Songhua Xu, PhD, a computer scientist who uses advanced techniques to build human-centered applications to benefit society, will join the NJIT College of Computing Science as an assistant professor. His talents, combined with those of the more than 20 new faculty members, will add momentum to NJIT’s strategic plan for making a major impact on the quality of life in the 21st century. This interdisciplinary initiative is focused on three vital areas: convergent life science and engineering, “digital everyware” — ubiquitous computing — and sustainable systems.The women and men joining NJIT to serve a growing student body bring expertise that spans diverse supporting clusters. These include advanced manufacturing, architecture design and construction, big data, biochemistry, business systems, material science and engineering, and sensing and control.
“NJIT’s academic status and interdisciplinary strategy have attracted people at various stages of their careers, and who offer NJIT both distinctive abilities and new resources,” says Provost Ian Gatley. “Enthusiasm for NJIT’s interdisciplinary commitment was apparent during the search process. Everyone interviewed spoke about how the problems they work on are inherently interdisciplinary, how they like to work on teams, how they look forward to collaborating with colleagues across disciplines.”
Donald Sebastian, NJIT’s senior vice president for research and development, emphasizes that connecting with real-world issues is at the heart of expectations for a technological research university. “Academic disciplines are the core of the university and the framework for learning. However, their alignment with industries of the future is not as obvious as with those sectors that have prevailed over the last century. Our strategic research thrusts are designed to make those 21st-century connections explicit.” Convergent life science and engineering, digital everyware and sustainable systems — themes that transcend departments or colleges — shaped NJIT’s hiring plan, he adds.
Xu’s research uses innovative biomedical imaging and computer-aided diagnosis techniques and helps public policy experts improve the cost and quality of healthcare.
Xu’s primary research interests include information retrieval and management, web search and data mining, innovative applications of artificial intelligence and intelligent systems for biomedical applications. He also has secondary research interests in visual computing, multimedia, human-computer interaction, computer graphics and visualization, as well as digital arts and design.
Xu has fifteen approved patents and twenty-four pending. Broadly speaking, his patents are for his work in the areas of information retrieval, management, visualization, data mining, analytics, and computer art.
He is a member of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, the IEEE and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He also belongs to the American Medical Informatics Association, the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, the New York Academy of Sciences and the European Association for Computer Graphics, known as Eurographics. He is an honorary assistant professor in the University of Hong Kong, Department of Computer Science.
Prior to arriving at NJIT, Xu was a researcher and a Wigner Fellow in the Modeling and Simulation Group in the Computational Sciences and Engineering Division of the Computing and Computational Sciences Directorate at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. His research at the lab focused on biomedical and health informatics. He received his Ph.D., M.Phil., M.S., all in computer science, from Yale University.