New Tenure-track Assistant Professor Brings Data Science Expertise to iSchool Faculty
The San José State University School of Information announces the addition of a new tenure-track assistant professor to its diverse and award-winning faculty. Souvick Ghosh will focus on developing a foundational course, Problem Solving with Data, and will contribute his professional applied experience to the iSchool’s Master of Library and Information Science degree program.
Ghosh’s expertise in online pedagogy and information retrieval will bring great value to the curriculum, and his computer/data science focus will make him an ideal candidate for interdepartmental collaborative research projects in data science, computer science, and computer engineering.
“The iSchool at SJSU is unique in all aspects,” said Ghosh. “It is a trendsetter in 100% online education, the importance of which has been highlighted by the global pandemic. I applied for the position because I loved the direction in which the iSchool is moving. The focus of the school on human-centered, socio-technical research and teaching resonates with me completely.”
Beyond his initial impressions, it was Ghosh’s visit to the SJSU campus that ultimately convinced him to join the iSchool. “The visit was planned meticulously, and the faculty and the staff were amazing in terms of collegiality,” he reflected. “Also, I am passionate about teaching, and every faculty member I met at the iSchool cared for the students in a way I have never witnessed before.
“I remember returning home and telling my family, ‘I hope that they make me the final offer. I don’t think there could be a better set of colleagues!’ So, when the dean called me to offer the contract, it was a dream come true for me because, in my heart, I already knew that I was accepting the offer.”
Ghosh, who received his Master’s degree in Computer Science and Engineering from Jadavpur University and his PhD from Rutgers University, was awarded the Outstanding Graduating Student Award (LIS 2020) for research, teaching, and service from the Rutgers University School of Communication and Information.
Ghosh’s thesis, “Exploring Intelligent Functionalities of Spoken Conversational Search Systems,” defined the emerging technology of conversation search as an interactive communication in which information or knowledge is exchanged in a human-machine dialogue, and examined its role within an interdisciplinary context, including cognitive science and linguistics. His research aimed to connect natural language dialogues between users and systems, and determine the influence of explicit system-level clarification on the user’s search experience.
In the next few years, Ghosh envisions himself working in computational and human-centered research projects. “The objective is to contribute toward social good through socially relevant research,” he enthused, adding, “I am excited to mentor the incredibly diverse student population at the iSchool toward a career in technology.”
Students who enroll in the Problem Solving with Data course “will learn how to wrangle real-world data and analyze it statistically,” said Ghosh. In spring 2021, he plans to offer an advanced version of the same course, which will focus on the machine learning components. “Considering the global pandemic, I am structuring the course to focus on analyzing and visualizing different datasets related to COVID19,” he said. “I think the students would love getting a hands-on experience with something so relatable, and with so much potential for social good.”
Ghosh’s enthusiasm for his new position at the iSchool and passion for teaching is evident. “I would like to use this opportunity to reach out to the students who are enrolled in this course,” said Ghosh. “If you have any questions or doubts, get in touch with me. We are going to have a great semester!”