Anuj Karpatne has been appointed assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech. He is one of 28 new faculty members hired by the college for the 2018-19 academic year.

Karpatne works on interdisciplinary problems in scientific and socially relevant applications, particularly in climate and earth science disciplines, using data mining and machine learning methods to serve as a catalyst for scientific discovery. 

A primary focus of Karpatne’s research aims to advance the novel paradigm of theory-guided data science, where machine learning methods are deeply integrated with scientific knowledge, or theories, that underlie real-world phenomena in physical and life sciences. 

An overarching goal of this paradigm is to develop generalizable and physically consistent machine learning methods that can augment current gaps in our understanding of physical processes by effectively using physics and data. Karpatne’s prior research builds upon the foundations of this paradigm and explores its applications as they relate to challenges in food systems, sustainable energy, and hydrology. 

Prior to joining the Discovery Analytics Center on Virginia Tech’s Blacksburg campus in August 2018, Karpatne was a postdoctoral researcher with Regents Professor Vipin Kumar at the University of Minnesota.

He is currently investigating approaches to integrate physics-based models with machine learning methods in a variety of applications such as lake modeling, cell cycle biology, fluid dynamics, material science, and civil engineering in collaboration with researchers at Virginia Tech.

Karpatne is a co-author of the second edition of the leading textbook, “Introduction to Data Mining.” He also serves as the review editor for the data-driven climate sciences section of the journal Frontiers in Big Data, as well as a program committee member for several conferences including: the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence; the Association for Computing Machinery's Special Interest Group on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining; the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematic's International Conference on Data Mining; the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence; and the International Conference on Machine Learning.

In recognition of his interdisciplinary research efforts in the field of geosciences, Karpatne was named Inaugural Research Fellow by the Intelligent Systems for Geosciences Program through the American Association for the Advancement of Science in February 2019
at the organization's annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

Karpatne received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in September 2017. Prior to that he received an Integrated M. Tech in Mathematics and Computing from the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi in 2011.

Written by Amy Loeffler