Content Creators

Chris Bail

Professor of Sociology

Chris Bail is Professor of Sociology and Public Policy at Duke University, where he directs the Polarization Lab. He studies political tribalism, extremism, and social psychology using data from social media and tools from the emerging field of computational social science. Dr. Bail has been a Guggenheim Fellow and a Carnegie Fellow. His research appears in leading journals such as Science, The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Journal of Public Health. He has also written for the Sunday Op-Ed page of the New York Times, CNN, and The Washington Post Blog.

Dr. Bail is passionate about building the field of computational social science. He is the Editor of the Oxford University Press Series in Computational Social Science and the Co-Founder of the Summer Institutes in Computational Social Science, which are free training events designed to introduce junior scholars to the field that are held concurrently in a range of universities around the world each year. He also serves on the Advisory Committee to the National Science Foundation’s Social Behavioral and Economic Sciences Directorate, and helped create Duke’s Interdisciplinary Data Science Program.

David Carlson, Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

David Carlson

Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Computer Science, and Electrical and Computer Engineering

Dr. Carlson is a quantitative expert in machine learning.  His expertise spans several fields including environmental engineering, biostatistics, psychiatry, and behavioral science. His research focuses on developing  algorithms and analysis methods for diverse projects in engineering, population, and environmental health. His recent work has focused the early detection of autism, biomarker-associated stress, and glycemic management of diabetes. His research has been published in peer-reviewed journals and venues including the International Conference on Machine Learning, PLOS Computational Biology, Neuron, the Journal of IEEE Selected Topics in Signal Processing, Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, and  Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems.

Dr. Carlson served as a faculty instructor at the Duke-Tsinghua Machine Learning Summer School in Kunshan, China and completed his postdoctoral training at Columbia University’s Data Science Institute, Department of Statistics, and the Grossman Center for Statistics of the Mind; and the Duke University Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

Jessilyn Dunn, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Jessilyn Dunn

Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Biostatistics and Bioinformatics

Dr. Jessilyn Dunn is an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Biostatistics & Bioinformatics at Duke University. Her primary areas of research focus on biomedical data science and mobile health; her work includes multi-omics, wearable sensor, and electronic health records integration and digital biomarker discovery. Dr. Dunn is the Director of the BIG IDEAs Laboratory, whose goal is to detect, treat, and prevent chronic and acute diseases through digital health innovation. She is also currently PI of the CovIdentify study to detect and monitor COVID-19 using mobile health technologies.

Dr. Dunn was an NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford and an NSF Graduate Research Fellow at Georgia Tech and Emory, as well as a visiting scholar at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Cardiovascular Research Institute in Madrid, Spain. Her work has been internationally recognized with media coverage from the NIH Director’s Blog to Wired, Time, and US News and World Report.

Tim Dunn, Assistant Professor in Neurosurgery

Timothy Dunn

Assistant Professor in Neurosurgery

Dr. Dunn is a Forge Scholar and neuroscience researcher specializing in machine learning, particularly deep convolutional neural networks.  His work has focused on how the brain controls behavior. Using original experimental techniques, fast whole brain imaging of neural activity, and high-speed monitoring of behavior in response to closed-loop visual stimuli in zebrafish, he was able to uncover the neural circuits underlying both visually guided and spontaneous swimming behaviors.

His current post doctoral research is in neural network models for both computer vision (precise tracking of movement in 3D) and predictive modeling for healthcare (pain control and traumatic brain injury prognosis).

Ricardo Henao, Assistant Professor in Biostatistics and Bioinformatics

Ricardo Henao

Assistant Professor in Biostatistics and Bioinformatics and Electrical and Computer Engineering

Dr. Henao is a quantitative scientist whose research focuses on the development of novel statistical methods and machine learning algorithms primarily based on probabilistic modeling. His expertise spans several fields, including applied statistics, signal processing, pattern recognition, and machine learning. His methods research targets hierarchical or multilayer probabilistic models to describe complex data for the purposes of hypothesis generation and improved predictive modeling. Most of his applied work is dedicated to the analysis of biological data such as gene expression, proteomics, medical imaging, clinical narrative, and electronic health records. His recent work has been focused on the development of sophisticated machine learning models, including deep learning approaches, for the analysis and interpretation of clinical and biological data with applications to predictive modeling for diverse clinical outcomes.

Matthew Hirschey, Assistant Professor Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Nutrition Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology Duke University Medical Center

Matthew Hirschey

Associate Professor Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Nutrition Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology Duke University Medical Center

Matthew Hirschey is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Medicine (Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Nutrition) and Pharmacology & Cancer Biology at Duke University Medical Center and a faculty member of the Sarah W. Stedman Nutrition and Metabolism Center and the Duke Molecular Physiology Institute. His research focuses on mitochondrial metabolism, with a particular interest in how cells use metabolites and chemical modifications to sense metabolism. He and his lab study the regulation of this process by a family of enzymes called sirtuins, and how sirtuins maintain energy homeostasis. His work has appeared in several leading journals, including Nature, Science, Cell Metabolism and Molecular Cell. He has received several awards including an Innovator Award from the American Heart Association, a New Scholar in Aging Award from the Ellison Medical Foundation, and the Helmholtz Young Investigator in Diabetes (HeIDi) Award. His work is supported by grants from the American Heart Association, the Mallinckrodt Foundation, Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance, the Ellison Medical Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health.

Steering Committee

Pankaj K. Agarwal, RJR Nabisco Distinguished Professor of Computer Science and Department Chair

Pankaj Agarwal

RJR Nabisco Distinguished Professor of Computer Science and Department Chair

Dr. Agarwal earned his PhD in Computer Science from the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University.  He joined Duke University in 1989 where he is now the RJR Nabisco Professor of Computer Science and a Professor of Mathematics. He also served as the Chair of the Department of Computer Science 2004-10 and 2017-20.  His research interests include geometric computing, geographic information systems, databases, sensor networks, computational molecular biology, and robotics.  A Sloan Fellow, an ACM Fellow, and a National Young Investigator, Dr. Agarwal has authored four books and more than three hundred fifty research articles. He is a co-founder of the start-up company Scalable Algorithmics, and he serves on the editorial boards of a number of journals and on the advisory boards of several institutes and centers.

Krish Chakrabarty, John Cocke Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Krish Chakrabarty

John Cocke Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Krish Chakrabarty has been at Duke University since 1998. His current research is focused on: testing and design-for-testability of integrated circuits (especially 3D SOC); microfluidic biochips; hardware security; neuromorphic computing. His research projects in the past have also included digital print and enterprise system optimization, chip cooling using digital microfluidics, wireless sensor networks, and real-time embedded systems. Research support is provided by the National Science Foundation, DARPA, the Army Research Office, Semiconductor Research Corporation, Intel, and IBM. Other sponsors in the past have included National Institutes of Health, Office of Naval Research, Cisco, and HP.

Prof. Chakrabarty is a Fellow of ACM, a Fellow of IEEE, a Fellow of AAAS, and a Golden Core Member of the IEEE Computer Society. He is a Hans Fischer Senior Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies, Technical University of Munich, Germany. He is also an Invitational Fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), 2009 and 2018 (Short Term S, at the “Nobel Prize Level”). He is a recipient of two IBM Faculty Awards, the Semiconductor Research Corporation Technical Excellence Award (2018), the IEEE Circuits and Systems Society Charles A. Desoer Technical Achievement Award (2017), the IEEE Test Technology Technical Council Bob Madge Innovation Award (2018), the IEEE Computer Society Technical Achievement Award (2015) and the Meritorious Service Award. Prof. Chakrabarty was a Chair Professor in the School of Software in Tsinghua University, Beijing, China (2009-2013), and a Visiting Chair Professor in Computer Science and Information Engineering at National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan (2012-2013). He has held Visiting Professor positions at University of Tokyo (Japan), Nara Institute of Science and Technology (Japan), and University of Potsdam (Germany), and a Guest Professor position at University of Bremen (Germany).

Vincent Conitzer, Kimberly J. Jenkins University Professor of New Technologies

Vince Conitzer

Kimberly J. Jenkins University Professor of New Technologies

Vincent Conitzer received his Ph.D. (2006) and M.S. (2003) degrees in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University, and an A.B. (2001) degree in Applied Mathematics from Harvard University. Conitzer works on artificial intelligence (AI). Much of his work has focused on AI and game theory, for example designing algorithms for the optimal strategic placement of defensive resources. More recently, he has started to work on AI and ethics: how should we determine the objectives that AI systems pursue, when these objectives have complex effects on various stakeholders?

Conitzer has received the Social Choice and Welfare Prize, a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the IJCAI Computers and Thought Award, an NSF CAREER award, the inaugural Victor Lesser dissertation award, an honorable mention for the ACM dissertation award, and several awards for papers and service at the AAAI and AAMAS conferences. He has also been named a Guggenheim Fellow, a Sloan Fellow, a Kavli Fellow, a Bass Fellow, an ACM Fellow, a AAAI Fellow, and one of AI’s Ten to Watch. He has served as program and/or general chair of the AAAI, AAMAS, AIES, COMSOC, and EC conferences. Conitzer and Preston McAfee were the founding Editors-in-Chief of the ACM Transactions on Economics and Computation (TEAC).

Nita Farahany, Robinson O. Everett Professor of Law

Nita Farahany

Robinson O. Everett Professor of Law

Nita Farahany is a leading scholar on the ethical, legal, and social implications of emerging technologies. She is a Professor of Law & Philosophy, the Founding Director of Duke Science & Society, Chair of the Duke MA in Bioethics & Science Policy, and principal investigator of SLAP Lab. Farahany is a frequent commentator for national media and radio shows. She presents her work to diverse audiences including the World Economic Forum, Aspen Ideas Festival, TED, Judicial Conferences for the US Court of Appeals, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, National Academies of Science Workshops, the American Society for Political and Legal Philosophy, and by testifying before Congress.

In 2010, she was appointed by President Obama to the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues and served until 2017. She is a member of the National Advisory Council for the National Institute for Neurological Disease and Stroke, an elected member of the American Law Institute, President-Elect and Board member of the International Neuroethics Society, a member of the Neuroethics Working Group of the US Brain Initiative, the Global Precision Medicine Council for the World Economic Forum, and the President’s Research Council for the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. She is also the Chair Elect of the Section on Jurisprudence for the Association of American Law Schools. She serves on Scientific and Ethics Advisory Boards for several corporations.

Farahany received her AB in genetics, cell, and developmental biology at Dartmouth College, a JD and MA from Duke University, as well as a PhD in philosophy. She also holds an ALM in biology from Harvard University. In 2004-2005, Farahany clerked for Judge Judith W. Rogers of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, after which she joined the faculty at Vanderbilt University. In 2011, Farahany was the Leah Kaplan Visiting Professor of Human Rights at Stanford Law School.

David Hoffman, Professor of the Practice in the Sanford School of Public Policy and Associate of the Duke Initiative for Science & Society

David Hoffman

Professor of the Practice in the Sanford School of Public Policy
Associate of the Duke Initiative for Science & Society

David Hoffman is the Steed Family Professor of the Practice of Cybersecurity Policy at the Sanford School of Public Policy. He also is Associate General Counsel and Global Privacy Officer for Intel Corporation.

Hoffman currently chairs the Civil Liberties and Privacy Panel for the Director’s Advisory Board for the US National Security Agency. He also chairs the board of the Center for Cybersecurity Policy and Law, and serves on the Advisory Boards for the Future of Privacy Forum and the Israel Tech Policy Institute. Hoffman also founded and chairs the board for the Triangle Privacy Research Hub, which highlights and fosters cybersecurity and privacy academic research done in the North Carolina Research Triangle.

Hoffman previously served on the Department of Homeland Security’s Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee and the Board of Directors of the National Cyber Security Alliance. He has also served on the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s Online Access and Security Committee, the Center for Strategic and International Studies Cyber Security Commission, the Steering Committee for BBBOnline, the TRUSTe Board of Directors and the Board of the International Association of Privacy Professionals. He is the author of many papers and articles on cybersecurity and privacy and has testified to Congress on these topics.

Hoffman has a JD from Duke Law School, where he was a member of the Duke Law Journal. He received an AB from Hamilton College.

Hai (Helen) Li, Clare Boothe Luce Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Hai (Helen) Li

Clare Boothe Luce Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Hai (Helen) Li (M’08–SM’16) received the B.S. and M.S. degrees from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, and the Ph.D. degree from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA. She was with Qualcomm Inc., San Diego, CA, USA, Intel Corporation, Santa Clara, CA, USA, Seagate Technology, Bloomington, MN, USA, the Polytechnic Institute of New York University, Brooklyn, NY, USA, and the University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA. She is currently a Clare Boothe Luce Associate Professor with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA. She has authored or co-authored over 200 technical papers published in peer-reviewed journals and conferences, and authored a book Nonvolatile Memory Design: Magnetic, Resistive, and Phase Changing (CRC Press, 2011). Her current research interests include memory design and architecture, neuromorphic architecture for brain-inspired computing systems, and cross-layer optimization for low power and high performance. She is a Distinguished Member of the ACM. She received the NSF CAREER Award in 2012, the DARPA Young Faculty Award in 2013, the TUM-IAS Hans Fisher Fellowship in 2017, seven best paper awards, and additional seven best paper nominations. She was a General Chair of ISVLSI, ICCE, ISQED, and GLSVLSI, and the Technical Program Chair of SoCC, iNIS, GLSVLSI. She serves as an Associate Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Computer-Aided Design, the IEEE Transactions on Multi-Scale Computing Systems, the IEEE Transactions on Very Large Scale Integration Systems, the IEEE Transactions of Embedded Computing Systems, IEEE Consumer Electronics Magazine, the ACM Transactions on Design Automation of Electronic Systems, and IET Cyber-Physical Systems: Theory and Applications.
Henry Pfister, Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Henry Pfister

Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Henry D. Pfister received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering in 2003 from the University of California, San Diego and is currently a professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department of Duke University with a secondary appointment in Mathematics. Prior to that, he was an associate professor at Texas A&M University (2006-2014), a post-doctoral fellow at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (2005-2006), and a senior engineer at Qualcomm Corporate R&D in San Diego (2003-2004). His current research interests include information theory, error-correcting codes, quantum computing, and machine learning.

He received the NSF Career Award in 2008 and a Texas A&M ECE Department Outstanding Professor Award in 2010. He is a coauthor of the 2007 IEEE COMSOC best paper in Signal Processing and Coding for Data Storage and a coauthor of a 2016 Symposium on the Theory of Computing (STOC) best paper. He has served the IEEE Information Theory Society as a member of the Board of Governors (2019-2022), an Associate Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Information Theory (2013-2016), and a Distinguished Lecturer (2015-2016). He was also the General Chair of the 2016 North American School of Information Theory.

Jun Yang, Bishop-MacDermott Family Professor of Computer Science

Jun Yang

Bishop-MacDermott Family Professor of Computer Science

Jun Yang is a Professor of Computer Science at Duke University. He received his MS and PhD from Stanford University and BA from University of California, Berkeley.

He is the Chair of Computer Science and co-directs the Duke Database Research Group, which is part of the Duke Systems and Architecture Group. His research has been supported by National Science Foundation, National Institute of Health, Duke University, Google, HP, and IBM.

His research focuses on databases and data-intensive systems in general, with particular interest in scalable data analytics and computational journalism.

Executive Leadership

Valerie Ashby, Dean of Trinity College of Arts & Sciences at Duke University

Valerie S. Ashby

Dean of Trinity College of Arts & Sciences at Duke University

Valerie Ashby became dean of Trinity College of Arts & Sciences on July 1, 2015, and was recently reappointed for a second, five-year term. She received her B.A. and Ph.D. degrees in chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and completed her postdoctoral research at the Universitat Mainz, Germany. Dean Ashby came to Duke from UNC, where she chaired the chemistry department from 2012-15 and was a faculty member since 2003. She has served on UNC’s Arts & Sciences Foundation Board of Directors and Research Advisory Council and chaired the College of Arts & Sciences Faculty Diversity Task Force. Dean Ashby also directed the UNC National Science Foundation Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate, aimed at increasing the number of underrepresented students completing doctoral degrees and continuing into the professoriate in science, technology, engineering and math and social, behavioral and economics fields. As a researcher, she focused on synthetic polymer chemistry with a present emphasis on designing and synthesizing materials for biomedical applications such as X-ray contrast agents and drug delivery materials. She is the recipient of the National Science Foundation Career Development Award, the DuPont Young Faculty, and 3M Young Faculty Awards, as well as numerous teaching awards.

Ravi Bellamkonda, Dean of the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University

Ravi V. Bellamkonda

Vinik Dean of the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University

Ravi Bellamkonda is the Vinik Dean of the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University. Prior to becoming dean, Bellamkonda served as the Wallace H. Coulter Professor and chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University. He is committed to fostering transformative research and pedagogical innovation as well as programs that create an entrepreneurial mindset amongst faculty and students.

A trained bioengineer and neuroscientist, Bellamkonda holds an undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering. His graduate training at Brown University was in biomaterials and medical science (with Patrick Aebischer), and his post-doctoral training at Massachusetts Institute of Technology focused on the molecular mechanisms of axon guidance and neural development (with Jerry Schneider and Sonal Jhaveri). His current research explores the interplay of biomaterials and the nervous system for neural interfaces, nerve repair and brain tumor therapy.

From 2014 to 2016, Bellamkonda served as president of the American Institute for Biological and Medical Engineering (AIMBE), the leading policy and advocacy organization for biomedical engineers with representation from industry, academia and government. Bellamkonda’s numerous awards include the Clemson Award for Applied Research from the Society for Biomaterials, EUREKA award from National Cancer Institute (National Institutes of Health), CAREER award from the National Science Foundation and Best Professor Award from the Georgia Tech Biomedical Engineering student body.

Robert Calderbank, Charles S. Sydnor Distinguished Professor of Computer Science

Robert Calderbank

Charles S. Sydnor Distinguished Professor of Computer Science

Robert Calderbank is Director of the Information Initiative at Duke University, where he is Professor of Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and Mathematics. He joined Duke in 2010, completed a 3 year term as Dean of Natural Sciences in August 2013, and also served as Interim Director of the Duke Initiative in Innovation and Entrepreneurship in 2012. Before joining Duke he was Professor of Electrical Engineering and Mathematics at Princeton University where he also directed the Program in Applied and Computational Mathematics.

Before joining Princeton University Dr. Calderbank was Vice President for Research at AT&T. As Vice President for Research he managed AT&T intellectual property, and he was responsible for licensing revenue. AT&T Labs was the first of a new type of research lab where masses of data generated by network services became a giant sandbox in which fundamental discoveries in information science became a source of commercial advantage

At Duke, Dr. Calderbank works with researchers from the Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development, developing information technology that is able to capture a full spectrum of behavior in very young children. By supporting more consistent and cost-effective early diagnosis, the team is increasing the opportunity for early interventions that have proven very effective.

At the start of his career at Bell Labs, Dr. Calderbank developed voiceband modem technology that was widely licensed and incorporated in over a billion devices. Voiceband means the signals are audible so these modems burped and squeaked as they connected to the internet. One of these products was the AT&T COMSPHERE® modem which was the fastest modem in the world in 1994 – at 33.6kb/s!

Together with Peter Shor and colleagues at AT&T Labs Dr. Calderbank developed the group theoretic framework for quantum error correction. This framework changed the way physicists view quantum entanglement, and provided the foundation for fault tolerant quantum computation.

Dr. Calderbank has also developed technology that improves the speed and reliability of wireless communication by correlating signals across several transmit antennas. Invented in 1996, this space-time coding technology has been incorporated in a broad range of 3G, 4G and 5G wireless standards. He served on the Technical Advisory Board of Flarion Technologies a wireless infrastructure company founded by Rajiv Laroia and acquired by Qualcomm for $1B in 2008.

Dr. Calderbank is an IEEE Fellow and an AT&T Fellow, and he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2005. He received the 2013 IEEE Hamming Medal for contributions to coding theory and communications and the 2015 Shannon Award.

Larry Carin, Vice President for Research at Duke University

Larry Carin

Vice President for Research at Duke University

Vice President for Research Lawrence Carin oversees Duke’s compliance with regulations on government-funded research as well as a host of research support services. The vice president also shares responsibility for Duke’s Office Of Licensing and Ventures, which handles intellectual property issues related to faculty research.

Carin joined the Duke faculty in 1995 as an associate professor of electrical engineering. He subsequently became the William H. Younger Distinguished Professor and chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering. His early research was in the area of electromagnetics and sensing but over the last ten years he has moved to applied statistics and machine learning as well.

In co-authoring more than 270 academic papers, Carin’s work has touched on such diverse fields as artificial intelligence, bomb detection, video analysis, neuroscience, cancer, infectious disease, voting behavior and music. His bomb detection work led to the formation of a company called Signal Innovations Group in the Research Triangle Park that has more than 40 employees. He recently sold his interest in the company.

Carin earned BS, MS, and PhD degrees in electrical engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is an IEEE Fellow and an associate editor for the IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing, the SIAM Journal of Imaging Science, and the Journal of Machine Learning Research. He regularly serves on the program committee for such conferences as Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS) and the International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML).

Tracy Futhey, Vice President & Chief Information Officer, Office of Information Technology at Duke University

Tracy Futhey

Vice President & Chief Information Officer, Office of Information Technology at Duke University

Since 2002, Tracy Futhey has presided over Duke’s information technology endeavors and led the Office of Information Technology. She is a leader in using commercial technologies to create and disseminate digital course materials, including collaboration with industry partners in the development of education-related services such as iTunesU and the use of technology to enable distant collaboration.

Under Futhey’s leadership, Duke’s IT capabilities now extend to a global network, including delivery of technology services to Duke Kunshan University and other international programs and sites.

Futhey serves on various industry advisory councils for Fortune 100 technology companies and has been awarded National Science Foundation grants supporting cyber-infrastructure deployment and the adoption of software-defined networks.

Before Duke, Futhey spent 17 years at Carnegie Mellon University, where she rose to the position of chief information officer and oversaw projects in mobile and location-based computing. She holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics with a computer science concentration and a master’s degree in industrial administration, both from Carnegie Mellon.