Research Capabilities


Faculty Research Capabilities

The research capabilities and graduate teaching interests of the faculty members are summarized below.

Professors Cunningham and Wilkins.
Associate Professors Chen, Maginnis, and Rhodes.
Assistant Professors Jang, Wang, and Xue.

Dr. Yixin Chen, Associate Professor, joined the faculty in 2006 after three years on the faculty of the University of New Orleans. He has a PhD in computer science from Pennsylvania State University and a PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Wyoming.

Chen's research focuses on the design, analysis, implementation, and applications of machine learning algorithms. He is especially interested in solving real world problems arising from biomedicine and life science. He has worked on various projects on brain-computer interfaces, knowledge discovery in taxonomic research, content-based image retrieval, automatic image annotation, and control of robotic manipulators. Chen is working with Dr. Dawn Wilkins is working on an NSF EPSCoR project to investigate the development of a data provenance system for scientific data. Chen is serving as an Associate Editor of the journal Pattern Recognition.

At the graduate level, Chen teaches courses on algorithm analysis, machine learning, image processing, computer vision, artificial intelligence, mobile robotics, and randomized algorithms.

The School of Engineering named Dr. Chen its Outstanding Faculty Member in 2012.

Dr. H. Conrad Cunningham, Professor and Chair, joined the faculty in 1989 and assumed the role of Department Chair in 2001. He has a doctorate in computer science from Washington University in St. Louis and several years of professional experience in the aerospace industry and university research settings.

Cunningham's current research focuses on methods and tools for the design of domain-specific languages, multiparadigm programs, and flexible software families. More broadly, Cunningham's research interests and expertise are in software architecture, concurrent and distributed computing, formal methods, and programming languages. He served as the Program Chair for the 2007 International Conference on the Principles and Practice of Programming in Java (PPPJ) and as General Chair of the 2010 ACM SouthEast Conference. From 2009 to 2015, he serves on the international Steering Committee for PPPJ.

At the graduate level, Cunningham teaches courses on software language engineering, multiparadigm programming, functional programming, concurrent programming, software families, software architecture, formal methods, and research methods and scientific writing.

Dr. Byunghyun (Byung) Jang, Assistant Professor, joined the faculty in 2012 after two years on the research and development staff at Advanced Micro Devices (AMD). He has a PhD in computer engineering from Northeastern University.

Jang's research expertise and interests are in the areas of high-performance parallel computing, GPU computing, compilers, and hardware architecture. Jang leads the Heterogeneous Systems Research (HEROES) Lab, which conducts research on high-performance computing, CPU-GPU heterogeneous computing, hardware architecture, compilers, data-intensive application acceleration, code optimization, and automatic parallelization. Jang serves as a Distinguished Professor for the Heterogeneous Systems Architecture (HSA) Foundation.

At the graduate level, Jang teaches courses on GPU computing, compiler construction, and computer architecture.

Dr. P. Tobin Maginnis, Associate Professor, joined the faculty in 1979. He has a PhD in experimental psychology from the University of Mississippi. He became involved in computing in the 1970s through his work building realtime software to control laboratory instrumentation.

Maginnis' research deals with free, open source software and applied systems theory. In recent years, he has extended his long-term interests in operating systems and networks to web servers and browsers, which have become the pervasive, contemporary computing platform, and to the systems aspects of digital design and 3D printing.

At the graduate level, Maginnis teaches various courses on operating systems, networks, web architecture, multimedia, and digital design and 3D printing.

Dr. Philip J. Rhodes, Associate Professor, joined the faculty in 2004 after receiving his PhD from the University of New Hampshire.

Rhodes has research expertise and interests in cluster, grid, and cloud computing, data-intensive computing, scientific visualization, and computer graphics. In particular, he and his students have recently conducted research on efficient access to large multidimensional scientific datasets and on parallel computing for spatial scientific applications and flood simulation.

At the graduate level, Rhodes teaches on scientific data representation and analysis, scientific visualization, computer graphics, and cloud and parallel computing.

Dr. Feng Wang, Assistant Professor, joined the faculty in 2012. He received a PhD in computer science from Simon Fraser University.

Wang's research expertise and interests are in wireless sensor/mesh networks, cyber-physical system, socialized content sharing, peer-to-peer networks, and cloud computing.

At the graduate level, Wang teaches courses on current and next generation computer networks.

Dr. Dawn E. Wilkins, Professor, joined the faculty in 1995. She has a PhD in computer science from Vanderbilt University and has 26 years of experience in university-level research and teaching.

Wilkins' current research focuses on applying computing techniques from machine learning and algorithms to biological data. Much of her recent work has involved analyzing microarray data for medical applications, with the University of Mississippi Medical School and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital (SJCRH), and environmental concerns, with the Environmental Laboratory at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC). She has served as president of the MidSouth Computational Biology & Bioinformatics Society (MCBIOS).

At the graduate level, Wilkins teaches courses in natural language processing, mobile computing, algorithms, bioinformatics, computational biology, parallel programming, artificial intelligence, machine learning, databases, and data mining.

The School of Engineering named Dr. Wilkins its Outstanding Faculty Member in 2014.

Dr. Jianxia (Jane) Xue, Assistant Professor, joined the department as an instructional faculty member in 2008 after two years of work in research and development at Sony Pictures Imageworks. She assumed the position of tenure-track Assistant Professor in 2012. Xue has a PhD in electrical engineering from the University of California at Los Angeles.

Xue's research expertise and interests are in synthesized production of multimedia, speech processing, graphics, and animation. Her current research is on enhancing audio, visual, and graphical aspects of human-computer interactions—using methods from signal processing, computer graphics, and pattern analysis.

Xue teaches graduate-level courses in digital image processing, speech processing, computer graphics, and animation.