Research Capabilities

Faculty research capabilities and graduate teaching interests are summarized below.

Distinguished Professor: Vitter
Professors: Cunningham, Wilkins, and Chen.
Associate Professors: Jang, Rhodes, and Wang.
Assistant Professors: Fleming, Jones, and Walter.

Dr. Yixin Chen, 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. Dr. Chen's publications and research can be found here.

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, joined the faculty in 1989. He served as Department Chair from mid-May 2001 through June 2015. 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 accessible documents, 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, programming languages, and accessibility. 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 served on the international Steering Committee for PPPJ. Dr. Cunningham's publications and research can be found here.

At the graduate level, Cunningham teaches courses on multiparadigm programming, functional programming, software language engineering, concurrent programming, software families, software architecture, formal methods, and research methods and scientific writing. He also teaches the senior-level core course in programming language organization. For the latter, he is writing a textbook titled Exploring Languages with Interpreters and Functional Programming.

Dr. Byunghyun (Byung) Jang, Associate 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. Dr. Jang's publications and research can be found here.

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

Dr. J. Adam Jones, Assistant Professor, joined the faculty in 2015. Jones is also a member of the Neuroscience faculty. He earned his PhD in Computer Science with a graduate certification in Cognitive Science from Mississippi State University. Jones also served as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Clemson University and at the University of Southern California.

Jones's primary research focuses on utilizing virtual environments and psychophysics to better understand how humans perceive, behave, and interact with the world around them, whether real or synthetic. This research then feeds back into the creation of more perceptually accurate, higher fidelity virtual environments. Jones also has research interests in augmented reality, visual neuroscience, spatial perception, physiological optics, data science, and computer graphics. Dr. Jones's publications and research can be found here.

At the graduate level, Jones teaches courses in virtual environments, human-centered computing, spatial perception, and computer graphics.

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. Dr. Rhodes's publications and research can be found here.

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

Dr. Jeffrey S. Vitter, Distinguished Professor, joined the faculty in 2016 and served until 2019 as the 17th chancellor of the University of Mississippi. He has been a faculty member for over 39 years at notable institutions. Before coming to UM, he served in faculty and administrative roles at Brown, Duke, Purdue, Texas A&M, and Kansas.

In his research, Dr. Vitter exploits the rich interdependence between computing theory and practice. Beginning with his thesis on coalesced hashing, a widely used search method, Dr. Vitter has made many contributions to the design and analysis of algorithms, using mathematical analysis and asymptotics to derive precise estimates for resource requirements. He works primarily in four key subfields dealing with big data and data science, which are described on his web page. Dr. Vitter has authored well over 300 book, journal, conference, and patent publications. His Google Scholar h-index is in the 70s, and he is an ISI highly cited researcher. Dr. Vitter's publications and research can be found here.

Dr. Feng Wang, Associate 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. Dr. Wang's publications and research can be found here.

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

Dr. Dawn E. Wilkins, Professor and Chair, 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's 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). Dr. Wilkins's publications and research can be found here.

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.