Welcome to Fall 2019!

By | August 16, 2019

Goodbye Summer, hello Fall 2019!

Definitely looking forward to welcoming all the students back to ISE and DSA this Fall!  I’m not going to lie and say the peace and quiet was not good for a while, but I am ready for you all to come back home to OU!

For the newer DSA students, and the more adventurous ISE students, I have DSA/ISE 5103 ready for you… and, I think you are going to like the challenge!  For my ISE 4113 students, you have one of the best TA’s on campus to support the class — and — we are in the new Gallogly Hall building, so that should be fun.

While I am ready for Fall, it has a been a good Summer 2019…

  • Sai, Cyril, and I had an article published:  Bhavaraju, S., C. Beyney, C. Nicholson. 2019. Quantitative analysis of social media sensitivity to natural disasters.  International Journal of Disaster Reduction. 39 (2212-4209): 101251. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2019.101251

Abstract: As the prevalence of social media real-time communication grows among the public, research has increased regarding its use in various domains of study, including human behavior with respect to natural disasters.  To the best of our knowledge, no study has been conducted to determine the sensitivity of social media to different types or magnitudes of natural disasters under various circumstances. We select four types of natural disasters (tornadoes, winter storms, wildfires, and floods) and for each we examine multiple recent events along with the associated Twitter behavior to evaluate multiple aspects: duration of social media attention, frequency shifts, frequency shifts for different social vulnerability levels, tweet proximity to the disasters, and sentiment.

  • Weili Zhang and I (finally) got an article that he and I worked on years ago published (in a great journal): Zhang, W. & Nicholson, C. Journal of Heuristics (2019).  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10732-019-09418-9

Abstract: The objective scaling ensemble approach is a novel two-phase heuristic for integer linear programming problems shown to be effective on a wide variety of integer linear programming problems. The technique identifies and aggregates multiple partial solutions to modify the problem formulation and significantly reduce the search space. An empirical analysis on publicly available benchmark problems demonstrates the efficacy of our approach by outperforming standard solution strategies implemented in modern optimization software.

  • Rafael Pires de Lima led the successful effort to submit an article entitled “Petrographic analysis with deep convolutional neural networks” to Computers and Geosciences, along with co-authors Kurt Marfurt, and Roger Slatt.

  • Jorge Duarte completed his MS in DSA (Thesis: Probabilistic characterization of floods from catchment-scale precipitation moments) and joined my team as a Ph.D. student in ISE.  We need to prep his thesis for journal publication ASAP!
  • Paúl Calle Contreras completed his MS DSA (Thesis: A comparative analysis of population dislocation models for multi-objective community resilience optimization).  He is now pursuing a Ph.D. in Computer Science at OU.
  • Vera was an amazing GTA for the Summer ISE 3293/5013 course.  And immediately after the course, she flew the coup to Brazil.  Hoping she comes back!
  • I was promoted to Associate professor with tenure.
  • My former students Alex and Weili met up for lunch together at Weili’s workplace… Google
  • Doyle Dodd, Pedro Huebner, and I got to together to brew a batch of beer — should be ready in the Fall.  Pedro and I didn’t actually do anything other than drink while Doyle did all the work, but I’m pretty sure the batch will be much better for it.
  • Met with multiple large companies to start working towards contracts for OU to assist them with machine learning and artificial intelligence research work.
  • My son and I began practicing Brazilian Jiu-jitsu at Titan Martial Arts.  He has already earned his first stripe… and reminds me constantly that I haven’t…  Of course, he dominates everybody in his class; but, I am bruised and beaten after everyone of my classes, so most likely he deserves it.


And the Fall is looking good so far!

  • I just met the new MS DSA campus students this week and I am very impressed by their backgrounds and I expect great things from them.
  • Gowtham Kanneganti and Jack Appleyard are joining me as GTA’s in support of the 5103 Intelligent Data Analytics course this Fall.
  • Yunjie Wen shifted gears to start working on some fantastic research related to community resilience to tornadic events related to Joplin, MO.  Expecting at least one journal article (if not more) from this work soon!
  • Azadeh joined the lab and started studying new application domains for convolutional neural networks.
  • Andres Gonzalez and I are working together with his two students Tasfiq and Elaheh in a joint effort to work on NIST-funded research.
  • Matt Beattie and I are almost ready to submit “Identifying heroin use correlates through conditional inference trees and Bayesian MCMC analysis” to a drug addiction journal.
  • Hoping to submit/resubmit multiple journal articles co-authored with Naiyu Wang, Mohammad Tehrani, Alex Rodriguez, Jorge Duarte, Harvey Cutler, and/or Paúl Calle.
  • Vera has been selected by the former dean of the Gallogly College of Engineering to be the sole instructor for the ISE 2823 Enterprise Engineering in Fall 2019.
  • ISE has also a new faculty member, Dr. Talayeh Razzaghi, who will offer a course in Energy Analytics!
  • Working with Dr. Andrew Fagg from CS to host another predict-a-thon at this years AI/ML Symposium.