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Program in Data Analytics

Faculty Advisory Board

Jacob Murray

Faculty: Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs, Program Coordinator and Scholarly Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering
(WSU Everett)

Dr. Murray graduated the first in his family with his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering and PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering from WSU in 2010 and 2014, respectively. Today, Dr. Murray works as Associate Professor (Career track) and Program Coordinator for the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at WSU Everett. It’s an honor to work for WSU, being able to help build a brand-new campus and teach courses that I am passionate about is a dream come true. It has been an excellent experience helping to shape a program from the ground up and bringing more Crimson and Gray to the west side of Washington.

Daryl DeFord

Faculty: Mathematics

(WSU Pullman)

Teaches: DATA 115, STAT 419

Dr. DeFord earned his undergraduate degree from the math department here at WSU and got interested in research as a junior and senior working on projects supervised by faculty members in math and computer science.

During his Ph.D. work at Dartmouth and postdoc at MIT, he worked on mathematical models for analysis of social data.

Most recently, his work has focused on building tools for detecting and combating gerrymandering of political districts and teaching students about mathematical approaches to data analysis through the Voting Rights Data Institute.

Daryl DeFord.


Ananth Jillepalli

Faculty: Computer Science

(WSU Pullman)

Teaches: CptS 421, CptS 423/lab, CptS 427, CptS 451, CptS 527, DATA 390

Ananth is a computer scientist and an education enthusiast.

Computing devices and data, by extension, are here to stay. Data analysis and computer science are becoming an essential life skill for everybody and Ananth wants to discover best ways in which the society can be prepared for this ongoing transition.

Feel free to reach out to Ananth at with ideas, comments, concerns, or questions.

Ananth Jillepalli.

Richard Johnson

Faculty: Associate Professor, Management, Information Systems, and Entreprenesurship

(WSU Pullman)

Richard Johnson is an associate professor in the Management, Information Systems & Entrepreneurship Department in the Carson College of Business. He received a BS in Business from Indiana University, an MBA from Virginia Tech, and a PhD in Information Systems from the University of Maryland. He has held faculty positions at the University of Central Florida, the University of South Florida, and the University at Albany (SUNY). Most recently he was department chair and director of the human resource information systems (HRIS) program at the University at Albany. His research focuses on HRIS, artificial intelligence, computer self-efficacy, e-learning, and the psychological impacts of computing. His research has been published in outlets such as Information Systems Research, the Journal of the Association for Information Systems, the International Journal of Human Computer Studies, and Human Resource Management Review. He is a Past Chair of AIS SIGHCI and is a Senior Editor at Data Base and an Associate Editor at AIS Transactions on Human-Computer Interaction. He is also an editor of the books, Human Resource Information Systems: Basics, Applications and Future Directions and The Wiley Blackwell Handbook of the Psychology of the Internet at Work.

Sergey Lapin

Associate Director, Data Analytics Program
Faculty; Professor of Mathematics and Statistics 

(WSU Everett) 

Teaches: DATA 115, DATA 390, DATA 498, Math 172, Math 182, Math 230, Math 283, Math 315, Math 499, STAT 360 

Sergey serves as the Associate Director of Data Analytics, is a Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, and a Faculty Fellow in the Honors College. His research focuses on multidisciplinary problems requiring mathematical modeling, such as modeling of ocular hemodynamics, ballistocardiograph, mathematical epidemiology and optimal control problems with applications to economics. 

Dr. Lapin is currently serving as a vice-chair of the WSU Faculty Affairs Committee and on University Grade Appeals Board. He advised and mentored over 30 undergraduate students from different majors: Mathematics, Electrical and Mechanical engineering, Physics, Geology, Microbiology,  Zoology and Finance. Dr. Lapin’s teaching and service to the WSU community has been recognized through Exceptional Professor Award from ASWSU in 2016, Honors College Thesis Advisor Award (2016), Honors College Faculty Award (2018) and Outstanding Faculty Member Award from United Greek Association in 2018. 

In 2021, he earned a College of Arts and Sciences Award for Mid-Career Achievement Faculty. Congratulations, Sergey! 

Jennifer Schwartz

Faculty: Professor of Sociology

(WSU Pullman)

Jennifer Schwartz is the James F. Short Distinguished Professor of Sociology in the College of Arts & Sciences at Washington State University – Pullman. She earned her PhD in Sociology from The Pennsylvania State University in 2003.

Dr. Schwartz uses quantitative methods and analyzes large datasets to inform about patterns, causes, and trends in crime and punishment in the US and abroad. In one of her projects using data analytics, she studied patterns and causes of major corporate financial frauds.  Currently, she leads a community-engaged research team investigating factors that impact local jail population trends, with the aim of encouraging data-informed solutions.

Dr. Schwartz has designed and (co)taught undergraduate courses on data science in society and on data visualization for the social sciences and a graduate course in data management.

Michael Sugarman

Faculty: Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, WSU Global Campus
Associate Professor of Anthropology
Director of Learning Innovations

(WSU Pullman)

Michael Sugerman is the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at WSU’s Global campus, and an Associate Professor (career track) of Anthropology. He was formerly a Senior Lecturer at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and the Director of the Bachelor’s Degree with Individual Concentration (BDIC) an interdisciplinary degree program. He received his PhD in Anthropology from Harvard University. His research focuses on the political economy of the Bronze Age eastern Mediterranean, and he has been a member of multi-institution and multi-national teams that use large data sets to investigate patterns in trade and production in that region between about 3500 and 2600 years ago.

Jia Yan

Faculty: Professor, School of Economic Sciences

(WSU Pullman)

Jia Yan is a Professor of Economics at Washington State University. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from University of California at Irvine. Before joining Washington State University in 2007, he taught at Faculty of Business of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Yan’s research covers Applied Econometrics and Applied Microeconomics. He has published his papers in such journal as Econometrica, American Journal of Economics: Economics Policy, Journal of Econometrics, Journal of Public Economics, Journal of Urban Economics, Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Journal of Law and Economics, Transportation Research Part A and B, and Transportation Research Record. His Ph.D. dissertation won the dissertation award of the Transport and Public Utility Group of the American Economic Association in 2003. He also won the research excellence award of the Faculty of Business of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in 2006, the best paper award in Transportation Research Forum in 2009, and the best paper award of International Transportation Economics Association in 2011. He has served the editorial board of Transportmetrica since 2007.

Xinghui Zhao

Faculty: Computer Science

(WSU Vancouver)

Teaches: CS 420

Xinghui Zhao is the director of the School of Engineering and Computer Science at WSU Vancouver, and an associate professor of computer science.

Her research focuses on the broad areas of distributed systems, energy-efficient computing, machine learning and big data computing.

She received her PhD degree from the Department of Computer Science, University of Saskatchewan in 2012.