University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Andrew McCallum

The Center for Data Science is directed by Professor Andrew McCallum, an international leader in the fields of machine learning, information extraction and social network analysis. He is the current president of the International Machine Learning Society and among the most highly cited researchers internationally in the field of natural language processing. In the early 2000’s he was vice president of research and development at WhizBang Labs, a 170-person start-up company, and he has collaborated with more than 20 companies since joining the UMass Amherst faculty in 2003.


Ph.D., Computer Science, University of Rochester (1995), B.S., Dartmouth College (1989, summa cum laude). Professor McCallum joined the faculty of the Department of Computer Science as a Research Associate Professor in 2002 and became an Associate Professor in 2003 (awarded tenure in 2007). Previously, he was Vice President of Research and Development at WhizBang Labs, and Director of their 30-person research and development lab in Pittsburgh, PA. Prior to joining WhizBang, he was a Research Scientist and Research Coordinator at Just Research (Justsystem Pittsburgh Research Center), where he spearheaded the development of technology for statistical text processing. In 1996, he was a post-doctoral fellow at Carnegie Mellon University.


Executive Director

Brant A. Cheikes

Brant is responsible for building, developing, and managing the full range of research, educational and operational activities of the Center for Data Science. Brant comes to UMass from The MITRE Corporation in Bedford, Massachusetts, where he held a variety of technical and management positions over the course of a 23-year career. Brant’s advanced technology work spans Artificial Intelligence applied to education & training, cognitive support tools for analysis and decision-making tasks, large-scale data analysis of scientific and patent literatures, and most recently, technical standards for automation of cyberdefense systems. Brant holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from Boston University, and Master’s and doctoral degrees in Computer and Information Science (Computational Linguistics) from the University of Pennsylvania.


Director of Educational Programs

Benjamin Marlin

Professor Benjamin Marlin serves as the Director of Educational Programs for the Center for Data Science. His responsibilities include supporting the development of new data science courses, leading the development of new data science educational programs, and managing existing programs. Professor Marlin co-directs the Machine Learning for Data Science Laboratory where his research focuses on probabilistic modeling of time series data with applications to clinical and mobile health. He also co-directs the College of Information and Computer Sciences' NSF-funded Research Experience for Undergraduates program in Data Science. 

Director of Research Programs

Matthew Rattigan

Matt is the Director of Research Programs for the Center for Data Science.  He is reponsible for identifying, scoping, and spearheading new research initiatives for the Center, and serves as a technical partner for industrial collaborators.  Before joining CDS, Matt co-founded Edgeflip, a data-intensive social media startup focused serving social good organizations.  In 2012, Matt was a part of the transformational analytics team at Obama For America, where he led the campaign's targeted social media efforts.  He has also worked as a data scientist in the financial services industry.  Matt holds a BA from Wesleyan University, and an MA and PhD in Computer Science from UMass.  

Assistant Director of Operations

Pamela Mandler

Pam is responsible for the Center's operations, educational programs administration and outreach including event management. She came to UMass after 15 years in industry including BBN. She has a BS in Physics from the University of Maine in Orono.

Assistant Director of Information Technology

Dan Parker

Dan Parker designs, installs, configures and maintains the computing resources used by the Center for Data Science. He has been helping the digital trains run on time since graduating from Castleton University in 1995 with a B.S. in Computer Information Systems.

Grant Coordinator

Matthew Lustig

Matt coordinates grants and contracts and serves as the financial manager for the Center for Data Science. Prior to joining CDS, Matt managed programs at healthcare institutions designed to improve outcomes while reducing health care costs. Matt is also an experienced city planner and teacher. He has a B.A. in Government and Environmental Studies from St. Lawrence University, an M.S. in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana and a Master of Urban & Regional Planning from Portland State University.

Project Coordinator

Nancy Fontes

Nancy supports the Center for Data Science with various projects including event planning for special events and Industry Affiliates Program.  Nancy holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management from Elms College. She has spent several years in the banking industry before working in higher education. Most recently, Nancy was employed at Bay Path University as Coordinator of Institutional Research.

Administrative Assistant

Lynn Yovina

Lynn is responsible for administrative and clerical support for the Center. She came to UMass after sixteen years of teaching English in Massachusetts. She has a BS in English from Central Connecticut State University.

Executive Committee

James Allan

Professor and Chair

Ph.D., Computer Science, Cornell University (1995), M.S., Computer Science, Cornell University (1991), A.B., Mathematics, Grinnell College (1983). Professor Allan joined the Computer Science Department of the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1994 and has run through a number of titles, most recently Professor as of 2008. He is currently serving as Chair of the Faculty and is co-Director of the Center for Intelligent Information Retrieval (CIIR).

David Jensen


D.Sc. Engineering and Policy, Washington University (1992); M.S. Engineering and Policy, Washington University (1988); B.S. Mechanical Engineering, University of Nebraska (1986).  Professor Jensen joined the UMass CS faculty as a Research Assistant Professor in 1995.  From 1991 until 1995, Jensen was an analyst with the Office of Technology Assessment, an analytical agency of the United States Congress.


Benjamin Marlin

Assistant Professor

Ph.D., Computer Science, University of Toronto (2008), M.S., Computer Science, University of Toronto (2004), B.S., Mathematics and Computer Science, McGill University (2002). Professor Marlin joined the faculty of the Department of Computer Science as an Assistant Professor in 2011. From 2008 to 2011, he was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of British Columbia.