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Center of Excellence

Researchers and Scholars

The Center of Excellence in Data Science (CoE) supports faculty research aligned with the Goergen Institute for Data Science research domains, particularly collaborative public-private research partnerships spanning several areas, such as:

  • Developing healthcare breakthroughs
  • Improving our knowledge of how the brain works
  • Creating tools and systems to efficiently use and extract meaning from data

The CoE is working to build strategic alliances and business partnerships among the academic, government, and business communities, leveraging University of Rochester expertise.

Interested in partnering with the CoE? Contact Walt Johnson at

Current CoE Distinguished Researchers and Scholars

Past CoE distinguished researchers and scholars can be viewed here.

Researcher's headshot.

Aaron Bauer

Aaron Bauer is senior optical research engineer in the Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester.  Aaron’s research activities focus of freeform optics and wearable devices. His recent research interests include ray-based optical design tool for freeform optics, design of a freeform electronic viewfinder coupled to aberration fields of freeform optics, visual space assessment of two all-reflective, freeform, optical see-through head-worn displays, and computational optical distortion correction using a radial basis function-based mapping method.

Researcher's headshot.

Andrew Boslett

Andrew Boslett is a senior instructor in the University of Rochester Medical Center’s department of public health sciences and also serves as economist for the Rochester Data Science Consortium. In his academic research, he has generally focused on the economic, environmental, and public health impacts of the recent oil and gas boom in the United States. In his role at the consortium, he provides data science and economic analytics capabilities to commercial and industrial clients.

Researcher's headshot.

Steven Feldon

Steven Feldon is professor and chair of ophthalmology, of visual sciences and director of the Flaum Eye Institute at the University of Rochester. Steve received his MD from Albert Einstein College of Medicine and his MBA from University of Southern California. Steve’s research interests pertain to neuro-ophthalmology and oculofacial plastics and orbital surgery. A current research focus that involves a double-masked, randomized, multi-site clinical trial is on the efficacy of visual training for recovering sight in stroke patients.

Researcher's headshot.

John Handley

John Handley is a research scientist in the Rochester Data Science Consortium at the University of Rochester.  John’s research focuses on applying advanced statistical and data analytic methods in diverse fields such as image processing, psychometrics, urban analytics and mobility, service pricing and contracts, and quantitative paleoecology. In his role at the Rochester Data Science Consortium, he collaborates with industrial and academic scientists and engineers to drive economic impact. Prior to joining University of Rochester, John was a principal scientist at Xerox, Xerox PARC and Conduent, Inc. where he led a variety of projects in transportation, device management, and service contract analytics.

Researcher's headshot.

Wendi Heinzelman

Wendi Heinzelman is professor of electrical and computer engineering, of computer science and dean of Hajim School of Engineering & Applied Sciences at the University of Rochester. Wendi’s research interests include multimedia communication, wireless sensor networks, RFID systems, and heterogeneous networking.  Her research group is currently pursuing the development of technologies and approaches for achieving robust data connections in heterogeneous network platforms using a mixture of ad-hoc and hierarchical networks. This technology advancement is critical for next-generation military networks.

Researcher's headshot.

James McGrath

James McGrath is professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Rochester. Jim was a Distinguished Post-doctoral Fellow in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University and served as the first director of the university’s BME graduate program.  He is currently the Associate Director of URNano - the University’s core facility for nano/micro fabrication and metrology. Jim’s recent research interests include interaction of nanoparticles with cells and protein mixtures, ultrathin silicon-based nanomembranes for filtration of molecules, nanoparticles, and  biological co-cultures. Jim is also a co-founder and past president of SiMPore Inc. a local start-up company founded to commercially manufacture nanomembranes.

Researcher's headshot.

Jannick Rolland

Jannick Rolland is the Brian J. Thompson professor of optical engineering, professor of optics, of biomedical engineering, and in the center for visual science at the University of Rochester. Jannick also directs the NSF I/UCRC Center for Freeform Optics (CeFO) and the R.E. Hopkins Center for Optical Design and Engineering. Jannick is co-founder and CTO of local UR spin-off LighTopTech Corporation. In 2014, Jannick received the  OSA David Richardson Medal for "visionary contributions and leadership in optical design and engineering, enabling noninvasive, optical biopsy". Jannick’s recent research interests focus on Gabor-domain optical coherence microscopy for detection of defects in manufacturing as well as optical coherence tomography for quantification of contact lens properties.

Researcher's headshot.

Cristiano Tapparello

Cristiano Tapparello is a research associate in electrical and computer engineering at the University of Rochester.  Cristiano’s is interested in wireless communication and networking, mobile cloud computing, and  designing novel techniques to facilitate the development and diffusion of smart and connected healthcare solutions.

Researcher's headshot.

Wencheng Wu

Wencheng Wu is a research scientist in the Rochester Data Science Consortium at the  University of Rochester. Wen has expertise in video processing, computer vision, machine learning, image processing (specialized in defect detection), simulation/modeling, and psychophysical assessment.  His current research interests include applying and advancing computer vision and machine learning for various applications such as transportation and healthcare. Prior to joining the consortium team, Wen worked at Xerox/PARC/Conduent where he worked on image quality metric developments, printer and sensor characterizations, image simulation and color modeling, color consistency measurement, image processing algorithms for defect detection, video processing and analytics for transportation and retail domains.

Researcher's headshot.

Beilei Xu

Beilei Xu is a research Scientist in the Rochester Data Science Consortium at the University of Rochester.  Beilei interests include signal/image/video analytics, machine learning and statistical modeling. Prior to joining University of Rochester, Beilei was a senior research scientist at PARC, Conduent and Xerox, where she contributed and led a variety of projects ranging from data analytic research in managed print services, subsystem modeling of xerographic marking process, image rendering and image-based defect detection, to computer vision and machine learning research in healthcare and transportation.

Researcher's headshot.

Geunyoung Yoon

Geunyoung Yoon is professor of ophthalmology, of biomedical engineering, of Optics, and in the center for visual science at the University of Rochester.  Geunyoung’s research focuses on adaptive optics for correcting highly aberrated eyes, intraocular imaging, and presbyopic correction (multifocal and accommodative intraocular lenses).

CoE Scholars

CoE Scholars are students and fellows working with CoE Distinguished Researchers and other faculty on a broad range of data science-related projects. Current CoE Scholars include:

Graduate Students and Fellows

Nadir Adam, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Daniel Ahmad, Biomedical Engineering
Matthew Cavanaugh, Neuroscience
Utku Demir, Electrical and Computer Engineering
JT Pirog, Flaum Eye Institute
Mengchen Xu, Mechanical Engineering
Changsik Yoon, Institute of Optics

Undergraduate Students

Robert Breidenstein, Biomedical Engineering
Aaron Faulkenberry, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Aleena Jamal, Biomedical Engineering
George Klimiasshvili, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Eric Patak, Biomedical Engineering
Austin Peng, Computer Science
Yui Qi, Biomedical Engineering
Javon Walker, Electrical and Computer Engineering