Rensselaer Libraries, FOCI Partner on Deep Web Encyclopedia Online access murram2

The Rensselaer Libraries and the Future of Computing Institute (FOCI) have partnered to provide the Institute with online access to the Encyclopedia of Criminal Activities and the Deep Web.  This important reference resource covers a variety of subjects associated with research areas of interest to FOCI.

Stanley Dunn

Professor, Vice Provost, Dean Graduate Education
Dunn joined Rensselaer in 2008 as Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Education and full Professor in the School of Engineering. Dunn’s experience includes developing university-wide initiatives in such areas as packaging engineering, water resource management, and homeland security. He also has extensive experience building academic programs, including overseeing the country’s first engineering-based clinical training program in prosthetics and orthotics. Dunn has mentored 14 Ph.D. students, 23 M.S. students, and many undergraduate students. These students have come from biomedical engineering, electrical and computer engineering, computer science, mathematics, dentistry, as well as the M.D./Ph.D. program. The author of three books and 150 papers on different subjects including digital subtraction radiography, Dunn is a fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering. He is the founding editor-in-chief of the Journal of Applied Packaging Research, and has served as an editor and officer of several journals and professional organizations.

Deborah McGuinness

Tetherless World Senior Constellation Chair, Professor of Computer Science, Cognitive Science, and Industrial and Systems Engineering
Deborah McGuinness is a leading expert in knowledge representation and reasoning languages and systems and has worked in ontology creation and evolution environments for over 20 years. Most recently, McGuinness is best known for her leadership role in semantic web research, and for her work on explanation, trust, and applications of semantic web technology, particularly for scientific applications. “I am interested in making smart systems that help people and machines function better,” said McGuinness. “My slant on this work is to research, develop, and use semantic technologies that allow people and machines to represent, reason with, visualize, and explain information in ways that support understanding and (re)use.   My application areas cover a wide range of domain areas, but often in earth and space science informatics and health informatics.”

Sibel Adali

Associate Dean of Science for Research and Graduate Studies
Sibel Adali is a professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, which she joined in 1996 after obtaining her PhD from the University of Maryland. Her work concentrates on cross-cutting problems related to trust, information processing and retrieval, and social networks. She has worked as the ARL-lead Collaborative Technology Alliance (CTA) wide Trust Coordinator and the Social and Cognitive Networks Academic Research Center (SCNARC) Associate Director. She is the author of the book "Modeling Trust Context in Networks", which was published by Springer in 2013. At Rensselaer, Adali served as the Associate Head and Graduate Program Director of the Computer Science Department 2015-2018. She currently serves as the Associate Dean of Science for Research and Graduate Studies. She teaches the introductory problem solving course in Computer Science as well as courses in databases. In 2015, Adali received the Trustees' Outstanding Teacher Award, the highest teaching award given by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.  

Tomek Strzalkowski

Prof. Tomek Strzalkowski research interests span a wide spectrum of human language technology including computational linguistics and sociolinguistics, socio-behavioral computing, interactive information retrieval, question-answering, human-computer dialogue, serious games, social media analytics, formal semantics, and reversible grammars. He has directed research sponsored by IARPA, DARPA, ARL, AFRL, NSF, the European Commission, NSERC, as well as a number of industry-funded projects. He was involved in IBM’s Jeopardy! Challenge in advanced question answering. Dr. Strzalkowski has published over a hundred and fifty scientific papers, and is the editor of several books, including Advances in Open Domain Question Answering. He serves on the Editorial Board of the journal of Natural Language Engineering.   Prior to joining RPI, Dr. Strzalkowski was Professor of Computer Science at SUNY Albany. At SUNY, he was the founding Director of the Institute for Informatics, Logics, and Security Studies with research budget of more than $35 million. He came to SUNY from GE CRD where he was a Natural Language Group Leader and Principal Scientist. At GE, Dr. Strzalkowski directed projects on automated technical manuals, medical informatics, speech recognition, automated summarization, as well as multimedia processing including language and video. Before coming to GE, he was a research faculty at the Courant Institute of New York University, where he worked on applications of natural language processing to information retrieval.   Current projects include research into social dimensions of information spread online, internet ethnography, and building effective AI defenses against disinformation and exploitation of human socio-cognitive vulnerabilities online, including social engineering attacks. Some example projects include: GATOR: The Goal-oriented Autonomous Dialogue System. We develop a new type of human-machine dialogue system that uses deep learning technologies (such as transformers) to learn how to recognize and generate dialogue plans, i.e., semantic and pragmatic structures that represent one party’s goals and intentions, as well as the impact these are having on the other party. Unlike the current transformer-driven chatbots, the core learning is not to transform one language expression (input) into another language expression (response) but instead to construct a response plan that would properly address the plan in the input and the history of interaction. Consequently, the learning process takes three types of information: (1) the input utterance; (2) its semantic-pragmatic plan, i.e., the plan that was used to produce the utterance, and (3) the history of interaction up to this point. Furthermore, the cumulative history of the dialogue is not merely the memory of the utterances exchanged earlier, but it captures, in a condensed semantic form, the evolving state of the parties’ objectives as well as the emerging sociolinguistic behavioral patterns of both (all) parties. Personalized AutoNomous Agents Countering Social Engineering Attacks (PANACEA) protects online users against current and future forms of social engineering. PANACEA serves as an intermediary between attackers (human, automated, hybrid, coordinated) and the potential victim(s) they target. Depending upon the nature and source of communication, PANACEA either handles it autonomously, or allows the user to proceed with an exchange while monitoring the conversation and intervening as needed by (1) inserting or modifying users’ messages, (2) instructing the user how best to respond, while at the same time (3) initiating an investigation to identify the attacker. (DARPA ASED Program) COMETH (Computational Ethnography from Metaphors and Polarized Language). The objective of this project is to develop a methodology and accompanying software tools for constructing dynamic socio-behavioral models of communities based on online content that their members produce. A community can be defined by the set of salient concepts that its members recognize, along with the values they assign to them. The resulting causal models are then applied to derive culturally biased interpretations of novel information by prototyping the process by which such new information is adapted to fit into the community current model. (DARPA UGB) Social Convos: A New Approach to Modeling Information Diffusion in Social Media. In this project, we recast our understanding of all social media as a landscape of collectives, or “convos”: sets of users connected by a common interest in an (possibly evolving) information artifact, such as a repository in GitHub, a subreddit in Reddit or a group of hashtags in Twitter. Convos are represented by the collections of features that capture their internal social dynamics. Furthermore, convos are basis for modeling large and small internet-based communities as “hybrid organisms” that interact in various ways with one another and react collectively to external stimuli, including information and disinformation campaigns. (DARPA SocialSim)

Susan Smith

Sr. Lecturer, HASS Inquiry Faculty Coordinator

Interdisciplinary work is at the core of Susan Smith’s research and educational interests.  Her undergraduate work in Biology serves as a basis for her research in Philosophy of Biology, Philosophy of Race and Biomedical Ethics. Her master’s work at the University of Guelph was completed under the direction of Michael Ruse and focused on the nature of human action with respect to free will and determinism.  At the University at Buffalo, working with Jorge J.E. Garcia, she explored the metaphysical basis of race with a focus on its intersection with healthcare.

Dr. Smith’s current work explores the ethical issues related to genetic testing and, specifically, informed consent.  She is part of an interdisciplinary study of the ethics of genetic testing and student-athletes in the NCAA.

Before coming to RPI, Dr. Smith taught at Mercyhurst University, Canisius College, and the University at Buffalo.  She has taught courses in Biomedical Ethics, Research Ethics, Philosophy of Human Nature and Science, Technology and Human Values.  Teaching has been a passion for her since she received her undergraduate degree in Education from the University of Windsor.  Her main objective as a Philosophy instructor is to develop the critical thinking skills of her students.  Dr. Smith encourages students to critically examine their own beliefs and to attempt to create rational defenses for those beliefs.  Along with the development of critical thinking skills, she focuses upon the development of writing skills and learning the philosophical content of the particular area of philosophy relevant to a course.  A tertiary goal is to make students comfortable within the field of philosophy so that they can competently read and analyze literature within the discipline and see its connection to their daily lives.

Smith was the Director of the Social Science Interdisciplinary Degree Programs at the University at Buffalo.  She currently serves on the advisory board of the University at Buffalo Genomics, Education and the Microbiome (GEM) Community of Excellence. 

Curt Breneman

Dean of the School of Science, Professor and Director, Rensselaer Exploratory Center for Cheminformatics Research (RECCR)
Curt Breneman was born in Santa Monica, California in 1956, and went on to earn a B.S. in Chemistry at UCLA in 1980 followed by a Ph.D. in Chemistry at UC Santa Barbara (with an emphasis on Physical Organic and Computational Chemistry) in 1987. Following two years of post-doctoral research at Yale University, Dr. Breneman joined the faculty of the Department of Chemistry at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and began a program in molecular recognition and computational chemistry based on his concept of "Transferable Atom Equivalents", or TAEs, as building blocks for describing the electronic and reactive character of molecules. Dr. Breneman currently holds the rank of Full Professor in the RPI Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, and is the Director of the NIH RECCR Center. He later served as Head of the Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology and now as Dean of the School of Science. The Breneman research group primarily specializes in the development of new molecular property descriptors and machine learning methods that can be applied to a diverse set of physical and biochemical problems. Of paramount interest are methods that can increase the information content of molecular descriptors, and machine learning techniques that can exploit this data for the creation of fully validated, predictive property models. Current application areas include pharmaceutical ADME prediction, virtual high-throughput screening of drug candidates, protein chromatography modeling (HIC and ion-exchange), as well as polymer property prediction.

Tianyi Chen

Assistant Professor
Tianyi Chen has been with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) as an assistant professor since August 2019. Dr. Chen is the inaugural recipient of IEEE Signal Processing Society Best PhD Dissertation Award in 2020, a recipient of NSF CAREER Award in 2021 and a recipient of Amazon Research Award in 2022. He is also a co-author of the Best Student Paper Award at the NeurIPS Federated Learning Workshop in 2020 and at IEEE ICASSP in 2021. Dr. Chen's current research focuses on theoretical and algorithmic foundations of optimization, machine learning, and statistical signal processing.

Vivek Ghosal

Department Head of Economics and Virginia and Lloyd W. Rittenhouse Professor

Dr. Ghosal is Professor and Department Head of Economics, and Virginia and Lloyd W. Rittenhouse Chaired Professor of Humanities and Social Sciences. He was the Acting Dean, School of Humanities Arts and Social Sciences, from January-July 2023. He is an Affiliated Faculty member at Rensselaer's Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies (CBIS), and at the Institute for Data Exploration and Applications (IDEA).

Professor Ghosal's current research and policy interests include: (1) biopharmaceuticals markets focusing on innovation, pricing and FDA regulations; (2) Antitrust laws and enforcement; (3) big data, artificial intelligence and competition law and economics; (4) firm strategy related to innovation, M&As, and pricing; and (5) firms' decision-making under uncertainty. The courses he currently teaches include: (1) Economics of Biotechnology and Medical Innovations; and (2) Economics of Regulations and Firm Strategy.

Before joining Rensselaer in 2016, he was the Richard and Mary Inman Chaired Professor at the School of Economics at Georgia Institute of Technology. At Georgia Tech., he was the Director of the MS and PhD. programs from 2012-2016. Prior to his position at Georgia Tech., he was a Senior Economist at the Economic Analysis Group, Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice (1998-2001). In this position, he worked on mergers and acquisitions, horizontal and vertical market power, tying agreements, joint ventures, regulatory reform, and innovation and efficiency. Some of the markets he investigated include electricity, nuclear fuel, natural gas, coal, information technology, radio broadcasting, oilfield drilling services, and postal.

Dr. Ghosal is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade (Springer). He is also member of the Editorial Boards of the journals: Business Strategy and the Environment (Wiley); Review of Industrial Organization (Springer); Southern Economic Journal (Wiley); and Business Strategy and Development (Wiley).

Professor Ghosal has published two edited books: The Political Economy of Antitrust (Elsevier, 2007); and Reforming Rules and Regulations: Laws, Institutions and Implementation (MIT Press, 2010). He has published in peer-reviewed journals in Economics, Management, and Law & Economics, including: Review of Economics and Statistics; Journal of Law and Economics; Journal of Industrial Economics; International Journal of Industrial Organization; Research Policy; Small Business Economics; Managerial and Decision Economics; Business Strategy and the Environment; Journal of Competition Law & Economics; Review of Industrial Organization; Review of Law & Economics; Journal of Economics and Business; Illinois Law Review; China Economic Review; and Harvard Public Health Review. His research has been published as book chapters by publishers such as: MIT Press; Stanford University Press; Elsevier Science; Edgar Elgar; Routledge; and Springer.

Dr. Ghosal's international appointments have included Visiting Professor (2010-2018) at the European Business School (Wiesbaden, Germany) where he conducted research and lectured on regulations and business strategy, with emphasis on environmental regulations, sustainability, and innovation in the automobile and other manufacturing industries. He was a Visiting Professor (2010-2016) at the joint Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD, Paris) and Korea Development Institute School of Public Policy and Management (Seoul, South Korea) international program on regulatory reform and competition policy. In this position he provided executive education lectures and workshops to international public policy professionals. On topics related to antitrust, competition law and enforcement, regulations, and mergers and acquisitions, he has delivered executive education lectures in Taipei, Lima, New Delhi, and Tokyo. He has taught Summer graduate school workshops at the University of Amsterdam, Ludwig Maximilians University (Munich), and Central European University (Budapest).

Professor Ghosal's grants, contacts and research have included industries such as: automobiles; high-speed rail; healthcare; transportation; information technology; telecommunications and media; energy and electricity; and paper products. His externally funded research grants have included issues related to: regional economic and business development; infrastructure investments; public-private partnerships; impact of environmental regulations; regulatory assessments; and innovation and efficiency. The organizations he has received funding from include: U.S. Department of Transportation; Georgia Department of Transportation; Ragnar Soderberg's Foundation (Sweden); Woodruff Foundation; Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD, Paris); Center for Paper Business and Industry Studies (Georgia Institute of Technology); and Scripps Foundation.

Professor Ghosal has been a consultant for international organizations, governments, consulting firms and companies on issues related to antitrust, regulatory reform, business and economic modeling of markets, industry studies, and statistical and econometric modeling. He has provided project and expert reports, and testimony.