Research

four computer science students looking at screen

Faculty Research Interests

Stephanie August Artificial Intelligence, Database and Knowledgebase Systems, Interdisciplinary Studies
Dondi Dionisio Interaction Design, Graphics, Interdisciplinary Applications
Andrew Forney

Artificial Intelligence, Cognitive Systems, Causal & Counterfactual Reasoning

Jordan Freitas
Data Privacy, Data Management Systems, Information Communication Technology for Development (ICTD)
Lei Huang Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Computer Vision
B.J. Johnson Software Architecture, Virtual Environments, Operating Systems, Automated Test
Mandy Korpusik Artificial Intelligence, Natural Language Processing, Spoken Dialogue Systems
Barbara Marino Computer Engineering
Ray Toal
Programming Languages, Compilers, Distributed Computing and Networks

Ongoing Research

Applied Cognitive Technologies
A number of projects have been conducted and are ongoing under the direction of Prof. Andrew Forney in the Applied Cognitive Technologies Group. These include bias detection in online articles, procedural content generation, face-reading poker players, and enabling artificial agents to learn by experiencing regret.
Gene Regulatory Mapping
A strong research group made up of majors from computer science and related fields has been active for years under the direction of Prof. John David Dionisio (Computer Science) and Prof. Kam Dahlquist (Biology). One of the notable activities of this group is GRNSight, an open source tool suite for automatically visualizing models of gene regulatory networks. GRNSight is a successor to GenMAPP (Gene Map Annotator and Pathway Profiler), software for viewing and analyzing DNA microarray and other genomic and proteomic data on biological pathways.
VESLL
The Virtual Engineering Sciences Learning Lab (VESLL) project is establishing an online interactive learning environment built around a functional laboratory designed to introduce students to engineering concepts through visualization and collaborative problem solving. VESLL represents an exploration of the many benefits of the virtual learning environment, including: enhanced opportunities for visualization, immediate feedback, student autonomy, increased access to resources without the demands of co-presence, multiple communication channels for student interaction with peers and instructors, and innovative ways to evaluate student learning. VESLL enjoys support from the NSF via Award No.0935100, obtained by Prof. Stephanie August (Computer Science) and Prof. Michelle Hammers (Sociology).
Spoken Dialog Systems

The conversational agents group led by Professor Mandy Korpusik conducts research related to artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and speech recognition. In particular, they investigate machine learning methods such as deep neural networks and reinforcement learning for understanding spoken natural language.

Many of the undergraduate research projects in this group contribute to the overarching Coco Nutritionist spoken dialogue system, which simplifies diet tracking by allowing users to describe their meal naturally.

Experimental Programming Languages
The Experimental Languages Group is an informal research group on experimental programming languages.
Identity Mapping The Identity Mapping Project (IMP) is an interdisciplinary collaboration between Psychology and Computer Science designed to empirically investigate the development of distributed forms of identity. Methodologically, it collects a large database of “identity maps”—computerized graphical representations of how active someone is online and how their identity is expressed and distributed across seven core digital domains: email, blogs/personal websites, social networks, online forums, online dating sites, character based digital games, and virtual worlds. Principal investigators include Drs. Forney, Dionisio and Dorin from Computer Science and Dr. Gilbert from Psychology.

Research Lab Facilities

The Keck Lab (Doolan 112)

The Keck Lab is the department's primary general-use lab and to a large degree is the hub of the Computer Science social scene. Students come to the lab to work, collaborate, and study every day of the week. Here you will find ample comfortable work spaces on tables with power supplies, additional monitors and a handful of iMac desktop computers. Students can also work on two large and comfortable couches, take a study break on one of the many gaming platforms (Kinect, PS4, Wii, and XBox), or jam on the Fender Starcaster (headphones generally required). You'll also find the departments server rack here; aspiring devops might, once hired as a teaching assistant (TA), gain a little access.

The lab's audio visual system adds quite a bit to the lab culture, allowing for some light tunes when the lab is sparsely populated. The three-projector display is ideal for presenting research or class presentations, or even a fun movie night.

Teaching assistants are available in the lab Monday through Friday for help with just about anything.

The Keck Lab Annex (Doolan 114) Adjacent to the main Keck Laboratory through double glass doors is a smaller, and generally quieter lab. The "Annex" as it's called also features a three-screen multimedia system and serves as the venue for some of the smaller lab and seminar classes, and student-run "lunch and learn" sessions. An electronic keyboard graces the back corner for those that want a little piano practice and sets the mood for study or social time.
The Applied Cognitive Technologies (ACT) Lab (Doolan 217) The LMU ACT Lab provides students with powerful, research-grade computing hardware enabling the pursuit of projects within the domains of modern machine learning and artificial intelligence. Equipped with ten high-end workstations, the lab serves both as a sandbox for exploring state-of-the-art techniques and a development center for students conducting their own, original research. Advised by Professor Andrew Forney, the lab entertains a wide swath of student interests, including applications in autonomous art generation and game-playing agents, theoretical endeavors marrying reinforcement and causal learning, and LMU mission-centered projects with positive social impact such as apps for self-harm prevention and systems for online-media political-bias detection.