News recent updates

Website updates

All future updates will be posted here: The Quarks.


Jan. 7, 2019

Where on earth does the time go? It seems like I was just here, updating the site...

*looks down* Oh.

2018 was quite the year! We saw some new faces in the research group--Sonia Rao and Andrew Bennett, both outstanding Computer Science undergraduates, came to my UGA ACM Faculty Spotlight talk last March and expressed interest in working on the cilia project. Meekail Zane, another CS undergraduate, also joined the lab and is working with Bahaa on representation learning with deep networks.

We also saw some departures! Roi Ceren successfully defended his doctoral dissertation: "Optimal Decision-Making in Mixed-Agent Partially Observable Stochastic Environments via Reinforcement Learning" (it will hopefully go up on arXiv soon). Roi was my first PhD student to graduate, so it was definitely a bittersweet moment, but he worked extremely hard and the honor is well-deserved many times over. Congratulations!

Both Mohammed Ahmed and Andrew Bennett also graduated this semester. It has been a pleasure working with both of them. Congratulations!

The group was also incredibly prolific this year. In addition to Roi's dissertation, Mojtaba was published in no fewer than three papers (ISBI, IEEE BigData, and SciPy), two of which he was first author (ISBI and BigData)! Mojtaba was also awarded the inaugural Georgia Informatics Institute Deep Learning & Visualization Fellowship, as well as the James L. Cameron Scholarship Award. Both are extremely well-deserved, and his papers give him considerable momentum as he looks to propose his thesis this year!

Christian McDaniel and Andrew Durden also published their own respective first-author papers at the SciPy conference this past year. Both are aiming to defend their master's theses this semester--Christian's in deep learning to combine multimodal data related to Parkinson's Disease, and Andrew's (who has since become a master's student, courtesy of the Double Dawg program) in finalizing his GMM-based network model of mitochondrial protein pattern evolution.

Likewise, Rajeswari Sivakumar is looking to defend her master's thesis this semester, as she wraps up her work on tensor decomposition of large-scale MRI data for low-dimensional representations of Parkinson's Disease.

Finally, the lab was recently awarded an NSF CAREER to study ciliary motion in detail! This award will make many things possible, including (but not limited to) recruiting and supporting multiple graduate students, recruiting a two-year postdoctoral researcher, purchasing some high-performance image processing equipment, and supporting the development and offering of numerous workshops and hackathons over the 5-year duration of the project! Thank you NSF!


Jan. 9, 2018

Happy 2018! It's off to quite the running start--

The group had three submissions accepted to the 2018 IEEE International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging; two papers and a poster. That by itself will certainly keep us busy, especially as we get closer to April! Congratulations to Narita Pandhe, Mojtaba Fazli, and Charles Lu, who were the respective first authors of the three accepted works.

Additional congratulations to Narita Pandhe for successfully defending her master's thesis last November! It went flawlessly, and even though we'd love for her to stick around here for a Ph.D., we know she'll accomplish great things in the next stage of her career. Good luck!

Ankita Joshi also successfully defended her master's thesis on scalable spectral clustering with Apache Spark! She will be staying at UGA to complete a Ph.D. in Computer Science.

This semester we welcome a cohort of new students conducting directed studies in the group.

  • Zane Page is an undergraduate in Computer Science who will be reviving the biosurveillance work, picking up from our 2016 DSAA publication and helping us get our R-21 off the ground.
  • Andrew Durden is an undergraduate in Computer Science who will be taking the helm on the OrNet project, and assisting Mojtaba in his work developing and refining biomedical imaging protocols.
  • Weiwen Xu is a master's student in Computer Science who will be developing new optimization strategies and employing evolutionary computing to apply to the computational olfaction project.
  • Prajay Shetty is a master's student in Computer Science who will be assisting Charles with the cilia project, and focusing on developing fully-automated cilia segmentation strategies.
Good luck to the newcomers!

On the note of impending graduation, Roi Ceren is scheduled to defend his Ph.D. thesis at the end of the semester, and Rajeswari Sivakumar will likewise defend her master's in Artificial Intelligence sometime over the summer. Best of luck to the both of them in the coming months!

Finally, Dr. Quinn is offering the second-ever rendition of CSCI 8360 Data Science Practicum, which this semester is supported by a very generous education grant from Google Cloud Platform. After a prolific 2017 of submitting nearly 20 grant proposals, he's aiming at fewer but more substantial grants in 2018, including the long-delayed mentored K-25 in computational neuroscience, his 2nd attempt for the NSF CAREER, an R-21 or two, and some SBIR/STTR grants.

Best of luck to everyone this spring!


Sept. 30, 2017

Bit of a late update; things have been busy!

This semester, we'll be seeing three students graduate from the lab! Alekhya Chennupati will graduate this December with a Master's in Computer Science, after having successfully defended her thesis this past May which examined quantitative measures of ciliary motion. Narita Pandhe is working toward a defense date this semester, and is planning to graduate with a Master's in Computer Science. Her thesis is investigating a two-stream spatio-temporal generative model of neutrophils. Ankita Joshi is also working toward a defense date this semester, and will graduate with a Master's in Artificial Intelligence. Her research is in the implementation of an end-to-end scalable spectral clustering algorithm, to be released as open source.

We wish them all the best of luck!

We have a couple of new additions to the group as well! Roi Ceren is not technically new as he enters his final year of Ph.D. studies in Computer Science, but with any luck his first year in this group will be his last as a Ph.D. student! He is working to finalize his thesis in scalable decision theory with an application in gaming reinforcement behavior. Dominic Gray is a new Ph.D. student in the IDEAS program; with interests in public health and biosurveillance, he is jointly supervised between Dr. Quinn and Dr. John Drake of Ecology.

Rajeswari Sivakumar and Christian McDaniel are new Master's students in Artificial Intelligence, and have both hit the ground running this semester in diving into their research in neuroscience by participating in the Parkinson's DREAM Challenge.

Meanwhile, Dr. Quinn is teaching the first-ever offering of CSCI 4360/6360 Data Science II, and is applying for grants at a record pace--four in the coming month of October alone! Fingers crossed!

Good luck to everyone this fall!


Jan. 3, 2017

Happy new year!

With this batch of updates, we bid a hearty congratulations and fond farewell to Madhura Gadgil, who successfully defended her master's thesis Large-Scale Semi-Supervised Learning last December. We wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors!

We also welcome a couple new faces to the group: Jonathan Waring and Charles Lu, both Computer Science majors. Jonathan will be working on biosurveillance, and Charles in deep learning. Good luck to both!


Aug. 9, 2016

Changed the layout a little--the "Courses" link up top now directs to a full page with links to previous courses I've taught and current courses I am currently teaching.

Other changes include updates to the publications and presentations pages with new materials, as well as updated research personnel.


Nov. 5, 2015

Still working on the site, but at this point everything should be functional and most of the content should be up and running!


Oct. 29, 2015

Working on adding content to the group website. Keep checking back for updates!