005. He is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. His research interests include data mining and business analytics. He received the ICDM-2011 Best Research Paper Award, Excellence in Academic Research (one per school) at Rutgers Business School in 2013, and the Dissertation Fellowship at Rutgers University in 2012. He has published prolifically in refereed journals and conference proceedings, such as IEEE TKDE, ACM TOIS, ACMTKDD, ACM TIST, ACM SIGKDD, SIAM SDM, IEEE ICDM, and ACM RecSys. He has served as Program Committee member at ACM SIGKDD 2013, the International Conference on Web-Age Information Management 2013, and IEEE ICDM 2013. Also he has served as a reviewer for numerous journals, including IEEE TKDE, ACM TIST, KAIS, Information Science, and TSMC-B.
John Gero,   Research Professor
John Gero is a Research Professor in Computer Science and Architecture at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte and at the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study and at the Department of Computational Social Science, George Mason University. He is the developer of the Function-Behavior-Structure (FBS) ontology used in cognitive studies of education and is the author or editor of 50 books and over 600 papers and book chapters in the fields of design science, design computing, design cognition and cognitive studies of design education. He has been a Visiting Professor of Architecture, Civil Engineering, Cognitive Science, Computer Science, Design and Computation or Mechanical Engineering at MIT, UC-Berkeley, UCLA, Columbia and CMU in the USA, at Strathclyde and Loughborough in the UK, at INSA-Lyon and Provence in France and at EPFL-Lausanne in Switzerland. Current and recent research funding has been from the NSF (CMMI, CNS, EEC, IIS and SBE Programs), DARPA and NASA. Dr. Gero's current and recently funded education-related projects include: The effect of teaching design methods on design cognition; Longitudinal study of effect of design education on undergraduates; Comparison of design cognition of undergraduates with professionals; Comparison of design cognition of high school students with undergraduates; Effect of interruptions on design cognition of students; and Effect of changes in team membership on team innovation.
Cynthia Gibas,   Professor
Dr. Cynthia Gibas is a Professor in the Department of Bioinformatics and Genomics at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She received the PhD in Biophysics and Computational Biology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1996, working with Shankar Subramaniam. She subsequently worked as a bioinformatics analyst at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications and as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at Virginia Tech. Her research interests are 1) development of visual analytics and business intelligence-inspired methods for comparative analysis of large bacterial genome and transcriptome data sets, and 2) understanding the impact of biophysical properties of nucleic acids on the outcomes of high-throughput genomics protocols. She also collaborates with an international consortium in the study of genomics and transcriptomics of Vibrio vulnificus and has a broad interest in improving methods for comparative bacterial genomics. Dr. Gibas is the Faculty Director of the Professional Science Masters in Bioinformatics and the Bioinformatics Summer Institute and Graduate Certificate programs.
Kazjon Grace,   Postdoctoral Researcher
Dr Kazjon Grace is a postdoctoral researcher in computational creativity and interaction design at the Department of Software and Information Systems of the College of Computing and Informatics at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He received his PhD from the University of Sydney in 2012 in the field of artificial intelligence in design. His research involves the development of automated systems that can recognise, critique, and suggest creative ideas.
Celine Latulipe,   Associate Professor
I teach and engage in research in the field of Human-Computer Interaction at UNC Charlotte. My research involves developing and evaluating novel interaction techniques, creativity support tools and technologies to support the arts. I regularly attend the ACM CHI, UIST and C&C conferences. Beyond technology and art, I am also interested in education, politics, gender issues, philosophy, behavioral economics, neuroscience, psychology and sociology.
Heather Lipford,   Associate Professor
Dr. Heather Richter Lipford is an Associate Professor at UNCC. She completed her Ph.D. in May 2005 from the College of Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Her research interests include Human-Computer Interaction, usable privacy and security, social computing, and visual analytics. She is co-directing the HCI Lab and is a member of the UNCC Cyber Defense and Network Assurability Center, the Charlotte Visualization Center and the UNCC Cognitive Science Academy.
Jamie Payton,   Associate Professor
I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. My research work lies in the areas of software engineering and pervasive computing. I focus on applying software engineering techniques to simplify the design and development of applications designed for use in dynamic pervasive computing networks. I am particularly interested in creating formal models and programming abstractions to reduce programmer effort and to encourage the development of robust adaptive applications in these settings.
Anita Raja ,   Associate Professor
Dr. Anita Raja is an Associate Professor of Software and Information Systems at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Her research focus is in the field of artificial intelligence, specifically as it relates to the study of meta-reasoning and decentralized control in software agent systems operating in the context of uncertainty and limited computational resources. Along with her students, she investigates mathematical models for distributed decision making in applications ranging from tornado tracking, cascading risks in defense programs, social networks, clinical informatics and intelligence analysis.
Zbyszek Ras,   Professor
Dr. Zbigniew W. Ras is a Professor of Computer Science and KDD Laboratory Director in the College of Computing and Informatics at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. He also holds professorship position at Warsaw University of Technology and he is a Foreign Associate at the Polish Academy of Sciences (Poland). His PhD degree is from University of Warsaw and DSc Degree (Habilitation) from the Polish Academy of Sciences. In 2012, he was awarded National Professorship Title by the President of Poland. Dr. Ras areas of specialization include Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining, Health Informatics, Multimedia, Recommender Systems, Music Information Retrieval, Flexible Query Answering, and Soft Computing. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Intelligent Information Systems (Springer), Editor-in Chief of the International Journal of Social Network Mining (IJSNM), Senior Editor of International Journal of Data Mining, Modelling and Management (InderScience Publishers), and he served as the Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Fundamenta Informaticae Journal (IOS Press), till 2010. Dr. Ras was the program chair/co-chair/vice-chair of many international meetings (ISMIS, GrC, WI/IAT, MCD, ISMVL). He authored close to 250 publications and edited more than 30 books published by Springer and North Holland. He received many awards including Harshini V. de Silva Graduate Mentor Award, UNC-Charlotte, 2009; COIT Graduate Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award, UNC-Charlotte, 2003; and the Alcoa Foundation Outstanding Faculty Award, UNC Charlotte, 1999-2000. Also, he was the finalist of the Bank of America Award for Teaching Excellence, 2008
Kalpathi Subramanian,   Associate Professor
Dr. Kalpathi Subramanian is an Associate Professor in Computer Science and part of the Charlotte Visualization Center. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in computer science from the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Subramanian's research spans the areas of computer graphics, scientific and information visualization, and biomedical image analysis. Recent work has involved building interactive visual analytic tools for emergency response and evacuation from large urban structures, as well as improvements to lower division computer science education.
Derek Xiaoyu Wang,   Assistant Research Professor
Derek Xiaoyu Wang is an Associate Director of the Charlotte Visualization Center who leads the scalable visual analytics research in structured and unstructured data (text and images). Derek is also an Entrepreneur who commercializes cloud-based visual-text-analytics technologies for businesses. He focuses on delivering interactive decision-support-and-predictive systems that produces actionable knowledge and strategic learning for domain decision makers. Derek is currently working on a holistic semantic analytics engine that integrates domain-specific data, demographics data, and social media data with scalable data analytics and visualization platforms, and further provides targeted knowledge to diverse segments of the populations, from analysis professionals and policy makers to researchers and the community at large. Derek presents extensive knowledge across various analytics domains in reducing information overload and providing interactive briefings. He has rich experiences in turning cutting-edge research into technologies that have broad societal impacts, demonstrated by accomplishments in both academia and industry collaborations, such as Bank of America, Department of Transportation, Department of Homeland Security, Army, NSF, ERDC, Microsoft and Xerox Palo Alto Research Center.
Weichao Wang,   Associate Professor
My research interests are in designing protocols and mechanisms to secure pervasive systems, especially the resource-restraint wireless networks. The investigation focuses on integrating multi-disciplinary schemes ( information theory, scientific visualization, etc.) with network techniques to prevent and detect various attacks and to enforce security and privacy in such environments. Several topics that I am working on are: Privacy enforcement in wireless networks and its impacts on network security and performance Secure and private location based routing and services Effective representation of security data and visualization of attacks Key distribution and management schemes Self-organized intrusion detection and intruder identification methods
Yongge Wang,   Associate Professor
Yongge Wang received his Ph.D. degree from University of Heidelberg of Germany. Since then, Dr. Wang has worked in the industry for a few years until he joined UNC Charlotte in 2002. In particular, Dr. Wang has worked in Certicom as a cryptographic mathematician specializing in efficient cryptographic techniques for wireless communication. Dr. Wang has actively participated in and contributed to the standards bodies such as IETF, W3C XML Security protocols, IEEE 1363 standardization groups for cryptographic techniques, and ANSI T11 groups for SAN network security standards. Dr. Wang is the inventor of Remote Password Authentication protocols SRP5 which is an IEEE1363.2 standard. Dr. Wang has also worked with Cisco researchers and American Gas Association researchers to design security protocols for the SCADA industry.
Jennifer Weller,   Associate Professor
Dr. Jennifer Weller is an Associate Professor in the Department of Bioinformatics and Genomics at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She received the PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Montana in 1990. She subsequently did a Post-doctoral Fellowship in Molecular Genetics at the Plant Research Labs at Michigan State University with Shauna Somerville, and followed her to the Carnegie Institute for Plant Biology at Stanford. From 1994-1999 Dr. Weller was a Scientist at Applied Biosystems in Foster City CA, developing molecular biology and software analysis systems for performing high-throughput molecular marker analysis. From there she became a Group Leader at the National Center for Genome Resources in Santa Fe NM, working on database information systems that would capture both data and meta-data in genomics experiments. After a short period as a Research Professor at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech, she became an Associate Professor of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology at George Mason University, from 2002-2007. Since 2007 she has been a member of the Bioinformatics and Genomics department at UNC Charlotte. Her research interests include 1) discovering how the structure of nucleic acids affects their behavior in assays and hence our interpretation of high-throughput genomic data 2) bioinformatics database construction and the development of standards and ontologies 3) combining disparate data types to understand complex phenotypes such as human behavior. She is also very interested in opening opportunities for citizen science to occur, in which interested individuals having many levels of expertise can become actively involved in contributing to the growth of knowledge, and participate in the excitement of discovery.
Barry Wilkinson,   Professor
Barry Wilkinson is a Professor of Computer Science at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. He has been a faculty member at UNC-Charlotte since 1987 and teaches parallel and distributed computing courses. He has written six textbooks with four second editions, including Parallel Programming Techniques and Applications Using Networked Workstations and Parallel Computers (with M. Allen, Prentice Hall 1999, 2nd ed. 2005) and Grid Computing: Techniques and Applications (CRC press, 2010). His recent interests are in pattern programming for high performance computing. He has been almost continuously funded by the National Science Foundation since 1996 for parallel and distributed computing education. He received his PhD in Computer Science from Manchester University, England in 1974.
Dale-Marie Wilson,   Teaching Associate Professor
I am a Teaching Associate Professor in the Department of Software and Information Systems at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. My research investigates human-virtual human interactions and the development of realistic, culturally-specific embodied virtual agents in emotional, educational and/or social situations.
David Wilson,   Associate Professor
I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Software and Information Systems at The University of North Carolina, Charlotte. My research centers around the development of intelligent software systems to bridge the gaps between human information needs and the computational resources available to meet them. It involves the coordination of intelligent systems techniques (artificial intelligence, machine learning, etc.) with geographic, multimedia, database, internet, and communications systems in order to elicit, enhance, apply, and present relevant task-based knowledge.
Yuliang Zheng,   Professor
Professor Yuliang Zheng, founding director of the Information Security and Assurance Center (ISAC) at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, is known as the father of the signcryption technology which is now an ISO international standard for data security. His pioneering research into the application of one-way hash to immunizing public key encryption against adaptive attacks has been embodied in numerous international standards for public key cryptography, including those from ISO, IEEE, and IETF. An internationally recognized authority in cryptography and network security, Professor Zheng has published over 200 scholarly articles and books on security and holds a multiple number of patents in cyber security. He plays an active, leadership role in international research communities, serving as the Chair of the Steering Committee of the Public Key Cryptography (PKC) conferences sponsored by the International Association for Cryptologic Research (IACR). In addition, he served as an associate editor of The Computer Journal published by the Oxford University Press and is on the steering committees for a number of research and industrial forums including Information Security Conference (ISC), IEEE Information Assurance Standards Committee, and Workshop on Long-Term/Information-Theoretic Security.