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Introducing Anand Panangadan

Computer Scientist Focuses on Social Networks
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Anand Panangadan, assistant professor of computer science, conducted research at USC, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory/Caltech, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and UCLA before joining Cal State Fullerton in the fall. Panangadan earned his doctorate and master’s degree in computer science from UCLA, and holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science and engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.

Why did you pursue the opportunity to join the Titan community?

Computer science is a particularly exciting field right now as it is central to many of the changes happening in our society; for instance, with the rise of online social networks and widespread use of data analysis. This affects how computer science is taught at a university.

Being a part of a large university like CSUF gives me the opportunity to impact computer science education, while also working on interesting problems with colleagues and students.

What do you most look forward to now that you’re here?

I am enjoying interacting with the diverse students on campus. I want to present course material in ways that will relate to their experiences outside the classroom. I also expect to learn from students — especially about the increasingly different ways in which people interact online.

What areas of continued scholarship and research are of particular interest to you?

My main interest is in applications of machine learning. Two of the most rapidly growing sources of data are interconnected sensors — the Internet of things — and communications on social networks, such as Twitter. I would like to develop methods to automatically analyze such data for specific real-world applications. For instance, I am working on a project to understand how perceptions towards public transportation are propagated on Twitter. I want to apply network analysis and text analysis methods to quantify network influence and identify the most influential sources of opinions regarding public transportation. I also will be working on analyzing data from wireless networks of sensors situated in different environments.

What are some of your outside activities, hobbies or interests?

I enjoy hiking, spending time with my cats, and recently, trying to establish a native garden at home.