Student Research with Dr. Weiss

Brief Overview of Current Research

My current research focus involves WIreless Sensor Data Mining, or WISDM. The WISDM project was launched in 2009 and involves mining sensor data from smart phones. Currently we focus on acceleromter data, which describes a user's movements, although we are now branching out to other sensors, including GPS. The WISDM project is described in great detail on the WISDM project page. The project currently involves approximately a dozen undergraduate and graduate students. Using our custom developed WISDM platform, which was described in detail in a recent publication, we have implemented the following three sensor mining applications:

  • Activity recognition: determines the user's physical activity, such as walking (paper)
  • Trait identification: determines user characteristics, such as height, weight, and gender (paper)
  • Biometric identification: identifies a user from a set of users (paper)

Student Benefits

I believe that student research should be an essential part of both undergraduate and graduate education. Due to the size, scope and application-oriented nature of the WISDM research project, I believe that WISDM provides an ideal environment for student research. Below are just a few reasons that you might want to join the WISDM team:
  • WISDM research involves the programming of Android smart phones and the development of cool, cutting edge, real world cell phone apps. In many ways these powerful mobile devices are the future of computing and learning to program with Android is a useful and marketable skill. Sensor mining relies on data mining methods and learning how to use these techniques is also a very important and marketable skill.
  • The project is a large collaborative project and students learn to work on a team, using real-world collaboration tools (e.g., a source code control). WISDM team members frequently interact with their peers and learn from them.
  • WISDM student members have an outstanding track record of scholarly publications. Every published WISDM paper has student co-authors and in fact many of the papers list a Fordham student as the lead (first) author. Students have presented their work at international conferences with travel support from the WISDM project and Fordham.
  • Students on this project have an excellent track record of receiving research funding. Details of student funding can be found on the WISDM project funding page (most of the faculty funding was also used to fund student research). I currently have funds available for student research from a Google Faculty Research Award and a Fordham Faculty Research Grant.
  • While WISDM is about cutting edge research and applications, we also host team building and social activities, such as the WISDM party, shown in the picture at the bottom of this page (we watched "The Social Network" before munching on local dessert delicacies). In fact, in 2011 I secured a $2000 grant for team building activities, which funded the party, food for our weekly meetings, and the purchase of over 70 WISDM t-shirts (shown in the picture).

If you are Interested

I encourage all students, undergraduate and graduate, to engage in research. There are many exciting projects in the CIS department and you should consider your various alternatives. But if you want to work on the WISDM project, or other data mining or machine learning projects, feel free to contact me at You can find out more about me on my home page.

If you join the WISDM project, you can do as much or little as you like. We have some students with little free time who mainly attend the weekly meetings and contribute here and there as they can-- and that is fine. The main thing is to get involved in research. (Of course if you join us you get a nice t-shirt!)

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