HDSI Strengthens Institute Resources in Appointing First Postdoctoral Scholars

New HDSI Postdocs Stephanie Martin and Cong Peng

Two outstanding scholars have been awarded the first-ever Postdoctoral Fellowships from the Halıcıoğlu Data Science Institute (HDSI), an important next step in expanding resources of the year-old Institute.

The inaugural awardees of postdoc fellowships add academic strength to HDSI in its mission to serve as the data science hub for university students, faculty and industry partners. Fellows are set to begin in the summer and fall, for two-year appointments. The new HDSI Fellows are:

  • Stéphanie Martin, a current postdoctoral fellow at University of Geneva in Switzerland, with experience in machine learning for decoding various higher-order cognitive functions. Martin’s work includes developing novel cognitive neuroprosthetics, the devices that restore or aid nervous system functions lost to illness or injury, such as cochlear implants for hearing loss. Her HDSI mentors will be professors Brad Voytek and Virginia de Sa, both faculty members in the Department of Cognitive Science and Founding HDSI Faculty members. Martin has written and been interviewed extensively in the media on neuroscience in such publications as Science, Scientific American and New Scientist. More on Martin:
  • Cong Peng, who is currently completing his Ph.D. at London School of Economics specializing in economic geography. Peng’s research focuses on urban economics, with emphasis on the relationships between transportation and traffic congestion on air pollution and e-commerce. His HDSI mentor will be Professor Gordon Hanson of the School of Global Policy & Strategy and a Founding HDSI Faculty member. Peng’s data-science technology expertise and teaching experience includes GIS geographical information systems, quantitative analysis and spatial economic analysis. More on Peng:
    The independent Halıcıoğlu Data Science Institute is funding the postdoctoral scholars whose work will help advance the cross-disciplinary work of HDSI, its educational programs, and research strength of its more than 200 affiliated faculty members. The new postdocs were chosen from a highly competitive pool of applicants by the Postdoctoral Selection Committee composed of HDSI Founding Faculty members chaired by Ruth Williams, Distinguished Professor of Mathematics.All HDSI postdocs will be centered at the Institute and participate in Institute activities such as research seminars and lectures featuring leaders in their fields, and conducting research with students, faculty and industry partners.

HDSI Appoints Postdoctoral Fellow Specializing in Urban Economics

Cong Peng

HDSI Appoints Postdoctoral Fellow Specializing in Urban Economics

Cong Peng
Cong Peng, Postdoctoral Fellow
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HDSI continues to fulfill its commitment to serve as the data science hub to UC San Diego by appointing Cong Peng in its first cohort of Postdoctoral Fellows. Peng is currently completing his Ph.D. at London School of Economics in economic geography, and is set to start his two-year appointment at UC San Diego in October.

Peng’s research focuses on urban economics, with study on the relationships between transportation and traffic congestion on air pollution and e-commerce. His HDSI Mentor will be Professor Gordon Hanson of the School of Global Policy & Strategy and a member of the HDSI Faculty Council. As an HDSI Postdoctoral Fellow, Peng and the other Fellows will have the freedom of research collaboration with faculty and students at the university, and to participate in HDSI activities such as seminars, industry partnerships and cross-disciplinary projects.

Peng brings a diverse international educational background to the Institute gained from holding research positions in economics and law in the U.S., United Kingdom and China. He served as a Fox International Fellow at Yale University, and earned his master’s degree in economics from Fudan University, China. After earning his bachelor’s degree in economics from China’s Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, he was a visiting student at Kanazawa University in Japan. He speaks four languages.

His research interests include digital economies and rapid transit systems. His work has explored the economic impact of online retailing, and the relationship between e-commerce, traffic congestion and air quality. His research has addressed questions such as: Can e-commerce reduce traffic congestion? What is the impact of subways on employment and pollution? What is the socioeconomic impact of road development in Zambia? His data-science technology expertise and teaching experience includes GIS geographical information systems, quantitative analysis and spatial economic analysis.

Neuroscience Specialist Joins HDSI in First Postdoctoral Fellowship Cohort

Stephanie Martin

Neuroscience Specialist Joins HDSI in First Postdoctoral Fellowship Cohort

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In expanding its resources for data science access to the campus community, HDSI has appointed Stéphanie Martin in its first cohort of Postdoctoral Fellows. Martin is currently serving as a postdoctoral fellow at University of Geneva in Switzerland, and is set to start her two-year appointment at UC San Diego this summer.

Martin brings experience in machine learning for decoding various higher-order cognitive functions. Her background includes developing novel cognitive neuroprosthetics, the devices that restore or aid nervous system functions lost to illness or injury, such as cochlear implants for hearing loss. Her HDSI mentors will be Brad Voytek and Virginia de Sa, both faculty members in the Department of Cognitive Science. As an HDSI Postdoctoral Fellow, she and the other Fellows will have the opportunity for research collaboration with a variety of faculty and students at the university, and to participate in HDSI activities such as seminars, industry partnerships and cross-disciplinary projects.

Martin has written and been interviewed extensively in the media on neuroscience in such publications as Science, Scientific American and New Scientist. Her outreach work includes co-founding and serving as president of an organization running hacking contests aimed at designing solutions to improve daily living for the disabled.

Her Ph.D. thesis research was on neural engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technologies in Lausanne where she earned her doctorate; she performed postdoctoral work at the Auditory Language Lab at the University of Geneva, investigating spike-field interactions during sensory and decisional processing in the human cortex, the work contributed to the understanding of activity during various cognitive functions such as speech and predictive coding. She performed master’s work at UC Berkeley in neuroscience. Martin earned her bachelor of science degree in Life Sciences & Technology at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technologies, and a master’s of science degree in bioengineering from the same institution, specializing in neuroscience and biomedical technologies.

Her data-science related abilities include a knowledge of engineering signal processing, data analysis, advanced statistics, pattern classification, machine learning, data mining, speech recognition, electronics, brain-computer interface, connectivity analysis, anatomy and neurobiology of language. She speaks four languages, and earned multiple track and field medals while representing Switzerland.

Stephanie Martin
Stéphanie Martin, Postdoctoral Fellow