Campus & Community

Stevens Announces New Faculty for Fall 2017

New faculty members include experts in business analytics, cellular biology, cybersecurity, drug discovery and the architecture of the Internet

Photo of Stevens campus fountain

Stevens Institute of Technology announced today that 19 new members have joined its faculty for academic year 2017-18, hailing from such institutions as Harvard, Princeton, Penn State, MIT, Northwestern and Yale.

“The faculty are the heart of the university, and as we embark on the next five years of the strategic plan, our top priority is to recruit best-in-class-researchers and teachers who will provide vital support for Stevens' ambitious growth plans,” said Dr. Christophe Pierre, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. “These new faculty members arrive with impressive credentials and I am confident that they will contribute much to our university community for many years to come.”

By school, the new faculty members are as follows:

College of Arts and Letters

Fatma Betul Cihan Artun, Teaching Assistant Professor, Freshman Experience
Fatma Betul Cihan Artun holds a B.A. in English, with a minor in American studies, from Bogazici University, where she also earned an M.A. in history. She received her Ph.D. in comparative literature at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Her scholarly interests range from American and translation studies to the politics of literature and the intellectual history of the Middle East. She taught a broad range of courses at UMass-Amherst and at Rutgers University. She is currently working on her first book, provisionally titled, The American Rumi: The Politics of Cultural Appropriation.

Elaine (Lainie) Fefferman, Assistant Professor, Music & Technology
Elaine Fefferman joins the Music & Technology faculty at a time of robust growth. She brings to the program strong technological expertise and dynamic creative vision. Fefferman is the founder and co-director of Exapno, a new music community center in Downtown Brooklyn. She co-organizes the New Music Bake Sale and is co-founder of the New Music Gathering, a national new music annual event. She received her Ph. D. in composition from Princeton University and continues to be a performing member of the Princeton-based laptop ensemble Sideband. In the 2015-16 season, she was a resident fellow at the HERE Arts Center and a LABA Fellow at the 14th Street Y, which culminated in a collaborative performance with the JACK Quartet and filmmaker Stephen Taylor.

Bradley Fidler, Assistant Professor, Science & Technology Studies
Bradley Fidler was previously a researcher with the UCLA Computer Science Department and a visiting research scholar at the USC Information Sciences Institute. He is a specialist on the history and politics of internet infrastructure, architecture, governance and cybersecurity. Currently, Fidler is writing books on the first military internet and on the conflicts that gave rise to the IP address and the domain name. He is also consulting for Google and working on a soon-to-be-announced, humanities-driven cybersecurity initiative. He studies the history of technology and the history of computing and remains engaged with the histories of science and medicine.

Michael Kowal, Assistant Professor, Computational Social Science
Michael Kowal received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Massachusetts in 2016. He is currently a fellow in computational social science in the digital and computational studies program at Bowdoin College. His research investigates social and political phenomena through the lens of computational social science and has appeared in the American Journal of Political Science, Social Networks. His research applies social network and text analysis, game theory and machine learning to questions surrounding political parties and interest groups, the United States Congress, campaign finance, lobbying and representation. He was the 2015 Jack Walker Award winner for the best article from the American Political Science Association's Political Organizations and Parties section. Prior to attending graduate school, he worked in the Massachusetts House of Representatives.

Samantha Muka, Assistant Professor, Science & Technology Studies
Samantha Muka’s various research interests align in exciting ways with several units across the Stevens campus. She has a strong background and interest in science communication. She was previously a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania’s critical writing program. Her research explores the interdisciplinary nature of marine biological knowledge. Her current book project, Inland Oceans: Aquarium Technology and the Development of Marine Biological Knowledge, 1880-present, explores this interdisciplinarity by tracing the development of specialized aquariums.

Nancy Nowacek, Assistant Professor, Design in Visual Arts & Technology
Nancy Nowacek is a designer, artist and educator with a history in visual design, experience design, public art and education. Her work is rooted in the processes, codes and habits of life, and, more specifically, the use of the body in the designed world. She has served as an adjunct faculty member in the Parsons School of Design's design and technology MFA program, Pratt Institute’s visual communication MFA program, New York University’s interactive telecommunications program and has been a visiting faculty member at Bennington College. She has been an artist-in-residence at Montalvo, a designer-in-residence at the Institute of Play and has participated in other residency programs, such as those at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and the prestigious Sharpe Walentas Studio program.

Donya Quick, Research Assistant Professor
Donya Quick was previously a visiting professor at Southern Methodist University and lecturer at Yale. Her current work involves research at the intersection of artificial intelligence, machine learning, music theory and programming languages.

School of Business

James B. Biagi, Teaching Associate Professor, Accounting
James B. Biagi is a retired attorney and CPA who publishes and speaks on practitioner-based issues and has worked in tax practice and procedure, estate planning, commercial litigation, business transactions and real estate. Previously, Biagi was an assistant professor at Marywood University, in Scranton, Pa. He was a founding partner of a highly regarded law firm in Goshen, N.Y., is a former trial attorney for the Internal Revenue Service and an auditor for EY. He holds a J.D. from the University at Buffalo School of Law and a bachelor’s degree from Pace University.

Amir H. Gandomi, Assistant Professor, Analytics and Decision Making
Prior to joining the School of Business at Stevens, Amir Gandomi was a distinguished research fellow in the National Science Foundation’s BEACON Center at Michigan State University. He has published more than 100 journal papers and four books, which collectively have been cited more than 7,500 times. He has also served as associate editor, editor and guest editor in several prestigious journals. Dr. Gandomi is part of a NASA technology cluster on big data, artificial intelligence, machine learning and autonomy.

Rong (Emily) Liu, Associate Professor, Information Systems
As a research scientist at IBM Research, Rong Liu investigated cutting-edge business analytics solutions for customers and received many research accomplishment awards and an outstanding technical achievement award. She has published more than 30 papers in journals and conferences, and received best paper awards at top information systems conferences. She earned her Ph.D. in supply chain and information systems from Pennsylvania State University.

Victor Xi Luo, Assistant Professor, Finance
Victor Luo received his Ph.D. in economics from Northwestern University, where he specialized in financial economics and macroeconomics. His interests include the economic determination of asset prices and how financial market frictions affect the macroeconomy. His recent research work has appeared in the Journal of Finance. Before starting graduate school, he worked as an associate economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago for two years. Luo also received the Fred Paulson Fellowship from the School of Business to enable his continued research in finance.

Alexander (Sasha) Rodivilov, Assistant Professor, Economics
Alexander Rodivilov recently completed his Ph.D. in economics at the University of Washington. His doctoral dissertation, which investigates optimal contracts for R&D projects, won the 2016 Grover and Greta Ensley Fellowship. At the University of Washington, he taught introductory macroeconomics, and introductory and intermediate microeconomics at the undergraduate level. In the 2015-16 academic year, he was awarded the Graduate Teaching Award. His research interests include contract theory, information economics, mechanism and market design, industrial organization and corporate finance.

School of Engineering and Science

Sandeep Bhatt, Teaching Professor, Department of Computer Science
Sandeep Bhatt comes to Stevens from Hewlett-Packard Labs, where he was the principal research scientist in the Security Management Lab. Previously, he served as director of systems performance at Akamai Technologies and as director of network algorithms at Bell Communications Research. Upon receiving his Ph.D, S.M. and S.B. degrees in computer science from MIT, Dr. Bhatt joined the computer science faculty at Yale University, and also held appointments at CalTech and Rutgers University. His research interests include applications of discrete mathematics in parallel computation, network design and management and VLSI layout. His pioneering research in the theory of graph embeddings influenced the design of communications systems for the Thinking Machines Corporation’s CM-5 machine and is widely used in data center networks.

Marcin Iwanicki, Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Chemistry and Biological Sciences
Marcin Iwanicki is a research fellow in cell biology at the Harvard Medical School. He is an experienced Ph.D. researcher with a demonstrated history of working in the higher education industry. Over the years his research has been centered on studying the immune response to HIV glycoproteins; kinase signaling during tumor progression, most recently, deepening the understanding of women’s cancers, with special emphasis on tumor suppression dependencies in ovarian and breast cancers. Dr. Iwanicki is skilled in antibodies, microfabrication, TIRF, molecular biology and survival analysis. He received a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) focused in cell biology from University of Virginia.

Eric Koskinen, Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science
Eric Koskinen was a lecturer/researcher at Yale University, a visiting professor at New York University and a visiting professor at Nagoya University in Japan. He received his Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Cambridge. He also spent time at IBM Watson and Microsoft Research. From 2002-05, he was a software engineer at Amazon. Dr. Koskinen’s research yields programming language advances that improve the way programmers develop reliable, efficient and secure software and exploit multi-core/distributed architectures. He has made advances in a spectrum of fields, ranging from systems/concurrency methodologies to foundational results in formal methods. His research is supported by funds from the National Science Foundation, DARPA and the Office of Naval Research.

Xinchao Wang, Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science
Xinchao Wang was previously a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He received a Ph.D. from École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland in 2015, and a first-class honorable degree from Hong Kong Polytechnic University in 2010. His research interests include computer vision, multimedia, big data analytics and machine learning. He has published articles in top journals such as TPAMI, TIP and TMI and at top conferences such as CVPR, ECCV and ICCV, and has served as a regular reviewer for these venues. He received the Outstanding Overseas Scholar Award from the Chinese Academic of Sciences in 2016 and the prestigious Swiss NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in 2015.

Johannes Weickenmeier, Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering (January 2018 start)
After receiving his doctoral degree in 2015 from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, Switzerland, Johannes Weickenmeier joined the Group of Mechanics and Computation at Stanford University as a postdoctoral research fellow. His area of expertise is experimental and computational biophysics of soft tissues and his work draws from nonlinear solid mechanics, applied mathematics, numerical and experimental methods and mechanobiology. With a specific interest in multi-physics modeling of living matter, such as skin and the brain, he develops theoretical and numerical models to predict the acute and chronic response of living structures to environmental changes during development and disease progression. Weickenmeier’s current research interests include the basic understanding of the biomechanical properties of the healthy and aging brain and the progression of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

Kenny Kin-Chung Wong, Teaching Associate Professor and Biology Program Director, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Chemistry and Biological Sciences
Kenny Wong joins the faculty after 23 years in industrial research and development at Merck and Co., Inc. He started at Merck as senior research biochemist, achieving the rank of director of pharmacology. Wong has extensive experience in diverse areas of biology; across multiple diseases such as diabetes, cardiometabolic disorders and cancer; antibacterial work and neuroscience. He led drug discovery teams that identified and validated drug targets and advanced suitable therapeutics into clinical trials. Wong has practical experience in cutting-edge technologies such as the “omics” sciences, RNAi and genomics. He has published over 40 original research articles and is listed as co-inventor on five patents. He received his B.S. in chemistry at New York University and his Ph.D. in biochemistry at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Shucheng Yu, Associate Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Before joining Stevens Institute of Technology, Shucheng Yu was an associate professor of computer science at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, where he also served as the interim chair of the computer science department and the director of the Computational Research Center. He received his Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 2010. His research interest is cybersecurity in general, with recent focuses on big data analytics and security, security and privacy in cyber-physical systems and wireless security.