Dr. Ashit Talukder is the Bank of America Endowed Chair in Information Technology at UNC Charlotte and the Director of the Charlotte Visualization Center. He has vast experience in a number of areas spanning computer science and electrical engineering, both foundational and applied in several domains. He has extensive experience in the Federal Government and in academia, in leading programs and large research teams, and in conducting R&D in funded research programs as a PI/Co-PI. He previously served as a Program Director for Data Science at NIST, and as the Division Chief for the Information Access Division at NIST since 2011. At NIST he led and directed a division of over 100 researchers and staff in the areas of information access, data processing, and information search and retrieval for multimedia, biometrics, Big Data, visualization, image processing, computer vision, video analytics, speech processing, speech recognition, machine translation, human-computer interaction, human-factors and usability, and multimodal data for science, defense and other applications. At NIST, he initiated and led new research efforts in the above areas, and facilitates collaborations and partnerships between research labs, academia and industry. He served as the Chief Technology Officer at the US Department of Labor, where he was responsible for providing and leading strategic directions for the technology roadmap at DOL, and prioritizing technology programs, and establishing a standards reference architecture for DOL technology programs. Prior to joining the Federal Government, he was previously at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, a federally funded research and development center at NASA. He has served as a research faculty member at the University of Southern California (USC). The programs that he led at NIST, DOL, JPL and USC involves collaborations and interactions with many federal agencies including DARPA, IARPA, NSA, NSF, NIH, FBI, DoD, DoJ, DHS and others. His research background and expertise covers machine learning, search and retrieval, human language technologies, NLP, pattern recognition, image / signal processing, multimedia processing, video understanding, computer vision, data mining and analytics of massive datasets, Big Data, distributed control, biometrics, robotics, sensor networks and cyber-physical systems. He has received funding from DARPA, NSF, NIH, NIH, DoD, DHS, and other agencies. He has more than 65 journal and conference publications, and has served as a reviewer on numerous conferences and journals. He was a recipient of the Premium Award for Academic Excellence (1992), and several NASA Space Act Awards. He is an inventor of 2 patents. He is a member of the ACM and the IEEE Computer Society. He received his Ph.D. in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University and a MS from Iowa State University.
Dr Talukder has extensive experience with initiating new programs in emerging R&D areas. He initiated, led and formulated the Big Data and Data Science initiatives in collaboration with other labs and other federal agencies, to meet multi-stakeholder needs in this high impact emerging area. He conceived of and formed a new cross-sector Data Science Program and symposium (http://www.nist.gov/itl/iad/data-science-symposium-2014.cfm ). This Data Science Symposium provided a platform for diverse communities of stakeholders spanning academia, industry, government, and end-user communities to share their experiences, perspectives, gaps, challenges and solutions, at a single venue. The cross-sector initiative allowed for technology and knowledge sharing between sectors, and created a first step towards a common understanding, vision and roadmap for data science and Big Data. The first Data Science Symposium was successfully organized in March 2014 with more than 700 registered attendees. In addition, he was the co-organizer of the Cloud and Big Data Workshop at NIST that had more than 1200 registered attendees from industry, academia and research labs, and had luminaries from industry and universities as speakers and panelists; this included Steve Van Roekel, the US CIO, Vint Cerf, Chief Scientist at NIST and George Strawn, NITRD coordinator, amongst others. He also led interagency coordination and collaboration efforts at many levels, for areas covering Big Data and Data science, with a focus on standards, measurements and interoperability. This interagency working group included representatives from DARPA, NIH, DOE, DHS, NSF, IARPA, Dept of Commerce, DoD, USGS, NASA, Census Bureau, and other agencies. He initiated the DARPA-NIST interagency effort to drive advances in data analytics and visualization for extremely large datasets using the next generation Big Data tools through benchmarking, challenges and reference data. This tremendously successful partnership resulted in the creation and formulation of new evaluations for deep search and information retrieval for a new DARPA program.