Spring 2022

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Directors' Message

Integrating Social Science and Engineering

How does human decision-making strain the supply chain? What specific behaviors need to be measured to improve human-in-the-loop AI? When do people choose to disclose private information on social media, exposing themselves and their community to cyber threats? These questions all center on understanding the cognitive, behavioral, and social processes that link humans to our data-driven world each day. 

Being able to answer these questions requires the full integration of cognitive, behavioral, and social sciences into interdisciplinary teams addressing these issues from many angles. Rigorous methodologies for obtaining and analyzing human subjects data are core to the various disciplines that address basic science questions about the fundamental nature of human thought and behavior. Bringing these tools and the deep disciplinary knowledge that goes with them to bear on interdisciplinary questions strengthens the scientific approaches and broadens the potential impact of interdisciplinary team science. Continue Reading > 

I-DISC Leadership Team
Larry Snyder, ISE, I-DISC Director
Kate Arrington, Psychology, I-DISC Associate Director
Brian D. Davison, CSE, I-DISC Associate Director

Research Highlights

Foundations and Applications of Mathematical Optimization and Data Science (Lehigh MODS Program)

Lehigh University is world-renowned for research on mathematical optimization (MO), which involves the development of mathematical and computational tools that facilitate discovery, design, and decision-making throughout science, engineering, and business. Indeed, all major industries, scientific laboratories, public-sector organizations, and policy-making groups benefit from the use of MO tools. MO is also one of the key pillars of data science (DS), the field that is revolutionizing both science and society. Read more > 

"Here Today, Better Tomorrow" - Machine Learning in Practice & Supply Chain

I-DISC Hosts NSF TRIPODS+X ML & Supply Chain Management Workshop

"Most of the prominent recent applications of machine learning for supply chains were focused on descriptive or predictive analytics," says Larry Snyder, a professor of industrial and systems engineering at Lehigh and co-director of I-DISC, who served as a co-organizer of the TRIPODS+X event. "For example, clustering methods have been used to segment customers or suppliers in a descriptive way, and deep neural networks have been applied predictively to forecast demand. Our workshop took a bit of a different direction: we focused on the use of machine learning for prescriptive analytics within the supply chain—on using the power of machine learning not just to analyze, but to optimize, efficiency and resiliency across the global supply chain.Read more >

Faculty Spotlight

A Sharper Focus on Catastrophe Modeling

Paolo Bocchini (Civil and Environmental Engineering), Brian Davison (Computer Science and Engineering), Daniel Conus (Mathematics) and their colleagues leverage their collaborative experience in probabilistic modeling to sharpen their focus on catastrophe modeling, a discipline not traditionally explored in academia.

A rigorous probabilistic approach to the study of disasters and their consequences, catastrophe modeling, or CatModeling, attempts to estimate potential events and their associated risks, including financial losses.

Read the full article >

Graduate Student Highlight

Eashan Adhikaria ’18G recognized with INDIS 2021 Best Paper Award

CSE doctoral student, Eashan Adhikaria's award-winning paper, “Exploring the BBRv2 Congestion Control Algorithm for use on Data Transfer Nodes,” was co-authored by scientists and engineers from the Energy Sciences Network (ESnet), where Adhikarla recently completed an internship. Adhikaria is advised by Brian Davison, Professor Computer Science and Engineering and I-DISC Associate Director. 

Read more >

Upcoming I-DISC Events

Meredith Broussard DCEJ Lecture
Wednesday, April 6, 2022 | WH 303
Lecture at 4:30pm, with reception to follow.

Data journalist Meredith Broussard will deliver the inaugural I-DISC Data and Computing Equity and Justice (DCEJ) lecture. Broussard is an associate professor at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute of New York University, research director at the NYU Alliance for Public Interest Technology, and the author of Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World.

This event is sponsored by I-DISC; the departments of Industrial & Systems Engineering (ISE), Computer Science & Engineering (CSE), and Journalism & Communication; the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) and Africana Studies programs; the Office of the Vice President and Associate Provost for Research & Graduate Studies; the Office of the Vice President for Equity & Community; and the Center for Ethics.  Registration required to attend.

Photo by Devin Curry, Courtesy of CCMNT

I-DISC Faculty Forum
Date: Friday, March 25, 2022
Time: 8:30-10:30am (breakfast provided)
Venue: Building C (BC206/BC210)

Stay tuned for an invite & agenda!
*format will be subject to LU Policy for in-person events.

Date: Friday, April 22, 2022
Time: 8:30-10:30am (breakfast provided)
Venue: Building C (BC206/BC210)

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. Learn more >

I-DISC Graduate Student Forum
Date: Friday, April 29, 2022
Time: 8:30-10:30am (breakfast provided)
Venue: Building C (BC206/BC210)

Stay tuned for an invite & agenda!

*format will be subject to LU Policy for in-person events.

Women in Cognitive Science (WiCS)
WiCS will be celebrating Women’s History Month in March, highlighting the past, present, and current women leaders in the field. Activities will include daily social media posts about research from WiCS members, group engagement in building Wiki pages for women in the field, and weekly announcements of winners of the WiCS Leadership Award. Engage with us on Twitter @WomeninCogSci or join our Facebook group @WomenInCognitiveScience.

Learn more about WiCS >

2022 International Conference on Continuous Optimization (ICCOPT)
Summer School: July 23-24, 2022
Conference: July 25-28, 2022

Lehigh University will host the ICCOPT, July 23-28, 2022. The ICCOPT is an international flagship conference of the Mathematical Optimization Society (MOS) that is organized every three years. Learn more >

Quick Links to other I-DISC Opportunities

For Faculty:

NEW for Spring 2022! I-DISC introduces a social science fellow. Learn more about I-DISC Fellow Services and how you can apply for help with your project. Accepting applications for Spring 2022

I-DISC Fellow Services
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 Spring 2022.

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