Ji Meng Loh, PhD, a statistician whose work has implications for advances in fields ranging from functional magnetic resonance imaging and epidemiology to telecommunications and astronomy, has been appointed to the faculty of NJIT’s College of Science and Liberal Arts an associate professor in the department of mathematical sciences. 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.
Before coming to NJIT, Loh was a principal member of the technical staff at AT&T Labs. He has taught at Victoria University, New Zealand, Anderson Junior College, Singapore, the University of Chicago and Columbia University. Loh has served as a research fellow at SAMSI — the Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute.
Loh’s research can be broadly classified into three types: applied spatial data analysis and visualization that helps to answer questions raised by the work of collaborators, the development of statistical methodology to make better inferences from spatial data, and working out the theory to support methodology. Many data sets are inherently spatial and/or temporal, and in a growing range of applications investigators are finding that it's important to incorporate spatial and temporal correlations into their models.
His research has received support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and National Science Foundation. As co-investigator for a Robert Wood Johnson Healthy Eating Research Grant, Loh researched the “inequality” of New York City’s food environment including the determinants of fast food density, spatial distribution, and store operation.
Loh received a bachelor’s degree from Victoria University, New Zealand, a doctorate in statistics from the University of Chicago and a postgraduate diploma in education from the National Institute of Education, Singapore.