Faculty Members


Department Head, Professor

Son Tran

Ph.D., University of Texas at El Paso (2000)

Son received his Diplom Mathematiker degree in Mathematic Cybernetics and Comuting Technique in 1986 from the Technical University of Dresden, Germany, and his Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in computer science from the Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand, and University of Texas at El Paso in 1993 and 2000, respectively. Before joining the Computer Science Department at New Mexico State University as an Assistant Professor in 2001, he was a post-doctoral at the Knowledge Systems Laboratory, Computer Science, Stanford University.

Son was a recipient of the Outstanding Dissertation Award of the University of Texas at El Paso in 2001. He also received the Junior Faculty/Staff Award, fourth annual University Council Award for Exceptional Achievements in Creative Scholarly. His publication received the Best Student Paper Award at ICAPS 2012, and his CpA(H) planner received the Best Planner Award in the non-observable and non-deterministic track at the 2008 International Planning Competition. He is also a co-chair of the 12th International Conference on Logic Programming and Non-Mon0tonic Reasoning (LPNMR-2013) and the 14th International Workshop on Computational Logic and Multi-Agent Systems (CLIMA-2013). He currently serves on the editorial board of the Artificial Intelligence journal (AIJ).

Research Areas:Knowledge Representation and Reasoning; Logic Programming; Commonsense Reasoning; Planning and Plan Verification; Intelligent Agents

Email:tson at cs dot nmsu dot edu

Phone:(575) 646-1930

Office:SH 123

Dean of A&S, Regents Professor

Enrico Pontelli

Ph.D., New Mexico State University (1997)

Enrico received a Laurea in Computer Science in 1991 from University of Udine, a Master in Computer Science in 1992 from University of Houston, and a PhD in Computer Science in 1997 from New Mexico State University.

Enrico has received various fellowships (in particular a three years support from EEC to achieve a Master in Computer Science) and a special award from University of Udine as recognition of outstanding thesis work. He has published more than 250 research papers. He has been peer-referee for various conferences and journals on logic programming and parallel computing. He has also served as external consultant for the EEC-funded ESPRIT project AXL.

Enrico is now the director of the knowledge representation, logic, and advanced programing (KLAP) laboratory, a federally funded laboratory dedicated to research on foundations, development and programming of logic and constraint programming, parallel processing and knowledge representation and reasoning. He is also the founding director of the iCREDITS Center of Research Excellence in Design of Intelligent Technologies for Smartgrids.

Enrico serves as director of the Young Women in Computing Program (since 2006), and serves on the leadership team of the Computing Alliance of Hispanic Serving Institutions (CAHSI).

He is the recipient of a NSF CAREER award and he has contributed as PI or co-PI to over $17M in extra-mural funding.

Research Areas:Logic Programming; Parallel Processing; Programming Languages; Assistive Technologies; Constraint Programming; Bioinformatics; Knowledge Representation and Reasoning; Reasoning about Actions and Change; Multi-Agent Systems

Phone:(575) 646-6239

Office:SH 163

Tenure Track & Research Faculty

Associate Professor

Huiping Cao

Ph.D., The University of Hong Kong (2007)

Huiping obtained her Ph.D. from the Department of Computer Science at The University of Hong Kong (HKU) in 2007 (under the supervision of Prof. David W. Cheung and Dr. Nikos Mamoulis) and her master’s and bachelor’s degrees from the School of Information at Renmin University of China (RUC) in 2002 and 1999, respectively. Before joining NMSU, she worked in the SONET project at UCSB NCEAS and in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the School of Computing, Informatics, Decision Systems Engineering (SCI) at Arizona State University (ASU) (with Prof. K Selcuk Candan) for the tDAR project.

Research Areas:Data mining: Discovering patterns, association rules, clusters, etc. from general business data or special data (e.g., trajectories of moving objects, time series, etc.); Databases: Table summarization, Query processing over spatial data/XML data, Location-aware search; Data integration of multiple heterogeneous data sources (e.g., taxonomies, ontologies, etc.)

Email:hcao at cs dot nmsu dot edu

Phone:(575) 646-4600

Office:SH 171


Jonathan Cook

Ph.D., University of Colorado at Boulder (1996)

Jonathan Cook received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in computer engineering from Case Western Reserve University in 1988 and 1991, respectively. He then worked for two years in Cleveland, Ohio before returning to school. In 1996 he received a Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

He has worked on research topics from object database garbage collection to empirical software process analysis. He spent two months at Bell Laboratories involved in software process research. His current interests are in the areas of software process, reliable component-based systems, software engineering environments, and large software system maintenance.

Research Areas:Software Process; Reliable Component-Based Systems; Software Engineering Environments; Large Software System Maintenance

Email:joncook at nmsu dot edu

Phone:(575) 646-6243

Office:SH 165

Assistant Professor

Bill Hamilton

Ph.D., Texas A&M University (2018)

Dr. Bill Hamilton earned his bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University. His involvement in undergraduate research led to his pursuit of a Ph.D., also at Texas A&M University, with a focus on Human Computer Interaction, which he completed in 2018.

Bill’s research areas include live media design, online communities, online education, and video game design/culture. His current research investigates how new live media forms can support participation in critical aspects of society including education, politics, work, and play. Dr. Hamilton is interested in investigating how people share information and maintain information awareness in collaborative digital workspaces and games. He employs research methods such as qualitative ethnographic inquiry and deploying exploratory technology probes to elicit and observe new social phenomena.

In the past, Bill has collaborated with industry researchers at Microsoft Research and Motorola Mobility.

Phone:(575) 646-3234

Office:SH 150

Research Areas:Live Media Design; Human Computer Interaction; Computer Supported Collaborative Work & Play; Online Communities; Online Education; Digital Game Design and Culture

Assistant Professor

Tuan Le

Ph.D., Singapore Management University (2017)

Tuan obtained his Ph.D. from the School of Information Systems at Singapore Management University (SMU). His research interests are in data mining and machine learning, with a focus on text mining, visualization, and graph mining. Before joining NMSU, he was a visiting assistant professor at Oakland University. Earlier on, he was a postdoctoral researcher at Heinz CollegeCarnegie Mellon University.

Research Areas:Text Mining; Visualization; Graph Mining

Email:tuanle at nmsu dot edu

Phone:(575) 646-3234

Office:SH 149

Associate Professor

Satyajayant Misra

Ph.D., Arizona State University (2009)

Dr. Satyajayant Misra joined NMSU as an associate professor in computer science in 2009. He received his Ph.D. degree in computer science from Arizona State University, Tempe, in 2009 and his integrated M.Sc. (Tech.) information systems and M.Sc. (Hons.) physics degrees from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, India, in June 2003.  He has over 65 peer-reviewed publications in several prestigious venues, such as IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking, IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing, IEEE INFOCOM, IEEE/ACM Supercomputing Conference, and IEEE Biomedical Circuits and Systems Conference. His research has garnered over 3400 international citations.

He served on the editorial board of the IEEE Communications Surveys and Tutorials and is currently an editorial board member of the IEEE Wireless Communication Magazine (feature editor). He has served on the executive committee of several conference technical program committees and as the TPC co-chair in several international conferences and workshops.


  • Best paper award in ACM MobiArch Workshop, 2017 (in conjunction with ACM SIGCOMM’2017).
  • Chosen as an affiliated faculty by the Los Alamos National Lab (LANL) and New Mexico Consortium, 2017.
  • One of the first eleven NSF INSPIRE CREATIV grant awardees for year 2012.
  • Awarded NSF Fellowship to attend the TRUST-WISE workshop at UC Berkeley, summer 2006.

Research Areas:Anonymous, secure, and private networking and communications in the Internet of Things (IoT) and Cyber- Physical Systems (CPS). Design of security, privacy, and optimization protocols for leveraging the information-centric networking paradigm for IoT, CPS, and the future Internet. Design and development of low-cost and customizable wireless sensors for aiding experimental research. Design of algorithms for online social networks analysis.

Email:misra at cs dot nmsu dot edu

Phone:(575) 646-6256

Office:SH 148

Assistant Professor

Parth Nagarkar

Ph.D., Arizona State University

Parth Nagarkar received his Ph.D. from Arizona State University and B.S. from Louisiana Tech University. His research interests include big data management, indexing, and query optimization. He is particularly interested in exploring the challenges surrounding scalable index structures and data processing systems, which empower efficient large-scale, high-dimensional data processing. He is currently researching distributed data processing systems for query processing in high-dimensional spaces. He has published in top-tier database venues, such as PVLDB and EDBT, and served as a PC member and reviewer for numerous conferences and journals.

Research Areas:Query Optimization; Spatial Data Analytics; Indexing

Email:nagarkar at nmsu dot edu

Phone:(575) 646-5666

Office:SH 173

Associate Professor

Inna Pivkina

Ph.D., University of Kentucky (2011)

Inna received an honors diploma in Mathematics (an equivalent of MS) from Novosibirsk State University in Russia, and PhD in Computer Science from the University of Kentucky where she was awarded a dissertation year fellowship. The topic of her PhD dissertation was revision programming which is a formalism to describe and enforce constraints on belief sets, databases, and more generally, on arbitrary knowledge bases.


Inna is a co-PI on awarded NSF DUE CCLI Phase 2 grant “Collaborative Research: Learning Discrete Mathematics and Computer Science via Primary Historical Sources” and NSF BPC-DP grant “Linked Communities and Computing in Context: Empowering Southern New Mexico Women in Computing.” She is a distinguished member of the NMSU Teaching Academy.

Research Areas:Knowledge Representation and Reasoning; Logic Programming; Data Mining Applications; Computer Science Education

Email:ipivkina at cs dot nmsu dot edu

Phone:(575) 646-6237

Office:SH 172


Joe Song

Ph.D., University of Washington (2002)

Joe Song received his Ph.D. in 2002 and M.S. in Electrical Engineering in 1999, both from the University of Washington, Seattle. He obtained his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications in 1992. He is Professor in the Department of Computer Science at New Mexico State University. He was Assistant Professor of Computer Science with Queens College and the doctoral faculty with Graduate Center, City University of New York from 2002 to 2005.

His research areas include statistical computing, quantitative biology, and computer vision. His research has been supported by NSF, NIH, USDA, and Los Alamos National Lab. His current research projects in systems biology involve computational modeling of large dynamic biological networks at the molecular level. He has collaborated with life scientists on campus and around the nation to solve computational modeling problems involved in biofuels, cancer, neuroscience, and microbial communities.

Research Areas:Statistical Computing; Quantitative Biology; Computer Vision

Email:joemsong at cs dot nmsu dot edu

Phone:(575) 646-4299

Office:SH 141

Associate Professor

Z O. Toups

Ph.D., Texas A&M University (2010)

Dr. Z O. Dugas Toups earned their bachelor’s degree from Southwestern University in Computer Science in 2003, where their involvement in the ACM SIGGRAPH conference led them to pursue graduate studies in games. After teaching English in Japan for a year, they joined the graduate program at Texas A&M University, where they earned their Ph.D. in Computer Science in 2010. Their graduate work developed a zero-fidelity simulation game for educating firefighters in disaster communications. In the years prior to joining NMSU, they worked with Texas Task Force 1, an elite urban search and rescue team, as well as the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, deploying his game designs for urban search and rescue practice and investigating the use of mobile devices by disaster responders. They joined the Texas A&M Center for Applied Technology in 2012, to assist in developing information dashboard interfaces for use by the USDA and US Army.

Dr. Dugas Toups’s current research continues to develop the concept of zero-fidelity simulation. As a counter point to the traditional drive toward high fidelity simulations, zero fidelity simulations have been shown to educate effectively by abstracting out the real world and developing a digital reality that focuses on human-human and human-information interaction. Their research develops user interface design integrated with game design, and uses both traditional mouse-and-keyboard computer interaction, as well as sensor-based mixed realities that weave together the real and digital worlds through wearable computer systems. Dr. Dugas Toups’s research is mixed method, incorporating deep understanding of human practice through qualitative, ethnographic inquiry, as well as instrumented quantitative experiments using hardware/software systems.

Research Areas:Game Design; Human-Computer Interaction; Wearable Computers; Mixed Reality

Phone:(575) 646-1605

Office:SH 136

Assistant Professor

Roopa Vishwanathan

Ph.D., University of North Texas (2011)

Roopa Vishwanathan joined the faculty of the CS department at NMSU in Fall 2017. Her research area is cryptography, both theoretical and applied. On the applied side, she has interests in hardware-assisted cryptography, and its applications to the diverse areas such as secure outsourced data storage, verifiable encryption and fair exchange, privacy in location-based services, and more. On the theoretical side, she has done work in attribute-based signatures, new proof techniques for public key cryptography, secure function evaluation protocols, and more. Her current research project is about building tools to automate proofs of cryptographic protocols, specifically ones that use bi-linear pairings. Most such proofs are currently done using “pencil-and-paper”; proof automation would help in efficiently generating of proofs of families of crypto-systems, which have structural similarities. A stretch goal of the project is proof verification, which is a more involved undertaking, but can certify the correctness of proofs.

Prior to joining NMSU, she was an Assistant Professor in SUNY Polytechnic, Utica, NY. Before that, she served as a postdoctoral research associate in the department of Computer Science in UNC Greensboro. She received her PhD from the University of North Texas, Denton, TX in May 2011.

Email:roopav at nmsu dot edu

Phone:(575) 646-1218

Office:SH 142

Assistant Professor

Tao Wang

Ph.D., University of South Florida (2019)

Tao Wang joined Department of Computer Science at New Mexico State University in 2019. He received his Ph.D. degree from University of South Florida in 2019, and his B.S. degree from Jilin University, China. His research focuses on network and cyber-physical security with an emphasis on designing defense methods that can protect emerging wireless technologies (e.g., IoT, 5G network) from being undermined by adversaries. Recently, he has been working on the adversary machine learning towards secure resource allocation in Multi-user MIMO systems. His research is also related to web security, specifically, on identifying security threats and developing countermeasures to improve web security. His papers have been published in several prestigious venues and journals, such as CCS, INFOCOM, ESORICS, TDSC and TMC.

Research Areas:Wireless and Mobile System Security; Cyber Physical Systems and IoT Security; Network and Web Security; Mobile Computing; Adversary Machine Learning

College Faculty

Distinguished College Professor

Esther Steiner

Ph.D., Oklahoma State University (1994)

Dr. Steiner graduated with a Ph.D. in Computing and Information Science from Oklahoma State University.   She joined the Computer Science department in 1996.   She teaches freshman and sophomore level programming classes and serves as the undergraduate advising coordinator for the department.  In 2012, Dr. Steiner received the Distinguished Achievement Professorship award, an award presented to faculty who have served at least seven years as full professor and who have demonstrated significant achievements in their academic career.

Phone:(575) 646-2096

Office:SH 157

College Assoc. Prof.

Shaun H. Cooper

Shaun Cooper, PhD retired in June 2013 from New Mexico State University after serving 25 years as a staff member in the Information and Communication Technologies division. His final five years were as Chief Information Officer/Associate Vice President where he was responsible for Information Technology Policy, Planning and Compliance for the entire New Mexico State University System. In that capacity Dr. Cooper was also responsible for the management of 100+ staff members and over $16M in annual budget.

Dr. Cooper joined Computer Science at New Mexico State University in 2014 as a College Assistant Professor. His primary duties are to teach undergraduate Computer Science courses, advise students, participate in departmental activities and mentor students.

Dr. Cooper is an active participant in the New Mexico Super Computer Challenge (http://challenge.nm.org). Dr. Cooper is also a high school sports official with the New Mexico Athletic Association (http://www.nmact.org)

Email:scooper at cs dot nmsu dot edu

Phone:(575) 646-1609

Office:SH 144

Emeriti Faculty

Emeritus Professor

Roger Hartley

Ph.D., Brunel University (1974)

Email:rth at cs dot nmsu dot edu

Emeritus Professor

Hing Leung

Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University (1987)

Hing obtained his B.Sc. degree in Applied Mathematics from the University of Hong Kong in 1981, and Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from Pennsylvania State University in 1987. Between 1981 and 1983, he had worked as a teaching assistant, and an assistant computer officer for the Computer Center of the University of Hong Kong. Hing has been a faculty of the computer science department at NMSU since 1987.

Hing’s research area is in theoretical computer science. He interested in the understanding of basic concepts in computer science. The research problems that he have tackled are often related to basic concepts and models covered in an undergraduate computer science curriculum, which includes the concepts of nondeterminism, ambiguity, two-way processing, finite automata, pushdown automata, parsers and LR(k)-grammars.

Hing also studied extensively on the model of distance automata, which is a simple extension to the finite automata model. Distance automata is introduced initially for the study of the star height problem of regular languages. It is also used in the study of the measure of nondeterminism in finite automata.

Hing’s current interests include the study of distance automata and the descriptional complexity of different models of finite automata.

Email:hleung at cs dot nmsu dot edu

Emeritus Professor

Hue McCoy

Email:hue at cs dot nmsu dot edu

Emeritus Professor

Joseph Pfeiffer

Email:pfeiffer at cs dot nmsu dot edu