Fellows of the Hariri Institute

Faculty Fellows

John Byers is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Boston University. He is also Chief Scientist and a member of the Board of Directors at Cogo Labs. A member of the BU faculty since 1999, he received the ACM SIGCOMM Test of Time Award in 2009 for his work on scalable loss-resilient multicast, the IEEE ICDE Best Paper Award in 2004 for his work on sensor databases, and a National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2001. Dr. Byers received his BA in Computer Science, Economics, and Mathematics at Cornell University (1991), and his Ph.D. in Computer Science at the University of California at Berkeley (1997). His main research interests are in designing algorithms, conducting measurements and building systems in networking, electronic commerce, and large-scale data management.

Tom Kepler, a Professor of Microbiology at the Boston University School of Medicine, is a Faculty Fellow of the Institute. Dr. Kepler’s laboratory develops computational tools and applies them in the context of systems-level experimentation to address outstanding questions in immunology and vaccine development. Much of their work is centered on antibodies and the cells (B cells) that produce them. Professor Kepler, in partnership with colleagues at Duke and Harvard Universities, has developed a new approach to vaccination that uses computational methods to select combinations of immunogens to use in vaccines that drive affinity maturation in specific directions. These methods are being used to develop vaccines against HIV, influenza, and anthrax. Dr. Kepler received his Ph.D. from Brandeis University and his B.A. from the University of Massachusetts Medical Center.

Orran Krieger is a Research Professor in Computer Science, and a Faculty Fellow of the Institute, which he joined in the Fall of 2011.  Prior to joining BU, Dr. Krieger started and was an architect of vCloud Director; VMware’s IaaS cloud computing product. Prior to VMware, Dr. Krieger led and managed the Advanced Operating System Research Group at IBM T.J. Watson Research Center.  He received a BASc from the University of Ottawa in 1985, a MASc from the University of Toronto in 1989, and a PhD from the University of Toronto in 1994, all in Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Maggie Mulvihill, co-director and senior investigative producer of the New England Center for Investigate Reporting, was appointed as a Faculty Fellow of the Institute in Summer 2013. Mulvihill is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years’ experience in print and broadcast reporting in New England, specializing in investigative journalism. A former media lawyer, Mulvihill serves on the Steering Committee of the Reporter’s Committee for Freedom of the Press in Washington D.C. She was a 2004-2005 fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University, focusing on government secrecy and its implications for news organizations. Mulvihill is active in freedom of information and open government issues and serves on the board of directors of the New England First Amendment Coalition. Mulvihill has taught journalism at the Harvard University Summer School and Emerson College and is a clinical professor of Journalism at Boston University.

Junior Faculty Fellows

Taylor Boas was selected as an Institute Junior Fellow in Fall 2013. He is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at BU, which he joined after receiving his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 2009. His research examines various aspects of electoral politics in Latin America, including campaigns, political communication, voting behavior, and religion and politics, and involves a variety of methods, such as online survey experiments and the statistical analysis of electoral data. Professor Boas has played a lead role in developing interdepartmental programs for training social science graduate students in quantitative methods. Prior to starting at BU, he was a Visiting Fellow at the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, University of Notre Dame.

Francesco Decarolis was selected as an Institute Junior Fellow in Fall 2013. He is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at Boston University, which he joined in 2012. After receiving his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago, he spent three years as assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin Madison. His research focuses on the use of empirical methods to analyze firms behavior in auctions and procurement systems.

Pankaj Mehta was selected as an Institute Junior Fellow in Fall 2013. He is an Assistant Professor in the Physics Department at BU, is a theoretical physicist interested in problems at the interface of physics and biology. He holds a BS in Mathematics from Caltech and a Ph.D. in Physics from Rutgers University. Before joining BU, he was a postdoctoral fellow with Ned Wingreen in the Biophysics Theory Group at Princeton University. His research aims to provide an understanding of how complex behaviors observed within single cells and cellular populations arise from the interaction of many individual molecular elements and how these interactions allow cells to perform sophisticated computations in response to environmental cues.

Konstantinos Spiliopoulos was selected as an Institute Junior Fellow in Fall 2013. He is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at BU, which he joined in 2012. After receiving his Ph.D. at the University of Maryland at College Park, he was a Prager Assistant Professor at Brown University. His current research work focuses in two main areas: Monte Carlo methods, rare event simulation and mathematical analysis of multi-scale systems and equilibrium problems, and development of mathematical and computational tools for the quantification of systemic risk in large financial networks.

Dylan Walker was selected as an Institute Junior Fellow in Fall 2013. He is an Assistant Professor of Information Systems at Boston University School of Management, which he joined in 2012.  He received his Ph.D. in Physics from SUNY Stony Brook in 2008, followed by a postdoctoral position at New York University’s Stern School of Business.  His research applies empirical techniques to large-scale social networks and networked systems in order to understand the role of online interactions in the diffusion of information, behaviors and dynamic processes. His work fuses in-the-wild networked randomized trials with large-scale data analysis to inform new policies and incentive structures that seek to promote or discourage behavioral and economic outcomes at the individual, community, and population level.

Georgios Zervas was selected as an Institute Junior Fellow in Fall 2013. He is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at Boston University School of Management. Previously, he was a Simons Postdoctoral Fellow at Yale University and an Affiliate at the Center for Research on Computation and Society (CRCS) at Harvard University. He received his PhD in Computer Science from Boston University under the supervision of John Byers and Michael Mitzenmacher (from Harvard). He is broadly interested in problems lying in the intersection of marketing, computer science, and economics, and a lot of his work has focused on large scale empirical studies of internet markets, including online advertising, crowd-sourced reviews, and daily deals.

Jason Bohland was selected as an Institute Junior Fellow in Fall 2012. He is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Health Sciences and Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences in the College of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences, joined the BU faculty in 2009. His research focuses on understanding the circuits in the brain, using a variety of methods to gather large-scale data about signaling among neurons in both mouse and human brains. He also serves as the Director of the Quantitative Neuroscience Laboratory. Prof. Bohland received his Ph.D. at Boston University specializing in cognitive and neural systems.

Luis Carvalho was selected as an Institute Junior Fellow in Fall 2012. He joined BU’s Department of Mathematics and Statistics after receiving his Ph.D. from Brown University in 2008. He began his education in Civil Engineering, with a focus on transportation engineering. As he learned more about operations research, he became more interested in the theory, leading to his work in statistical applications. His work has found applications in diverse areas, including unsupervised land cover classification from satellite images, assessing interaction among genes in genome-wide association studies, and identifying communities in social networks. Prof. Carvalho specializes in Bayesian statistics, computational biology, and statistical inference.

Dino Christenson was selected as an Institute Junior Fellow in Fall 2012.. He is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science, received his Ph.D. from Ohio State University in 2010, and came to the BU faculty later that year. He studies American political behavior with a focus on the context in which individuals and organizations seek out, receive and process political information. His recent work concerns campaign dynamics in the early stages of presidential primary elections and interest group networks. Prof. Christenson also serves as the Director of the Honors and BA/MA programs for his department and is the co-Organizer of the Research in American and Comparative Politics Workshop.

Douglas Densmore was selected as an Institute Junior Fellow in Fall 2012. He is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computing Engineering. He was awarded his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 2007. Originally interested in programming video games, Prof. Densmore discovered an interest in microprocessor design, leading to his expertise in computer-aided design (CAD) tools. A postdoctoral fellowship enabled him to start applying this expertise to the design of CAD tools for synthetic biology, opening up an exciting new area in life sciences. In addition to working in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Densmore also serves as Affiliated Investigator for the Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center.

Sharon Goldberg was selected as an Institute Junior Fellow in Fall 2012. She joined BU’s Department of Computer Science in 2010. Her research focuses on the security and privacy of computer networks, by combining formal techniques from cryptography and game theory with empirical network data and large-scale simulations. She has served on working groups of the advisory council to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on the security and reliability of telecommunications systems. Prof. Goldberg received her Ph.D. from Princeton University in July of 2009. Before coming to BU, she worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Microsoft Research, New England.

Nachiketa Sahoo was selected as an Institute Junior Fellow in Fall 2012. He joined the Information Systems Department in the School of Management in July of 2011. His research includes applying machine learning techniques to problems in social science. For example, how should recommendation systems (such as for books or movies) handle changing preferences among the customers? In another arena, how can publications, blog posts, and comments be used to identify individuals with particular areas of expertise? Before working at Boston University, Prof. Sahoo earned his Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College.

Visiting Fellows

Peter Chin joined the Institute as a visiting Fellow in September of 2013. He is Chief Scientist with the Decision Systems Group at the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, where he conducts research in the areas of compressive sensing, data fusion, extremal graph theory, game theory, multiple hypothesis tracking, quantum-game inspired cyber-security, sensor resource management, and cognitive radio with grants from ONR, AFOSR, OSD and DARPA. Prior to joining the Institute, Dr. Chin held visiting fellow appointments at the London Institute of Mathematical Sciences and as a research professor in the ECE Department at Johns Hopkins University, where he led or co-led sponsored research projects at these institutions. Dr. Chin obtained his BS and MS from Duke University and his PhD in Mathematics from MIT.

Mark Stuart Day joined the Institute as a visiting Fellow in Spring of 2012. As Chief Scientist at Riverbed, he has led the company’s competitive analysis and contributed to its technical strategy since 2004, as the company has grown from a 40-person startup to a public company with more than 2,500 employees. Before Riverbed, he was technical lead for product management in the content networking business unit of Cisco Systems. He joined Cisco with the acquisition of SightPath, a Boston-area startup. Before that, he was at Lotus, where his work contributed to the creation of Lotus Sametime.  Dr. Day has chaired Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) working groups on Instant Messaging and Presence Protocol (IMPP) and Content Internetworking (CDI). He holds more than thirty patents relating to presence, streaming media, content networking, mobile communications, security, and telephony. Dr. Day’s other notable work includes contributions to the programming languages Argus and Theta, and to the distributed object database Thor. He has also served as an adjunct professor at Harvard University. He received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT in 1995.

Rodrigo Fonseca joined the Institute as a visiting Fellow in September of 2013. He is an assistant professor at Brown University’s Computer Science Department. He holds a PhD from UC Berkeley, and prior to Brown was a visiting researcher at Yahoo! Research. He is broadly interested in networking, distributed systems, and operating systems.  His research involves seeking better ways to build, operate, and diagnose distributed systems, including large-scale internet systems, cloud computing, and mobile computing. He is currently working on dynamic tracing infrastructures for these systems, on the interaction of end-systems and the network, and on better ways to manage energy usage in mobile devices.

Gabriel Kotliar, a Distinguished Visiting Fellow of the Institute, is the Board of Governors Professor in the Physics Department at Rutgers University. He is well known for his contributions to the theory of strongly correlated and disordered electron systems. Dr. Kotliar is a Fellow of the American Physical Society since 2001 and has coauthored over two hundred publications in refereed Journals. His current research interests include the theory of the Mott transition, superconductivity in strongly correlated electron systems, the electronic structure of transition metal oxides, lanthanides and actinides, and the development of first principles approaches for predicting physical properties of materials.

Mario Meireles Teixeira, joined the Institute as a Visiting Fellow in March 2014.  He is an Associate Professor at UFMA, Brazil and holds a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil.  His broad areas of interest are distributed systems, web services and peer-to-peer networks. His current research involves delivering multimedia over peer-to-peer networks based on mobile devices and also the creation of authoring tools for end-user development of multimedia objects for educational purposes. His work at the Hariri Institute focuses on the modelling and development of cloud-enabled applications and systems for mobile devices.

Postdoctoral Fellows

Andrei Lapets started as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Hariri Institute in 2012. His current research efforts are aimed at evaluating and improving the accessibility of automated formal reasoning assistance tools. Many such tools have been developed by the formal verification and programming languages communities, but there are still many opportunities to integrate multiple tools behind accessible interfaces in order to better support users engaging in university instruction and research in specific domains. There is also a need to more rigorously evaluate the usability of such tools using techniques developed by the user interface design and human-computer interaction communities. Andrei has a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Boston University, as well as S.M. and A.B. degrees in Computer Science from Harvard University.

Mark Reynolds started as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Hariri Institute in 2012. He is a security researcher specializing in the application of formal methods to malware detection. He obtained a Master degree in Mathematics from MIT, and a PhD in Computer Science from Boston University. His doctoral work formed the basis for the Software Inspection and Certification Services project, pursued at the Hariri Institute with support from DRAPER Labs and BU’s Office of Technology Development.  He has worked on static analysis tools for more than 12 years.

Past Fellows

Martin Herbordt was a Faculty Fellow at the Hariri Institute from September 2011 to August 2013, supported by an MGHPCC seed grant to work on mechanisms in support of green HPC computing. He is on the faculty of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Boston University. His research interests are in computer architecture, especially in finding ways to accelerate applications not optimally served by main-stream processors, such as computer vision, weather and climate modeling, bioinformatics, and computational biology. Much of his recent work has focused on using the incredible, but largely untapped, computation capability of configurable circuits (FPGAs). Prof. Herbordt received a B.A.  in Physics and Philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania in 1981 and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts in 1994.

Lorena A. Barba was a Faculty Fellow at the Hariri Institute from September 2011 to August 2013, while an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Boston University. She received her PhD degree in Aeronautics from the California Institute of Technology in 2004, and her undergraduate degrees (BSc and PEng) in Mechanical Engineering from Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María in Valparaíso, Chile. She was also a Visiting Research Professor at the Scientific and Technological Center of Valparaíso—Centro Científico-Tecnológico de Valparaíso, CCTVal— in Chile. Her research interests include computational fluid dynamics, including particle methods and immersed boundary methods for fluids simulation, fundamental and applied aspects of fluid dynamics, especially flows dominated by vorticity dynamics, development of fast and efficient algorithms, and use of novel computer architectures (especially GPUs).

Theodoros (Ted) Lappas was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Hariri Institute from September 2011 to December 2012, working with Institute Junior Fellow Prof. Evimaria Terzi in the Data Management Lab. His work focuses on Text & Web mining, Information Retrieval and Social Networks. Some of work at the Institute focused on problems related to collecting, storing, and searching very large datasets from the Web. Ted obtained his Ph.D. from the Dept. of Computer and Science Engineering at the University of California, Riverside, and an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from the Athens University of Economics and Business.

Dr. Luigi Morino was a Visiting Fellow at the Hariri Institute from late 2011 to early 2012. He is a retired Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering of the University of Rome Roma Tre. He is a specialist in aeroelasticity, with experience in both aspects of the field: unsteady aerodynamics and structural dynamics.  Prof. Morino received a Doctorate Degree in Mechanical Engineering (1963) and one in Aerospace Engineering (1966), both from the University of Rome La Sapienza. Dr. Morino’s research is primarily connected with the development of a new boundary integral equation (and the corresponding computational algorithm, known as panel method or boundary element method) for the aerodynamic analysis of unsteady compressible quasi-potential flows, and with the the development of perturbation methods for the solution of dynamical aeroelastic systems.

Paolo Gradassi was a Visiting Scholar at the Hariri Insitute from late 2011 to early 2012, working with Dr. Morino. He is a Ph.D. candidate in Aeronautical Engineering at Roma Tre University. His research focuses methodologies for analyzing vortex flows. During his time at the Institute, he specifically worked on analyzing vortex instabilities in jet noise.

Jonathan Appavoo was an Institute Junior Fellow for 2011/12 and 2012/13. He joined the Department of Computer Science in 2009. After receiving his Ph.D. at University of Toronto, he worked at IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Laboratory. His current research work focuses in two major areas: architectures for scalable, elastic systems that enable large-scale on-demand computing, and computer systems that can combine traditional computing with the kinds of statistical inference capabilities used by the human brain.

Ayse Coskun was an Institute Junior Fellow for 2011/12 and 2012/13. She joined the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering after receiving her Ph.D. from the University of California at San Diego in 2009. Her current research focuses on energy efficiency and thermal challenges in computer systems. Some of her main projects include software optimization for green computing, thermal modeling and management of 3D stack architectures (including systems with liquid cooling), and design and runtime management of many-core systems. Such research is critical to enabling the continued growth of energy-efficient computational power.

Mark Kramer was an Institute Junior Fellow for 2011/12 and 2012/13. He joined the Department of Mathematics and Statistics in 2009. His background includes training in physics, dynamical systems, and neuroscience, and he earned his Ph.D. at the University of California at Berkeley in 2006. His research currently focuses on mathematical neuroscience, with a particular emphasis on biophysical models of neural activity and data analysis techniques. As one example, Prof. Kramer is working with researchers at Mass General Hospital to apply mathematical and computational techniques to better characterize, and eventually treat, epileptic seizures.

Benjamin Lubin was an Institute Junior Fellow for 2011/12 and 2012/13. He joined the School of Management in 2010. He received a Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2011. His research interests include game theory, multi-agent systems, electronic commerce, and grid computing. Much of his work is at the intersection of economics and computer science, such as applying machine learning techniques to mechanism design, a branch of economics in which game theory is used to optimize market rules.

Jason Ritt was an Institute Junior Fellow for 2011/12 and 2012/13. He joined the Department of Biomedical Engineering in 2010. His current research concentrates on how organisms gather and use information from their environment, through active sensing and sensory decision-making. For example, Prof. Ritt and his students are studying the ways in which mice explore environments using their whiskers, employing a combination of computational analysis of high-speed video, electrophysiological recordings, and neurocontrol methods implemented by a real-time feedback system built on a digital signal processing architecture. He received his Ph.D. in neuroscience and a Masters in mathematics from Boston University.

Evimaria Terzi was an Institute Junior Fellow for 2011/12 and 2012/13. She joined the Department of Computer Science in 2009. Before coming to Boston University, she was a member of the research staff at IBM Almaden Research Center. Her current research focuses on data mining with emphasis on social-network analysis, analysis of sequential data, ranking, clustering and bioinformatics. In particular she is working on problems related to expert identification and team formation in social networks, analysis of online product reviews, and privacy-preserving social network analysis. Evimaria is a Microsoft Faculty Fellow and her research is supported by NSF and gifts from Yahoo! , Google, and Microsoft.