Fall 2022

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Directors' Message

Support for Engaging in Team Grant Proposals

It might start with a simple search in GRANTS.GOV for computation where you find yourself lost in 86 matching results from a dozen agencies and even more programs; a nudge from your chair to go after a funding mechanism that you thought was out of your reach; or an excited email from a long-time collaborator sharing the perfect opportunity. However you find yourself in the process of planning and development for larger grants, you will find many challenges along the way. I-DISC is here to help you build your capacity for successfully addressing these challenges. Continue Reading >

I-DISC Leadership Team
Larry Snyder, ISE, I-DISC Director
Kate Arrington, Psychology, I-DISC Associate Director


Brian D. Davison (CSE)
Davison is an expert in search engines and data science, has been named chair of Lehigh's Department of Computer Science and Engineering. Davison will step down as Associate Director of I-DISC. He was instrumental in developing the I-DISC’s Fellow’s Program and was an active member in a number of I-DISC research groups. He will serve on the Faculty Advisory Board. We thank Brian for his insights and contributions to I-DISC and wish Brian all the best in his new position. Read more >

Research Highlights

Computer Science and Engineering researchers shed light on critical questions about fairness, privacy, and the spread of disinformation powered by AI

Internet search. Your email and social media. The navigation, shopping, and news apps on your phone. They all run on algorithms—sets of rules for solving a problem or completing a task—that are incredibly powerful in analyzing data when paired with machine learning, a form of artificial intelligence. While most of us mindlessly click through the latest software update or privacy agreement, I-DISC researchers are raising questions—and working toward answers—as to why algorithms make certain decisions, what impact they have on privacy, and how to improve our digital literacy.
Read full article > "In algorithms we trust?" Story by Steve Neumann, Christine Fennessy, and Emily Collins) 


Lehigh University hosts flagship conference of the Mathematical Optimization Society

Led by Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE) Professors Daniel P. Robinson and Frank E. Curtis, Lehigh University hosted the jointly organized 2022 International Conference on Continuous Optimization (ICCOPT) and the  Modeling and Optimization: Theory and Applications (MOPTA) conference from July 23–28, 2022.  The conference, which had 537 in-person participants from more than 30 countries, was immensely successful!  It allowed PhD students, postdocs, practitioners, and academics from around the world to form exciting research collaborations, meet new people, and create lasting memories.  This all happened while gaining a greater appreciation of Lehigh University and its rich history that is inseparable from that of the Bethlehem region. 
Read more > Article by Daniel P. Robinson

Faculty Spotlight

Karmel Shehadeh (ISE)
Karmel Shehadeh joined the ISE department in 2020. Her research areas include optimization under uncertainty, mixed-integer programming, scheduling theory and algorithm development. Shehadeh’s primary application of her work is in healthcare operations and analytics. She recently published a book chapter with I-DISC Director and ISE professor Larry Snyder that focused on integrating equity into health care facility location optimization models and algorithms. They looked at how equity is being modeled and recommended ways to incorporate equity measures in the models and ensure equitable distributions of and access to health care facilities. Read more >

Haiyan Jia (Journalism & Communication)
Jia’s primary research interest focuses on the psychological and social effects of communication technology, ranging from the Internet and social media to robots and the Internet of Things. Jia also investigates the social and collective aspects of privacy in an increasingly technology-rich world.  She teaches data journalism and data visualization, with an emphasis on the role of technology in reshaping the landscape of journalism, transforming readership, and enabling and empowering the new generation of journalists & citizens. Read more >

Congratulations to recently promoted I-DISC Faculty:

Promotion to the Rank of Full Professor
  • Paolo Bocchini, Civil and Environmental Engineering, RCEAS
  • Almut Hupbach, Psychology, CAS
  • Parv Venkitasubramanian, Electrical and Computer Engineering, RCEAS 
Promotion to Associate Professor with Tenure
  • Eric Baumer, Computer Science and Engineering, RCEAS
  • Nancy Carlisle, Psychology, CAS
  • Hannah Dailey, Mechanical Engineering and Mechanic, RCEAS
  • Roberto Palmieri, Computer Science and Engineering, RCEAS
  • Rebecca Wang, Marketing, COB

Undergraduate Student Research Highlights

I-DISC’s UG Research Support has provided opportunities for I-DISC Faculty
to include undergraduates in their research. 

1. Probabilistic Forecasting of COVID-19 for CDC.
With support from I-DISC and faculty advisor Tom McAndrews (COH), Matt Piriya (CSE ’23), Abraham Berlin (CSE ’23) and Parth Deven Ghandi (ISE Masters student) built a Vector Auto Regression model that trains on COVID-19 incident cases, incident deaths, and incident hospitalizations, producing probabilistic forecasts of all three targets of public health importance for every state in the US and of incident cases for every county in the US.  These forecasts were submitted to the COVID-19 Forecast Hub, which is monitored by public health officials at the CDC. Prof. McAndrews plans to submit forecasts for these targets every week.

2. Smart Underwater Sensors and Wireless Communications, Computer engineering major Alexis Soulias ’23 placed third at Lehigh’s Undergraduate Research Symposium for her work on “Smart Underwater Sensors and Wireless Communications.” Her research was supported by the I-DISC UG Research Grant awarded to her adviser, Rosa Zheng (ECE). 


I-DISC Undergraduate Research Support: I-DISC is offering support for faculty to include undergraduates in research.
Accepting applications for Fall 2022.

Upcoming I-DISC Events


Friday, September 16, 2022
1:30-3:00PM (refreshments provided)
Health, Science & Technology Building: Room 211

Join us for a networking event and help session with staff from Communications and Public Affairs and the Office of Research. Our guests will be available to help with your website, social media, elevator pitches and media relations. This will be informal and consultation-based. Please RSVP >> by Sept 12, 2022

I-DISCovery is a platform for faculty across all disciplines on campus in the data, intelligent systems, and computation space to connect, exchange ideas, promote discussion, and share skills and interests. 

Grant Writing Workshop

Friday, October 28, 2022
Building C: Room BC220
Registration required (closes 10.24.22)

How to Develop and Write Successful Team Proposals:  
  • Planning Your Path from Small Grants to Team Grants
  • Developing Your Team Proposal

More Information and Registration >

I-DISC Faculty Forum

Friday, November 11
Building C: Room BC220
More information will be posted on the website soon.
All I-DISC members will be sent an invite & agenda!

Women in Cognitive Science (WiCS)

This fall, WiCS hosts its first in-person workshop since the start of the pandemic. Gathering in person in Boston this November, the panel discussion will examine the theme of Stepping Out of the Narrow Path: Exploring Experiences Outside Academia. The panel will also be available in a virtual format for anyone interested in attending. Check out our website in coming weeks for more information. Learn more about WiCS >
Engage with us on Twitter @WomeninCogSci or
join our Facebook group @WomenInCognitiveScience.

Quick Links to other I-DISC Opportunities

For Faculty:

I-DISC Fellow Services
Accepting applications for Fall 2022.
This program has helped faculty advance their research in over a dozen research projects across a diverse range of fields. Read more >

I-DISC Undergraduate Research Grants: I-DISC is offering support for faculty to include undergraduates in research. Accepting applications for Fall 2022.

I-DISC Faculty Member Pages

How to access additional resources & information:
Go to idisc.lehigh.edu home page
Click on FACULTY LOG IN (top right hand corner)
Use your Lehigh Username & Password

Funding Resources: resources to help and support faculty for grant and proposal writing.
I-DISC Support Services: administrative support & help with events, grant writers.

For Graduate Students:

Other events of interest to I-DISC members.


I-DISC Community workspace. Follow the instructions here to find the I-DISC Community workspace and request to join. Or email Sarah Wing (srw208@lehigh.edu), or send her a message on Slack and ask to be added.


I-DISC Events. Add to your google calendar using this link


I-DISC is a Lehigh University Interdisciplinary Research Institute