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Abdou S Youssef Faculty Member


Dr. Abdou Youssef, a tenured Professor and former Chairman of CS at GWU, and holding an MS and PhD in CS from Princeton University and a BS in math from the Lebanese University, has over 30 years of research and teaching experience in computer science. His research interests are machine learning, natural language processing, math search and math language processing, audio/image/video processing, high-performance computing, and algorithms. He has published over 150 peer-reviewed papers in those areas. As PI or co-PI, he has received over $5 million of external funding to GW from NSF, NSA, and the Department of Health and Human Services, and $1.5 million in intramural funding at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) where he has held an intermittent faculty research position. He has supervised over 25 PhD students. His PhD graduates have been employed in universities and high-tech industries. Currently, he is supervising 9 PhD students. Combining analytical rigor with applied methods, Dr. Youssef has developed techniques and systems that have been put to critical use. In the late 1990’s, he and his students developed for the US Government a system that recovers from fax errors without re-transmission. More recently, he has created for the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) a first-of-its-kind math-search engine as part of the Digital Library of Mathematical Functions (DLMF). This search engine was first of its kind and is deployed online at http://dlmf.nist.gov/. For that work, he received a Gold Medal from the US Department of Commerce in December 2011, and co-received the 2011 Government Computer News Award. Currently, Dr. Youssef and his PhD students are applying and adapting state-of-the-art machine learning methods, especially deep learning, to develop algorithms for big-data applications. These include semantics extraction from math & science text, fraud detection in the retail business, event detection in articles, causal and temporal event-relationship detection, bias detection from text, author profiling from text, metaphor detection and analysis, translation of poorly written text to better text, and more. Throughout his career, Dr. Youssef has collaborated with many people of different disciplines, including Computer Science, math, statistics, physics, and engineering. His collaborators are not only at his university, but come from several other institutions, such as Johns Hopkins University, Naval Surface Warfare Center, the FDA, NIST, University of Konstanz (Germany), and Technische Universität Berlin (Germany), and more collaborations are in the works with US PTO and with reserachers in public health and in social sciences. In teaching, his graduate and undergraduate computer science courses attract students from a number of disciplines besides computer science, including electrical and computer engineering, systems engineering, physics, mathematics, statistics, business, and patent law. In recognition of his teaching style and impact, he has received six Teacher-of-the-Year awards from his Department and School. In addition to his research and teaching activities, Professor Youssef has had considerable administrative experience. He has chaired, or served on, many departmental and university committees, including chairing a dean search that culminated in the recruiting of the GW Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science in 2008. Then he served as the Chair of the Department of Computer Science for six years from 2008 to 2014. During his tenure as Department Chair, Professor Youssef expanded his department and its research productivity. He doubled the size of the graduate programs to 500 students, fostered a 50% increase in the size of the undergraduate programs, created a new thriving master’s degree program in Cybersecurity, oversaw a 50% increase of externally funded research activities in the department, and hired 9 new faculty members, which constituted half of the department faculty at the time.

Research Areas

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