Haym Hirsh

Haym's Picture
Born on what is now L. Ron Hubbard Way, three miles from the Hollywood Sign, Haym Hirsh spent the first quarter-century of his life in California, receiving his BS degree in 1983 from the Mathematics and Computer Science departments at UCLA and his MS in 1985 and PhD in 1989 from the Computer Science Department at Stanford University. Unhappy with the weather, he moved to Pittsburgh when he found a way to spend his final year at Stanford at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh. The following year he achieved his life-long dream of living in New Jersey by joining the faculty of the Computer Science Department at Rutgers University. As part of his never-ending spiritual quest, he has also spent time as visiting faculty at Carnegie Mellon University (in their School of Computer Science), MIT (in various combinations of the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Laboratory for Computer Science, the Sloan School of Management, and the Center for Collective Intelligence), and NYU (in the Information Systems Department at the Stern School of Business). From 2003 to 2006 (and, again, from 2012 to 2013) he served as Chair of the Rutgers University Computer Science Department, and from 2006 to 2010 he served as Director of the Division of Information and Intelligent Systems at the National Science Foundation. However, still unsatisfied with the weather and seeking to reach new levels of self-actualization, he subsequently moved to Cornell University to serve as Dean of Computing and Information Science. Most recently, after returning to his secular life as a Professor in the Departments of Computer Science and Information Science at Cornell, he still pined so greatly for his lost bureaucratic self-actualization that he agreed to serve as Director of the CS Master of Engineering program. When he is not teaching courses or conducting research, he writes silly biographies with lots of gratuitous pointers to other web pages.

(You can also see a more stodgy short bio or a long-winded formal CV.)


If you need to reach me about matters concerning the impact of Cornell's response to COVID-19 on your course, please email me at the course address given at the website for the course. Please precede the subject with "4700" or "4701" as appropriate.

Master of Engineering in Computer Science at Ithaca

Information for Prospective Students, Postdocs, and Interns

Research Interests


Current Ph.D. Students

Graduated Students (15 PhD Advisees, 50 Descendants)

  1. Arunava Banerjee (2001):
    Dissertation: The Phase-Space Dynamics of Systems of Spiking Neurons.
    Committee: Doug DeCarlo, Peter Rowat, Eduardo Sontag
    Current position: Associate Professor, Department of Computer and Information Science and Engineering, University of Florida
    1. Nicholas Fisher (PhD 2010: "A Reproducing Kernel Hilbert Space Model of a Spiking Neuron")
      Current position: Senior Data Scientist, SAIC
    2. Ami Gates (PhD 2008: "State-of-the-Art Protein Secondary-Structure Prediction Using a Novel Two-Stage Alignment and Machine-Learning Method")
      Current position: Professor of Mathematics and Statistics and Lead Statistician: Kaplan University Online
    3. Karthik S. Gurumoorthy (PhD 2011: "A Schodinger wave mechanics formalism for the eikonal problem and its associated gradient density computation")
      Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research
    4. Santhosh Kodipaka (PhD 2009: "A Novel Conic Section Classifier with Tractable Geometric Learning Algorithm")
      Current position: Software Developer, Bing
    5. Ritwik Kumar (PhD 2009: "Relighting, Pose Change and Recognition of Faces")
      Current position: Data Scientist, Apple Inc.
    6. Hailong Meng (PhD 2006: "A novel methodology for identifying conserved regulatory modules at the binding site level")
      Current position: Senior Bioinformatics Scientist, Yale University
    7. Ajit V. Rajwade (PhD 2010: "Probabilistic Approaches to Image Registration and Denoising")
      Current position: Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT Bombay
    8. Venkatakrishnan Ramaswamy (PhD 2011: "The Transformational Complexity of Acyclic Networks of Neurons")
      Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Haim Sompolinsky, Center for Brain Sciences, Hebrew University.
    9. Subhajit Sengupta (PhD 2013: "Two Models Involving Bayesian Nonparametric Techniques")
      Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Health Studies, The University of Chicago, NorthShore University HealthSystem
    10. Nathan VanderKraats (PhD 2009: "A novel probabilistic lower bound on mutual information applied to a category-based framework for spike train discrimination")
      Current position: Postdoctoral Associate, Center for Pharmacogenomics, Washington University School of Medicine
  2. Chumki Basu (2002):
    Dissertation: Recommendation as Classification and Recommendation as Matching: Two Information-Centered Approaches to Recommendation
    Current position: Program Manager, IBM Research, Bangalore
  3. Brian Davison (2002):
    Dissertation: The Design and Evaluation of Web Prefetching and Caching Techniques
    Committee: Ricardo Bianchini, Thu Nguyen, Craig Wills
    Current position: Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Lehigh University, PA
    1. Na Dai (PhD 2024: "Mining Web Dynamics for Search")
      Current position: Research Scientist, Yahoo! Labs
    2. Liangjie Hong (PhD 2013: "Mining and Understanding Online Conversational Media")
      Current position: Head of Data Science, Etsy Inc.
    3. Lan Nie (PhD 2008: "Mining the Hyperlinks of the Web Graph")
      Current position: Software Engineer, Google
    4. Xiaoguang Qi (PhD 2012: "Web Page Classification and Hierarchy Adaptation")
      Current position: Software Development Engineer, Bing
    5. Baoning Wu (PhD 2007: "Finding and Fighting Search Engine Spam")
      Current position: Search Quality Scientist, Snap.com
    6. Zaihan Yang (PhD 2014: "Mining and Analyzing the Academic Network")
      Current position: Visiting Assistant Professor, Boston College
    7. Dawei Yin (PhD 2013: "Prediction and Recommendation in Online Media")
      Current position: Director of Research, JD.com
  4. Sergiu Goschin (2014): (with Michael Littman)
    Dissertation: Stochastic Dilemmas: Foundations and Applications.
    Current position: Senior Engineer, Google
  5. Vipul Kashyap (1997): (with Amit Sheth)
    Dissertation: Information Brokering over Heterogeneous Digital Data - A Metadata-based Approach.
    Committee: Alex Borgida, Haym Hirsh, Badri Nath, Amit Sheth
    Current position: Senior Director - Clinically Integrated Network at NYU Langone Medical Center
  6. Daniel Kudenko (1998):
    Dissertation: Feature Generation for Sequence Categorization.
    Current position: Lecturer, Department of Computer Science, University of York, U.K.
    1. Ali Abusnina (PhD 2014: "Gaussian Process Adaptive Soft Sensors and their Applications in Inferential Control Systems.")
      Current position: Senior Associate - Advanced Analytics at Cognizant Technology Solutions, Cognizant
    2. Heather Barber (PhD 2008: "Generator of Adaptive Dilemma-based Interactive Narratives")
      Current position: CICS Explorer FV Engineer, IBM - Southampton, UK
    3. Sam Devlin (PhD 2014: "Potential-Based Reward Shaping for Knowledge-Based, Multi-Agent Reinforcement Learning.")
      Current position: Research Fellow in Artificial Intelligence and Digital Games, University of York
    4. Matthew Grounds (PhD 2007: "Scaling-up Reinforcement Learning using Parallelization and Symbolic Planning")
      Current position: Senior Coder, Headstrong Games
    5. Marek Grzes (PhD 2010: "Improving Exploration in Reinforcement Learning through Domain Knowledge and Parameter Analysis")
      Current position: Lecturer, Department of Computer Science, University of Kent
    6. Rania Hodhod (PhD 2010)
      Current position: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Georgia Tech
    7. Spiros Kapetanakis (PhD 2004: "Independent Learning of Coordination in Cooperative Single-Stage Games")
      Current position: Senior Developer, Quant Strategy, Exchange-Traded Products, Jefferies International Limited
    8. Zoe Lock (PhD 2005, "Performance and Flexibility of Stereotype-based User Models")
      Current position: Head of Technology, Technology Strategy Board, UK
    9. Kleanthis Malialis (PhD 2014: "Distributed Reinforcement Learning for Network Intrusion Response")
      Current position: Knowledge Transfer Partnership Research Associate in Massive Analytic, University College London
    10. Enda Ridge (PhD 2008: "Design of Experiments for the Tuning of Optimisation Algorithms")
      Current position: Senior Manager, Data Insight Services, KPMG UK
    11. Arturo Servin (PhD 2009: "Multi-Agent Reinforcement Learning for Intrusion Detection")
      Current position: Content Delivery and Peering (Latin America, Caribbean and Iberian Peninsula), Google
    12. I-Hsien (Derrick) Ting (PhD 2007: "Closing the KDD loop to Improve Website Design")
      Current position: Associate Professor, Department of Information Management, National University of Kaohsiung
  7. David Loewenstern (1999): (with Peter Yianilos)
    Dissertation: Sequence Classification Learning using Methods Derived from Entropy Estimation.
    Current position: Lead Data Scientist, WhitePages
  8. David Lubinsky (1993): (with Sholom Weiss)
    Dissertation: Analysis of Bivariate Splits and Consistent Split Criteria in Dichotomous Classification Trees.
    Current position: Associate Professor, Department of Mathematics, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa; Founder and Managing Director, OPSI Systems
    1. Mohamed Aboulgasem Arteimi (PhD, 2000)
      Current position: Dean, Arab College of Technology; Head, Computer Engineering Department, 7th of April University; President, Libyan Association for AI
  9. Sofus Macskassy (2003):
    Dissertation: New Techniques in Information Filtering.
    Committee: Haym Hirsh, Michael Littman, Craig Nevill-Manning, Foster Provost
    Current position: Data Scientist, Facebook; Project Lead (on leave), USC Information Sciences Institute; Assistant Research Professor, Department of Computer Science, USC
  10. Chris Mesterharm (2007):
    Dissertation: Improving On-Line Learning.
    Committee: Haym Hirsh, Michael Littman, Robert Schapire, Bill Steiger
    Current Position: Senior Research Scientist, Applied Communication Science (formerly named Telcordia)
  11. Steve Norton (1995):
    Dissertation: Classifier Induction from Imperfect Data as Reasoning Under Uncertainty.
    Currenet position: Vice President, Investment Technology Group, Inc.
  12. Lorien Pratt (1993): (with Jack Mostow)
    Dissertation: Transferring Previously Learned Back-Propagation Neural Networks to New Learning Tasks.
    Committee: Steve Hanson, Haym Hirsh, Casimir Kulikowski, Jack Mostow, Michiel Noordewier
    Current position: CTO, Quatellia
  13. Khaled Rasheed (1998): (with Andrew Gelsey)
    Dissertation: GADO: A Genetic Algorithm for Continuous Design Optimization.
    Committee: Andrew Gelsey, Haym Hirsh, Doyle Knight, Don Smith
    Current position: Professor, Department of Computer Science, University of Georgia
    1. Boseon Byeon (PhD 2009: "Enhancing the Quality of High Dimensional Noisy Data for Classification and Regression Problems")
    2. Tomasz Oliwa (PhD 2013: "Learning, Exploiting and Benchmarking Problem Structures in Real-Valued Evolutionary Optimization")
      Current position: Postdoctoral Associate, Toyota Technological Institute
    3. Bo Qian (PhD 2006: "Intelligent Financial Market Prediction")
      Current position: Associate Director/Senior Develolper, Royal Bank of Canada Capital Markets
    4. Liang Shi (PhD 2008: "Adaptive Surrogate-Assisted Evolution")
      Current position: Software Development Engineer, Microsoft Corporation
    5. Man Chon U (PhD 2008: "Improving learning outcomes by using clustering validity analysis to reduce label uncertainty")
      Current position: Global Director, Data Science, Las Vegas Sands Corp.
  14. Gary Weiss (2003): (with Foster Provost)
    Dissertation: The Effect of Small Disjuncts and Class Distribution on Decision Tree Learning.
    Committee: Haym Hirsh, Casimir Kulikowski, Foster Provost, Lou Steinberg
    Current position: Associate Professor, Department of Computer and Information Sciences, Fordham University
  15. Sarah Zelikovitz (2002):
    Dissertation: Using Background Knowledge to Improve Text Classification.
    Committee: Haym Hirsh, Tom Mitchell, Craig Nevill-Manning, Lou Steinberg
    Current position: Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science, College of Staten Island

Academic Genealogy

  1. My advisor: Bruce Buchanan
    (b. July 7, 1940, St. Louis)
    (Ph.D. Philosophy, Michigan State University, 1966: "Logics of Scientific Discovery")
  2. Buchanan's advisor: Gerald Massey
    (b. Feb 11, 1934, Wauseon, Ohio)
    (Ph.D. Philosophy, Princeton University, 1964: "The Philosophy of Space ")
  3. Massey's advisor: Carl Gustav Hempel
    (b. Jan. 8, 1905, Oranienburg, Germany; d. 1997, Princeton, NJ)
    (Philosophy, Berlin, 1934: "Beitrage zur logischen analyse des wahrscheinlichkeitsbegriffs")
    (Hempel worked with Reichenbach until Reichenbach was forced to leave Germany in 1933; his final year at Erlangen was spent under the supervision of Wolfgang Kohler and Nicolai Hartmann. Hempel also studied mathematics with David Hilbert, logic with John von Neumann, and Physics with Max Planck.)
  4. Hempel's advisor: Hans Reichenbach
    (b. Sept. 26, 1891, Hamburg, Germany; d. April 9, 1953, Los Angeles, CA)
    (Philosophy, Erlangen, 1915: "Der Begriff der Wahrscheinlichkeit fur die mathematische Darstellung der Wirklichkeit")
  5. Reichenbach's two advisors:
  6. Noether's two advisors:
  7. Hesse's advisor: Carl Gustav Jacob Jacobi
    (b. December 10, 1804, Potsdam, Prussia; d. February 18, 1851, Berlin, Germany)
    (Ph.D. Humboldt-Universitat zu Berlin, 1825: "Disquisitiones Analyticae de Fractionibus Simplicibus")
  8. Jacobi's advisor: Enno Heeren Dirksen
    (Ph.D. Georg-August-Universitat Gottingen, 1820: "Historiae progressuum instrumentorum mensurae angulorum accuratiori interserventium inde a Tob. Meyeri temporibus ad umbratione non de artificio multiplicationis")
  9. His two advisors:
  10. Meyer's advisor: Abraham Gotthelf Kaestner
    (b. Sept 27, 1719, Leipzig, Germany; d. June 20, 1800, in Gottingen, Germany)
    (Ph.D. Universitat Leipzig, 1739: "Theoria radicum in aequationibus")
  11. Kaestner's advisor: Christian A. Hausen
    (b. 1693, d. 1743)
    (Dr. phil. Martin-Luther-Universitat Halle-Wittenberg 1713: "De corpore scissuris figurisque non cruetando ductu")
  12. To go further back you should continue with Hausen's entry at the Mathematics Genealogy Project, which goes back to Copernicus and into the 1300s.

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Last update: 14 November 2019