Visualizing the Future of Data with New Professor Mingxuan Sun

Article written by Catherine Conlan. See the original version here. 

Mingxuan Sun is one of our new professors in computer science. She came to LSU in fall 2015 as an assistant professor in the Division of Computer Science and Engineering. She specializes in data science and visualization, two fast-growing disciplines that are seeing increasing demand. We caught up with her lately to talk about her work.

WHAT DID YOU DO BEFORE COMING TO LSU?
I received my Ph.D. degree in computer science from the Georgia Institute of Technology in December 2012. Before coming to LSU, I spent two years at Pandora as a senior advisor working on large-scale music recommendation systems. I was drawn to LSU because of the great community of researchers and educators in computer science and the university as a whole.

TALK ABOUT YOUR WORK. WHAT IS IT YOU DO?
My main research area is machine learning and data science. I am working on a number of innovative projects, including recommendation systems, user behavior modeling and statistical ranking.

I’ve also worked on projects that visualize various types of data, including image, video and ranked-preference data. For example, a simple geographic heat map can be used to visualize population densities, temperature variations, election votes and many other important measures. Data visualization provides us better summarization and supports effective decision making.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT YOUR WORK?
I like being an independent researcher and carrying out challenging yet fun research. I love teaching and sharing my enthusiasm for science with talented students at LSU.

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