NJIT Professor Receives Facebook Research Award for Data Science

The director of NJIT’s new Institute for Data Science has received an award from Facebook to support real-world analytics research. The research aims to develop faster learning patterns to make it easier for companies to extract actionable information from extremely large data sets.

Institute Director and Distinguished Professor David Bader joined NJIT last month from Georgia Tech, where he previously served as chair of the School of Computational Science and Engineering within the College of Computing.

Data Science is a fast-growing area that impacts every industry. As the volume of data collected continues to grow, there is a constant challenge to find ways to analyze and decipher the data in a timely manner.

“Many of the approaches in use today are not very scalable,” Bader said. “As we move from an experimental environment to the real world we have to be able to scale up.”

Bader’s award will support his research in the area of artificial intelligence system hardware/software co-design. Specifically, it will support students performing research in designing and implementing scalable graph-learning algorithms.

From time to time, Facebook makes unrestricted research awards to support organizations working in areas of high impact, according to Daron Green, director of Research Operations within Facebook Research, the division within the company that works with universities on long-term research projects.

“Every sector from finance to health, transportation, retail to security, and fashion and entertainment, is rich in data,” Bader said. “These are often large, noisy data sets, with missing elements. We want to create tools for better understanding of these data sets.”

Using graphs to model and analyze large data sets helps users visualize the data, enabling them to spot connections or patterns more easily than other traditional representations such as tables.

As an example, Bader’s work could help the financial sector by improving the accuracy of fraud detection for credit card transactions by creating a more detailed classification system. This would provide added peace of mind to consumers by significantly reducing how often credit card companies reach out to cardholders to check on potential fraud.

NJIT’s new Institute for Data Science focuses on cutting-edge interdisciplinary research and development in all areas related to data science. It will bring existing research centers in big data, medical informatics and cybersecurity together with new research centers in data analytics and artificial intelligence, cutting across all NJIT colleges and schools, and conduct both basic and applied research.

In addition to leading the institute, Bader will also teach graduate level classes in data science at NJIT’s main campus in Newark and its new location in Jersey City.

By: Brian Malina


David A. Bader
David A. Bader
Distinguished Professor and Director of the Institute for Data Science

David A. Bader is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Computer Science at New Jersey Institute of Technology.