lisa singh

about me

Okay, so you want to know more about me. Here are a few highlights.

I have been at Georgetown since the fall of 2002.  Broadly, my research interests are in what I refer to as data-centric computing – data mining, data privacy, data science, data visualization, and databases. My research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, the Social Science and Humanities Research Council, and the Department of Defense. I currently have funding to study forced migration with the Institute for the Study of International Migration, LLNL, York University and other NGOs (event detection, perception detection, movement dynamics), learning from open source big data for social science research (graph inference and social mining using incomplete and uncertain data), and privacy on the web (adversarial inference). I have worked on numerous data mining research projects, including ones with IBM, Hewlett Packard, the Census Bureau, and many small companies.


More specifically, I have collaborated with the Census Bureau (privacy preserving data mining), Hewlett Packard (anomaly detection and privacy preserving data mining), University of Maryland (uncertainty in graphs and visual analytics), and University of California, Santa Cruz (uncertainty in graphs and visual analytics).  I also have a longterm interdisciplinary collaboration with the Shark Bay Dolphin Research project (graph databases, visual analytics and social mining) and a more recent large collaboration with the Institute for the Study of International Migration in the School of Foreign Service (forced migration) and the University of Michigan (big data and social science).


In terms of service, I have served as the Director of Graduate Studies and as the Director of Undergraduate Studies (2008-2010), on the program committee and organizing committee for major data mining and database conferences (ICDM, KDD, ICDE, SIGMOD, PVLDB), as a SIGMOD Exec member (2008-2011), and have helped organize multiple NSF Workshops, including ones about the next generation of Big Data Research.


In my previous life prior to Georgetown, I was a database advisor/architect and data warehouse consultant for small- to mid-size firms in the Bay Area, the Database Architect and Senior Application Programmer for the Internet startup,, worked on research at NASA Goddard, and worked as a consultant at American Management Systems.


I received my undergraduate degree from Duke University in Electrical Engineering and English. After working for a short time and realizing my interest in databases, I began graduate school at Northwestern University.  There I completed my Master's in Computer Science and my PhD in Computer Engineering.


On a personal note, I am happily married to a wonderful man (ironically, a professor). I also have two wonderful kids and a cute, nutty dog.  I love the outdoors. I especially enjoy long walks, skiing and making sand castles at the beach. I also love creative writing and hope to find time to write a fiction novel one day.



Northwestern University
Evanston, IL

Ph.D., Computer Engineering - December 1999


Dissertation: Generating Constrained Association Rules from Semi-Structured Data

Northwestern University
Evanston, IL

M.S., Computer Science - May 1997


Thesis: Automatic Preprocessing & Transformation of Semi-Structured Data for Mining Applications

Duke University
Durham, NC
B.S., Electrical Engineering / English (double major) - 1993

332 St. Mary's Building