Lian Duan, PhD, whose innovative research on large-scale data mining has applications in the business world, will join NJIT’s College of Computing Sciences as assistant professor. Duan’s work on data mining, the automatic process of extracting patterns from large data sets, has practical applications in many industries, including marketing, social networking and bioinformatics. He will join the talents of more than 20 other new faculty members on campus this fall. The newcomers 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.
Whereas most data mining experts search for correlation pairs, Duan focuses on correlated sets of arbitrary size. His research focuses on correlation search, community detection, and density-based clustering and outlier detection.
Before his arrival at NJIT, Duan worked as a research assistant in the University of Iowa Department of Management Science. His most recent publications include “Finding Maximal Fully-Correlated Itemsets in Large Databases,” (Proceedings of the 2009 IEEE international Conference on Data Mining) and “A Local-density Based Spatial Clustering Algorithm with Noise,” (Information Systems, Vol.32, No.7, Nov. 2007).
He is the recipient of two doctorates, one in computer science from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, China, and one in information systems with an emphasis on data mining from The University of Iowa.