New Faculty Winter 2021

Photo of Ery Arias-Castro
Ery Arias-Castro

Ery Arias-Castro received his Ph.D. in Statistics from Stanford University in 2004. He then took a postdoctoral position at the Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics (IPAM), where he participated in the program on Multiscale Geometry and Analysis in High Dimensions. After that, he took a postdoctoral position at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI), where he participated in the program on  Mathematical, Computational and Statistical Aspects of Image Analysis. He joined the faculty in the mathematics department at UCSD in 2005.  His research interests are in high-dimensional statistics, machine learning, spatial statistics, image processing, and applied probability.

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Shannon Ellis
Assistant Teaching Professor

Shannon Ellis is an Assistant Teaching Professor in Cognitive Science and HDSI at UC San Diego. She obtained her Ph.D. in Human Genetics from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Her primary focus at UC San Diego is to foster and promote data science education. To this end, she teaches undergraduate programming and data science courses and pursues projects that help provide access and educational materials to individuals who have historically lacked access to an education in data science.

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Mike Holst

Holst is a leader in the Mathematical and Computational Physics Research Group, the Center for Computational Mathematics, and the Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences. His interdisciplinary work at the university reaches into the fields of biochemistry and biophysics, computational fluid dynamics, computer graphics, materials science, and numerical algorithms relativity. A century after Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves, he has been part of a $600 million National Science Foundation collaboration working on detecting them.

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Rob Knight

Rob Knight is the founding Director of the Center for Microbiome Innovation and Professor of Pediatrics, Bioengineering, and Computer Science & Engineering at UC San Diego. He was honored with the 2019 NIH Director’s Pioneer Award for his microbiome research and received the 2017 Massry Prize, often considered a predictor of the Nobel. His work has linked microbes to a range of health conditions including obesity and inflammatory bowel disease, has enhanced our understanding of microbes in environments ranging from the oceans to the tundra, and made high-throughput sequencing techniques accessible to thousands of researchers around the world. Dr. Knight can be followed on Twitter (@knightlabnews) or on his web site

Photo of Arya Mazumdar
Arya Mazumdar
Associate Professor

Arya Mazumdar obtained his Ph.D. degree from University of Maryland, College Park (2011) specializing in information theory. Subsequently Arya was a postdoctoral scholar at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2011-2012), an assistant professor in University of Minnesota (2013-2015), and an assistant followed by associate professor in University of Massachusetts Amherst (2015-2021). Arya is a recipient of multiple awards, including a Distinguished Dissertation Award for his Ph.D. thesis (2011), the NSF CAREER award (2015), an EURASIP JSAP Best Paper Award (2020), and the IEEE ISIT Jack K. Wolf Student Paper Award (2010). He is currently serving as an Associate Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Information Theory and as an Area editor for Now Publishers Foundation and Trends in Communication and Information Theory series. Arya’s research interests include coding theory (error-correcting codes and related combinatorics), information theory, statistical learning and distributed optimization.


Photo of Eran Mukamel
Eran Mukamel
Assistant Professor

Mukamel is a computational neuroscientist focusing on modeling and analysis of large-scale data sets to understand complex biological networks of the brain. He uses large-scale genomic and epigenomic datasets to study how brain cells develop, and adapt throughout the lifespan.

He earned his physics Ph.D. from Stanford University, and his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physics and mathematics from Harvard University, where he followed with a postdoctoral fellowship in theoretical neuroscience.

Photo of Lucila Ohno-Machado
Lucila Ohno-Machado

Ohno-Machado, MD, PhD, focuses on making health data more accessible and usable, so patients and clinicians can make better informed, evidenced-based health decisions together. She is a founding faculty member of HDSI. She was the founding chair UC-wide initiative that allows researchers to search more than 15 million de-identified patient records from the five largest UC health systems with one query.

Photo of Shankar Subramaniam
Shankar Subramaniam

Subramaniam is the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Endowed Chair in Bioengineering and Systems Biology, and a Distinguished Scientist at the San Diego Supercomputer Center. He has served on advisory boards for several biotech and bioinformatics companies, universities, international governmental organizations, and the NIH.

Photo of George Sugihara
George Sugihara

Sugihara is a theoretical ecologist who has performed foundational work in the data analysis of complex systems from fisheries to medicine to finance. He gained renown for developing, with Lord Robert May, methods for forecasting chaotic systems, providing the first example of chaos in nature with the diatom populations at Scripps Pier. He has worked with the major institutions on questions of systemic risk and on detecting early warning signs of critical transitions, including the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and The Bank of England. He also worked with fisheries to develop a currently enacted market-based incentive plan for reducing wasteful bycatch and to improve forecasting of wild fish stocks. His current interest in neurobiology and genomics includes collaborations with the Salk Institute for Biological Studies to apply EDM to neurobiology and to problems in gene expression in cancer.

Photo of Frank Wuerthwein
Frank Wuerthwein

Wuerthwein is the Distributed High-Throughput Computing Lead at San Diego Supercomputer Center and executive director of the Open Science Grid (OSG), a national cyberinfrastructure to advance the sharing of resources, software and knowledge. His research focuses on distributed high-throughput computing with large data volumes. His research in experimental particle physics research includes searching for new phenomena at the high-energy frontier with the CMS detector (Compact Muon Solenoid) at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Geneva. He worked on the team that discovered the Higgs Boson, popularly known as the God particle.

Photo of Ronghui (Lily) Xu
Ronghui (Lily) Xu

Xu earned her Ph.D. in Mathematics and a Master’s in Applied Mathematics from UC San Diego, and her Bachelor’s in Math from Nankai University, China.

After a year as Postgraduate Researcher at UC San Diego, she took up Assistant Professorship in Biostatistics at Harvard School of Public Health and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, MA. She returned to UC San Diego in 2004 with a joint appointment from the main campus (Mathematics) and health sciences (Biostatistics and Bioinformatics). Among her academic honors are as a Fellow of the American Statistical Association (ASA), and a recipient of the ASA’s David P. Byar Young Investigator Award. Her current research interests include causal inference, survival analysis, and machine learning methods as applied to biomedicine.


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Angela Yu
Associate Professor
Since 2008, Dr. Yu has directed the Computational Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory at UCSD, which studies the computational problems faced by intelligent agents, as well as their algorithmic solutions in natural and artificial intelligence systems. Previously, Dr. Yu studied at MIT (B.S. in Brain & Cognitive Sciences, Mathematics, Computer Science), UCL Gatsby Unit (PhD in Computational Neuroscience), and received postdoctoral training at Princeton University (Center for the Brain, Mind, and Behavior). Currently, Dr. Yu is working on learning and decision-making under uncertainty, the contribution of volitional movement to representation learning, as well as social cognition.
Photo of Rose Yu
Rose Yu
Assistant Professor Computer Science and Engineering

Dr. Rose Yu is an Assistant Professor at the UC San Diego, Department of Computer Science and Engineering. She earned her Ph.D. in Computer Sciences at the University of Southern California in 2017. She was subsequently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the California Institute of Technology. She was an assistant professor at Northeastern University prior to her appointment at UC San Diego.

Her research focuses on advancing machine learning techniques for large-scale spatiotemporal data analysis, with applications to sustainability, health, and physical sciences. A particular emphasis of her research is on physics-guided AI which aims to integrate first-principles with data-driven models. Among her awards, she has won Google Faculty Research Award, Adobe Data Science Research Award, NSF CRII Award, Best Dissertation Award in USC, and was nominated as one of the ’MIT Rising Stars in EECS’.