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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.

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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.

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Edgar A. Bernal

Edgar A. Bernal is a Senior Research Scientist with the Rochester Data Science Consortium (RDSC) and RDSC’s Associate Director. His research focuses on achieving high-level image and video abstraction and understanding through statistical learning. His current research interests include image and video analytics, computer vision, image- and video-based action and activity recognition, machine and deep learning, and multimodal fusion. As RDSC’s Associate Director, Edgar’s responsibilities include collaborating with faculty, students, and regional industry partners to prioritize projects by impact and viability, both technical and financial.

Prior to joining University of Rochester, Edgar was a Principal Scientist at the United Technologies Research Center (UTRC) in East Hartford, CT (from 2016 to 2018), and a Senior Research Scientist at the Palo Alto Research Center, A Xerox Company, in Webster, NY (from 2014 and 2016).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Yufeng Huang

Yufeng Huang is an assistant professor of marketing at the Simon Business School. Yufeng’s research focuses on the intersection of Quantitative Marketing and Empirical Industrial Organization. His current research projects explore topics such as the evolution of consumer expertise, managerial quality and firm learning, the impact of product design on competition, and the emergence and impact of the e-commerce.

Zeljko Ignjatovic

Zeljko Ignjatovic

Zeljko Ignjatovic received the PhD in ECE from the University of Rochester in 2004. He is currently an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering. He has specialized in the design and analysis of analog VLSI integrated circuits. His research spans high dynamic-range Sigma-delta A/D converters, ultra-low power sensor interface circuits, fully-digital image sensors based on Sigma-delta pixel level A/D conversion, focal plane compression in imaging applications, and data hiding in audio signals. He has developed several architectures that improve Sigma-delta A/D conversion, architectures by reducing their offset, 1/f noise, and harmonic distortions. He has also developed a variety of image sensors based on Sigma-delta conversion at the pixel site. These image sensor architectures have shown 100-fold increase in their linear dynamic range with 50-fold reduction in power consumption with respect to existing CMOS image sensors. Also, he has developed and been investigating focal plane compression techniques where majority of multiplication computations required by the compression are rendered unnecessary.

Mitchell Lovett

Mitchell J. Lovett

Mitchell Lovett is an associate professor of marketing at the Simon Business School. He joined the University of Rochester in 2008 after completing his PhD at Duke University, where he was the Sheth Doctoral Consortium Fellow.

Lovett’s research interests include quantitative marketing, targeted advertising, advertising content and schedule choices, online and offline word-of-mouth, branding, social media listening, and consumer learning.

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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.

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Trevor Richardson

Trevor Richardson is a Data Scientist with the Rochester Data Science Consortium at the University of Rochester. Trevor’s research interests include machine learning, sequential data modeling, and predictive modeling using supervised, semi-supervised and unsupervised methods in the areas of computer vision, cognitive and brain science, robotics and automation.

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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.

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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.

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Chenliang Xu

Chenliang Xu is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Rochester. Chenliang’s research interests range from solving core problems in computer vision to pushing the limits of their understanding in broader contexts of AI, including multisensory perception, cognitive robotics, and data science.

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).

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Yue Zhao

Yue Zhao is a Data Scientist with the Rochester Data Science Consortium. His research focuses on clinical diagnosis search engines and publication database analytics. His ongoing research interests include natural language processing and information retrieval.

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, Post Docs, and Fellows

Nadir Adam, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Daniel Ahmad, Biomedical Engineering
Matthew Cavanaugh, Neuroscience
Utku Demir, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Gary Ge, Institute of Optics
Jovan Mitrovic, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Molly McCloskey, Biomedical Engineering
Olga Pikul, Simon School of Business
JT Pirog, Flaum Eye Institute
Yifei Wu, Ophthalmology
Changsik Yoon, Institute of Optics
Shengyu Zhu, Simon School of Business

Undergraduate Students

Tresa Elias, Biomedical Engineering
Michael Pirrall, Arts, Sciences, and Engineering