PhD in CSIS - Computer Science Research Interests
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As a PhD student, you will immerse in research and course work to become an integral part of our department's research activities. You will work under supervision of one of faculty in a research area of your mutual interest. There is potential for interdisciplinary research in collaboration with faculty from other departments including Anschuts Medical School as long as all CSIS program requirements are met (see CSIS PhD program requirements).
Read the brief statements of research interest from CSE faculty below. You can contact the faculty directly to discuss your possible research interests.
Gita Alaghband, Professor,

Co-Director of CSIS PhD Program & Chair
My research interests in parallel processing and distributed systems include application programs, algorithm design, computer architectures, operating systems, performance evaluation, and simulation. I also have an interest in web-based educational simulation projects for students who are proficient in web-based programming and software engineering.

With the new multi-core architectures, parallel processing research is at the heart of developing new software, systems, and algorithms in order to be able to take advantage of the underlying parallelism. I have a broad research interest in all aspects of parallel and distributed systems. A good understanding of all aspects of parallel architectures, systems, software, algorithms is necessary to be able to achieve the performance of the new parallel computers and definitely supercomputers. 

My students will have access to our new 192-core cluster augmented with 2048 core TESA Fermi Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) at the Parallel Distributed Systems lab

I enjoy working with my students on many diverse projects including new parallel languages, weather modeling, load balancing,  simulation, and many others. For some of the project topics see my sample projects. I have co-authored numerous research articles with my students.

I have been involved in the design of the Force parallel programming language for scientific high performance applications, one of the first such languages. We have ported the language to more than 12 multiprocessors. My work on temporal characterization of parallel program performance was funded by NSF Research Initiation Award. My work on sparse matrices resulted in a new methodology for parallel solution of large sparse linear systems of equations on shared memory multiprocessors. My research and teaching experience have resulted in “Fundamentals of Parallel Processing” textbook published by Prentice Hall.
Tom AltmanProfessor,  Professor Altman received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Pittsburgh in 1984. He has been at UCD since 1990. His research interests include algorithms (sequential and parallel), optimization and discrete simulation algorithms, and formal languages. He has substantial experience in applying optimization and simulation algorithms to real world problems, especially for network flow, distribution, and communication problems.  He is a recipient of a number of research awards including UCD Research Fellowship, ASCE Best Research Paper Award, and grants from the NSF, SIAM, and DARPA.

Students interested in doing research projects with Professor Altman are encouraged to contact him directly at
Banaei-Kashani's, Assistant Professor,

Professor Banaei-Kashani's research is in the areas of Big Data Management and Mining, and Database Systems, with focus topics including (but not limited to) the following:

  • Management and mining of "mobility data" from molecule to cosmos scale
  • Large-scale distributed and parallel data processing with modern hardware
  • Big data management and mining for a variety of data-driven applications, including intelligent transportation, bio-computation, health informatics, safety and security enforcement, retail optimization, geospatial analytics, and scientific computation
  • Spatial data management and mining
Professor Banaei-Kashani is currently looking for motivated students at all levels (PhD, MS, and Undergraduate) to join his research lab, BDLab (Big Data Management and Mining Laboratory), starting Spring 2015 or Fall 2015. More information regarding requirements and procedures for submitting applications is available at:
Min Choi, Associate Professor,
Professor Choi’s research interests fall into the broad realm of computer graphics, scientific visualization, and human computer interaction. As computer graphics techniques demonstrate a striking realism and become ubiquitous in many applications, the real-time interaction with 3D virtual environments – accurate and effective dynamic simulation, intuitive object manipulation, and natural interaction in immersive virtual environments – will be an important, exciting and challenging research area for even more realistic and engaging computing experiences. His research focus is in the area of physically-based modeling, animation, and interaction in virtual environments for medical and bioinformatics applications.
Currently he is the director of Computer Graphics Laboratory. The lab’s research activities are unique at UCD and they are recognized by international science and engineering communities. Previous funding agencies include NSF, NIH, Alzheimer's Association, Microsoft, SGI, and CASI. The lab has published many peer reviewed papers and they can be downloaded from Based on the research activities, Dr. Choi received Career Award from National Science Foundation, Research and Creative Activities Award from UCD, and Best paper awards from international conferences.

For more information, visit

Bogdan Chlebus, Associate Professor, For my research interests and activities please visit my research page.
Ilkyeun Ra, Associate Professor, His research has focused on developing novel enabling technologies to integrate distributed systems with communications, and create one type of High Performance Distributed Computing (HPDC). HPDC (e.g., Cloud Computing, Grid Computing or Cluster Computing) is the field that effectively utilizes the advances in high speed networks, software technology, and parallel processing to deliver cost-effective high performance computing. His research details can be found from the
Boris Stilman, Professor
Professor Stilman's research interests are related to Artificial Intelligence. Specifically, his focus is on Linguistic Geometry (LG), a type of game theory that he originated. LG allows us to overcome combinatorial explosion. It is scalable to solving complex real world problems that are considered intractable by conventional approaches. LG is a mathematical theory of human conflicts. Human approach to adversarial reasoning (usually through fighting) was developed unconsciously long before any civilizations appeared on Earth. Then, it was perfected over several thousand years of wars all around the world. About 1.5 thousand years ago people invented the game of chess trying to model ancient armed conflicts. It is fascinating that the theory of conflicts was discovered via generalization of the experiments with chess grandmasters. A leap in the development of LG was made in 1999, when Dr. Stilman with a group of scientists and engineers founded STILMAN Advanced Strategies. Due to their extreme predictive power, applications of LG are considered vital to the US National Defense. They are currently being transitioned to the US Armed Forces. For more information, including movies, brochures and courses, visit and
Tam Vu, Assistant Professor
Professor Vu's research centers on the areas of mobile and wireless systems, including mobile applications, mobile context sensing acquisition (e.g. Location, speed information), mobile-centric network architecture, and privacy and security protection for mobile systems. He has an interdisciplinary research agenda that combines hardware and software engineering, distributed systems and wireless communications.  He is currently looking for a couple of motivated students interested in mobile systems and wireless networking research starting Spring 2014 or Fall 2014. Please email him with your CV and transcripts if you are interested. More information about his research can be found at