Three professors joined the Department of Informatics at the Ying Wu College of Computing (YWCC) this Fall.

Check out the Q&A below to learn a little more about Aritra Dasgupta, Margarita Vinnikov and Xinyue Ye, who hail from institutions across the country.

Assistant Professor Aritra Dasgupta

Your background:  I was born and grew up in Kolkata, the cultural capital of India. After receiving my undergraduate degree in Information Technology there, I received my M.S. and Ph.D. in computer science at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC).  

UNCC was a part of the erstwhile Regional Visualization and Analysis Center (RVAC) funded by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). It provided me with a perfect platform to pursue my dissertation research on optimizing visual representations of high-dimensional data, which has been a recurring theme of my subsequent research endeavors as a postdoc at New York University and then as a Senior Research Scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), operated by the Department of Energy (DOE).

Your research: I have developed visualization techniques to help people understand and communicate with data. My past and current projects involve the use of interactive visualization as a transparent medium between computational methods and human decision-making for fostering greater human-machine trust and interpretability of complex phenomena.

At YWCC, I am leading the development of a data visualization education and research program. My work was funded by the Department of Energy’s Lab Directed Research and Development program while I was at PNNL. This enabled me to lead multi-year, multi-institution, interdisciplinary projects involving researchers from diverse backgrounds (e.g., data science, biology, climate science). 

Your publications: I have published in leading visualization journals such as IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics (TVCG) and Computer Graphics Forum (CGF)and have presented at academic conferences such as ACM CHI, IEEE InfoVis and VAST, and industry-focused conferences such as Tapestry.

What inspires you? The idea that data tool-smiths can help architect a more egalitarian and humane society.

The title of your autobiography? An aspiring funambulist.


Assistant Professor Margarita Vinnikov

Your background: I was born in Belarus and lived in Israel and Canada as a child. I completed my Ph.D. at York University in Toronto and worked at the Canadian National Research Council for three years before joining NJIT.

Your research: I have developed gaze-contingent display applications, which are visual applications that change their content based on a user’s gaze in real time. I have also developed software for virtual and augmented reality applications for drivers and pilots. My work has been funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) and the Endeavor Research Fellowship (Australia).

Your publications: I have published in journals such as ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction and the International Journal of Human-Computer Studies and leading conferences such as IEEE Virtual Reality and the ACM Symposium on Eye Tracking Research.

What inspires you? People who devote their life to a dream that eventually comes true.

The title of your autobiography? Lifelong traveler.


Associate Professor Xinyue Ye

Your background: I was born in Zhejiang, China. I earned a Ph.D. in geographic information science from UC Santa Barbara; an M.S. in geographic information systems from Eastern Michigan University; an M.A. in human geography from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a B.A. in urban planning from Zhejiang University, China. Prior to joining NJIT, I was an assistant professor at the School of Earth, Environment, and Society & Center for Regional Development at Bowling Green State University and an associate professor in the Department of Geography and School of Digital Sciences at Kent State University.

Your research: I have developed open source software packages integrating social science and computational science with information visualization, urban informatics and spatial social network analysis, which is the mapping of relationships among individuals in networks, integrated with spatial and environmental factors. I model the space-time perspective of socio-economic inequality and human dynamics applied to various domains, such as economic development, disaster response, transportation and land use, public health and urban crime. My work has been funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the Department of Commerce (DOC) and the Department of Energy (DOE).

Your publications: I have published more than 150 papers in top spatial computing and data science journals such as Cartography and Geographic Information Science, Computers & Geosciences, Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, Environment and Planning B, Environmental Modelling & Software, IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems, IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, International Journal of Digital Earth, International Journal of Geographical Information Science, Journal of Spatial Science, Nature: Scientific Data, Remote Sensing, Spatial Statistics and Transactions in GIS.

What inspires you? Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

The title of your autobiography? Leaf, Faith, and Mountain.