Baskin Engineering announces six new faculty members

Erin Foley

The Baskin School of Engineering welcomes six new faculty members this year, bringing the total faculty count to 103. These new faculty bring expertise in a wide range of subjects to the school of engineering, from game design to data science to cyber-physical systems, enhancing the departments of Computational Media, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Computer Science and Engineering.

The Baskin School of Engineering attracts high caliber faculty from across the country and around the world. This year’s new faculty members received their degrees from institutions such as UC Berkeley, University of Michigan, and University of Maryland.

New Faculty of the Baskin School of Engineering 2018-19:

Scott Beamer, Assistant Professor

Computer Science and Engineering

Computer architecture, memory interconnects, data movement optimization, open-source hardware design, graph algorithms

Scott Beamer's research develops techniques to more efficiently move data within computing systems, which in turn enables new applications by making larger datasets and richer algorithms more tractable. His communication-centric approach improves data movement efficiency by considering both hardware and software perspectives. His work identifies existing communication bottlenecks, architects communication-efficient processors, utilizes novel technologies (e.g. silicon photonics), and optimizes data-intensive algorithms.


Alvaro Cardenas, Associate Professor

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Cyber-physical systems, security, privacy, IoT

Alvaro Cardenas’ research interests focus on the security and privacy of cyber-physical systems such as autonomous vehicles, industrial networks, and the Internet of Things. He has developed new network security monitoring tools to detect and respond to attacks against cyber-physical systems, as well as new data minimization solutions for improving the privacy of Internet-of-Things devices that collect data from their users. He is the recipient of the NSF CAREER award, the 2018 faculty excellence in research award from the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science at UT Dallas, the Eugene McDermott Fellow recognition at UT Dallas, and best paper awards from the IEEE Smart Grid Communications Conference and the U.S. Army Research Conference.


Lindsey Kuper, Assistant Professor

Computer Science and Engineering

Programming languages, distributed systems, parallelism, concurrency, verification

Lindsey Kuper works on programming- language-based approaches to building parallel and distributed software systems that are correct and efficient. A unifying principle and goal of her work is to use high-level abstractions to express software systems in a way that not only does not compromise high performance, but actually enables it. She contributed to the Rust programming language at Mozilla Research, served several residencies at the Recurse Center, and co-founded !!Con (, the annual conference of ten-minute talks about the joy, excitement, and surprise of computing.


 Michael John, Teaching Professor

Computational Media

Video game design, level design, interdisciplinary creative process and collaboration, alternative controllers/microcontroller programming and maker culture, games for learning/serious games, game development tools

Michael John’s work expands efforts to codify and grow formalized processes in game design. He is creating tools and processes to extend the accessibility of game design and game development to larger and broader populations. His work is grounded in 20 years of commercial game development, and he teaches across a broad spectrum of development areas including programming, design, and process. He has a particular interest in video game level design and is currently developing a toolkit designed to leverage Unity game engine as a tool for the study and practice of level design. He also builds game-like applications for microcontroller- based software as part of the “maker” movement.


 Yang Liu, Assistant Professor

Computer Science and Engineering

Data science, information elicitation and aggregation, learning with data from people, fairness in machine learning

Yang Liu's research broadly focuses on the interactions between people, our society and Artificial Intelligence. For instance, he is interested in questions that sit at the intersections between crowdsourcing, data collection, and machine learning. He was a finalist for the Towner Prize for Outstanding Ph.D. research at Michigan in 2015. His work has been covered by public media, including the Wall Street Journal.


Edward Melcer, Assistant Professor

Computational Media

Educational games, alternative controllers, human-computer interaction, tangibles, embodiment, game studies, game-based learning, CS education, STEM education, and serious games

Eddie Melcer’s research is at the intersection of games, human-computer interaction, and learning science where he explores the usage of novel interfaces and physical gameplay mechanics in games. Specifically, he focuses on incorporating augmented reality, tangibles, and other alternative controllers into the design of educational programming games to enhance learning outcomes. He also does research in the area of game studies, conducting large-scale meta-analyses to better understand core themes and communities within games research and industry.