Five WNCG Alums Accept Faculty Positions

Monday, August 24, 2015

This year, five WNCG alumni and postdoctoral fellows accepted faculty positions throughout the country. Their acceptance continues the recent wave over the last few years of WNCG students and postdoctoral fellows finding permanent homes at some of the world’s leading institutions.

Here’s a quick look at where a few of these alumni are headed, what they look forward to most about being a faculty member and how WNCG helped prepare them for their new ventures.

Joe Neeman

WNCG Advisor: Sujay Sanghavi

Prof. Neeman will join the math department at the University of Texas at Austin, where his research will focus on probability.

“Austin is great and I look forward to coming back,” Neeman states. “I’ve already had the opportunity to work with students in WNCG and the math department at UT and I look forward to longer-term interactions with them. At WNCG, my advisor prepared me for a research role by introducing me to new problems, new areas and enthusiastic, well-prepared students.”

Pedro Santacruz

WNCG Advisor: Sriram Vishwanath

Prof. Santacruz will join San Jose State University’s electrical engineering department in fall 2015, where his research will focus on wireless and mobile networking.

“Since I started working on my PhD, an academic position has always been my ultimate goal. I have a particular affinity for teaching and, combined with the possibilities for research, an academic position is a perfect fit for me. My time at WNCG was a great experience where I learned a new set of skills and interacted with faculty and students doing outstanding research. In particular, being part of Prof. Vishwanath’s group provided a great balance between exposure to theoretical research and real-world applications.”

Sanmi Koyejo

WNCG Advisor: Joydeep Ghosh

Prof. Koyejo will join the computer science department at the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign in fall 2016, where his research will focus on machine learning.

“I look forward to the opportunity to mentor students and pioneer impactful interdisciplinary research. WNCG created a collegial environment of intelligent and motivated students and faculty and provided opportunities for academic discussions, world-class invited talks, classes and collaborations, which have been important to my development as an academic. I’m especially grateful for Prof. Ghosh’s patient advice through the years. I learned much of what I know about research and mentorship from him.”

Siddhartha Banerjee

WNCG Advisors: Sanjay Shakkottai and Sujay Sanghavi

Prof. Banerjee will join the School of Operations Research and Information Engineering  at Cornell University, where his research will focus on stochastic modeling and the design of algorithms and incentives for large-scale systems.

Yudong Chen

WNCG Advisor: Constantine Caramanis

Prof. Chen will join the School of Operations Research and Information Engineering at Cornell University, where his research will focus on machine learning, high-dimensional and robust statistics and convex optimization.