Endowed Chair Virginia de Sa

The Halıcıoğlu Data Science Institute (HDSI) at UC San Diego is proud to introduce Professor Virginia de Sa as its inaugural Chancellor’s Endowed Chair, the first of 10 appointees being honored for outstanding research scholarship and vital contributions to HDSI and the larger data science community.


de Sa joined UC San Diego in 2001,  after completing her Ph.D. at the University of Rochester, followed by postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Toronto and UC San Francisco. Currently, she serves as HDSI’s Associate Director and as faculty in the Department of Cognitive Science, where she heads a research group dedicated to understanding perception and learning, and creating effective brain-computer interfaces.


de Sa’s highly interdisciplinary research draws from a combination of machine learning, visual perception and computational neuroscience to achieve its goals. The path to better interfaces, or “reading the human mind” requires extensive monitoring and analysis of sensory data, gathered through EEG and other sensors, and the development of computational methods for determination of novel features and signatures of human activities and thoughts. To this end, the de Sa Lab develops methods and tools to advance our understanding of the neural basis for human perception and learning.


de Sa has also contributed to prominent, large-scale research consortiums such as the Temporal Dynamics of Learning Center, a National Science Foundation (NSF) Science of Learning Center that explores how time and timing affect learning across multiple scales, brain systems and social systems. She also served as co-PI of an NSF Training Grant (IGERT) on Vision and Learning in Humans and Machines, developing an interdisciplinary curriculum for up-and-coming researchers.


For more on de Sa’s research, visit her lab website at https://cogsci.ucsd.edu/~desa/index.html


Halıcıoğlu Data Science Institute Chancellor’s Endowed Chairs

In recognition and appreciation of the Halıcıoğlu Family Foundation’s transformational gift in 2018, UC San Diego has established 10 HDSI Chancellor’s Endowed Chairs. In the coming months and years, we will announce the appointments of additional chair-holders. More details to follow.