Information Sciences and Technology

On the Bridge - August 2021

A compilation of recent news, highlights and achievements from the College of Information Sciences and Technology community

Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

A compilation of recent news, highlights and achievements from the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) community.

IST well represented at IJCAI-21

IST co-authors had eight papers accepted to the 2021 International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI-21), a premier international gathering of artificial intelligence researchers and practitioners and their presentation of cutting-edge scientific results. Those papers include three by Hadi Hosseini, assistant professor; one by Fenglong Ma, assistant professor; one by Xinyu Xing, assistant professor, along with doctoral students Xian Wu and Wenbo Guo; and three from Zhenhui “Jessie” Li, former associate professor, along with former IST graduate students Hua Wei, Porter Jenkins, Chacha Chen, and Guanjie Zheng. IJCAI-21 was held virtually Aug. 19-26.

Seven IST papers accepted to KDD2021

IST research was well represented at this year’s Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (KDD), held Aug. 14-18 in Singapore, with seven papers involving IST co-authors accepted to the conference. IST researchers on the accepted papers include Dongwon Lee, professor; Amulya Yadav, PNC Career Development Assistant Professor; Fenglong Ma, assistant professor; Suhang Wang, assistant professor; and doctoral students Enyan Dai, Yiwei Sun, Thai Le and Maryam Tabar. On one paper, Lee, Yadav and Tabar collaborated with experts from PlantVillage, an app developed by Penn State researchers to help farmers diagnose crop diseases and monitor pests. PlantVillage co-authors on Lee, Yadav and Tabar’s paper include David Hughes, Dorothy Foehr Huck and J. Lloyd Huck Chair in Global Food Security and PlantVillage; Annalyse Kehs, PlantVillage operations director; Derek Morr, data scientist for PlantVillage; Fei Jiang, postdoctoral researcher; and Jared Gluck and Anchit Goyal, Schreyer Honors Scholars who earned bachelor’s degrees in computer science this year.

Gamrat selected as an EDUCAUSE expert panelist

Chris Gamrat, instructional designer, was selected from a record number of worldwide applications to serve as an expert panelist for the EDUCAUSE 2022 Teaching and Learning Horizon Report. Comprised of global leaders from across the higher education landscape, the panel offers perspectives on key trends and emerging technologies and practices that shape the future of teaching and learning to be published in the annual report. The report also envisions a number of scenarios and implications for the future. EDUCAUSE is a nonprofit association and the largest community of technology, academic, industry and campus leaders advancing higher education through the use of information technology.

Encyclopedia of AI includes eight entries by IST authors

Frank Ritter, professor, and five members of the Penn State Applied Cognitive Science Lab, have a total of eight entries in the Encyclopedia of Artificial Intelligence: The Past, Present, and Future of AI. Other authors from the lab include David Schwartz, Raphael Rodriguez and Jacob Oury, doctoral students in the College of IST; Farnaz Tehranchi, doctoral student in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; and Mat Brener, a post-doctoral scholar in the lab.

Summer 2021 iConnect magazine available online

The summer issue of iConnect magazine, the College of IST’s biannual magazine for alumni and friends of the college, is available to read online. This edition highlights Sara Weston, an alumna who launched a nonprofit to support and empower female emergency dispatchers, and explores ethical challenges facing the technology sphere, as discussed by IST experts. The magazine can be read at

“On the Bridge” highlights accomplishments by faculty, staff, students and alumni of the College of Information Sciences and Technology. Share your news with us and the IST community by emailing

Last Updated August 31, 2021