SDSU Students Front and Center at IEEE Semantic Computing Conference

IEEE Semantic Computing Group photo

The Seventh IEEE International Conference on Semantic Computing was held at the Hyatt Regency in Irvine, CA September 16-19, 2013.  Semantic Computing is an emerging field that addresses computing technologies to drive scientific discovery from diverse data sources based on semantics (meaning, intention).   So-called “big data” is a centerpiece of the semantic information, including structured data, video, audio, text, social media, device digital footprints, etc.

SDSU reps attending the conference included George Manning Richardson, Colleen Chen, Joe Barr, and Dr. Richard Levine.  Not pictured, Afrooz Jahedi and Mahroo Ehsani.

Data Science Workshop

One day of the conference was devoted to a special session on Data Science. The morning session consisted of a workshop on data analytics, lead by SDSU graduate students.  The workshop focus was on introducing modern statistical machinery and associated computing technologies (particularly programming languages R and Python) for handling and analyzing massive data sets.  Computational Statistics PhD student G. Manning Richardson introduced regression and boosting methods, Statistics Masters students Mahroo Ehsani and Afrooz Jahedi introduced support vector machines, and Computational Sciences Masters student Colleen Chen introduced neural networks.  These workshop modules were centered around big data applications, illustrating to the audience the implementation and strengths of these methods for classification and predictive purposes.

The afternoon session organized by SDSU Adjunct Professor Joe Barr featured talks by industry and university analytics experts.  As part of the session, SDSU Professor Rich Levine presented his collaborative work on random forest machinery for detecting glaucomatous progression.

Articles published by students in IJSC

The research of the SDSU students in the session will be featured in an upcoming issue of the IEEE sponsored International Journal of Semantic Computing:

  • G. Manning Richardson, in collaboration with SDSU Professors Janet Bowers (Math Ed), Mark Jawron (Computational Linguistics), and Rich Levine (Statistics), present an application of topic models for organizing and teasing information from micro-blogs (e.g., Twitter).
  • Afrooz Jahedi and Mahroo Ehsani, in collaboration with SDSU Statistics and Computer Science Professor Joe Barr, present a tutorial on support vector machines, with particular focus on financial classification problems.
  • Colleen Chen, in collaboration with SDSU Psychology Professor Ralph-Axel Mueller, present a novel application of support vector machines to classify brain images for the likelihood of autism.
  • Recent Computational Statistics PhD program graduate (Summer 2013) Lucie Sharpsten, in collaboration with SDSU Statistics Professor Juanjuan Fan, develop classification tree methods for predicting glaucomatous progression.