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.



Steve Willis

Steve is currently the Entrepreneur-In-Residence at the UMass-Amherst Campus. He received his BS in BDIC/Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts in 1978. In 1986, he co-founded Wellfleet Communications, an early Internet router company, where he ran software development for Wellfleet's high performance, multi-protocol routers.  Steve has contributed to the standardization of network management, BGP, IS-IS, ATM, Point-to-Point protocols, QOS and traffic management.  In 1996, he co-founded Argon Networks, a maker of high performance SONET based Internet core switch/routers, which was purchased by Siemens in 1999. In 2001, he joined Datapower, a company focused on innovative XML processing and data transformation, as the VP of Advanced Technology. In 2009, he co-founded Overlook Networks, a venture addressing new networking technology in the data center. His most current project is in the area of optical packet switching. He is a partner in Fresh Pond Partners, a member of the MIT Venture Mentoring Service, a co-founder of Venture Valley Mentors, an Advisory Board Member for the UMASS College of Information and Computer Sciences and an advisor to Solano Labs, Philo, and other startups in the Boston and Bay area. He recently co-authored "Cryptographic Rule Based Trading" in the 2012 Journal of Financial Cryptography and Data Security and holds multiple patents in the field of computer networking.

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. 

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.

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.