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, the State Department, and the Department of Defense. I also receive funding from foundations and companies, including the National Collaborative on Gun Violence Research (NCGVR) and Microsoft. Finally, I have received funding from different Georgetown sources including the Massive Data Institute and the Gender Justice Initiative. I currently have funding to (1) study forced migration with the Institute for the Study of International Migration, York University and other NGOs (event detection, perception detection, movement dynamics), (2) learn from open source big data for social science research (demographic inference, topic modeling and social mining using incomplete and uncertain data), (3) understand what we can measure about gun related outcomes using social media data (active learning), and (4) privacy on the web (adversarial inference). I have worked on numerous data mining research projects, focusing on graphi mining and text mining. Much of my work is now in the data science arena, including undertanding online movements (#meToo and #BlackLivesMatter), presidential election dynamics, and gun violence to name a few.


A few more details about previous and current collaborations. 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, data science, and database conferences (ICDM, KDD, SDM, DSAA, 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. I am committed to improving diversity in computer science and helping find ways to increase participation in computer science at the K-12 level.


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, board games, and making sand castles at the beach. I also love creative writing and hope to find time to write a fiction novel one day.

Short biography

Lisa Singh is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science and a Research Professor in the Massive Data Institute (MDI) at Georgetown University. She has authored/co-authored over 80 peer reviewed publications and book chapters related to data-centric computing, i.e. data mining, data privacy, data visualization, and data science, and is the co-author of Words That Matter: How News and Social Media Shaped the 2016 Presidential Election. Current projects include developing methods and tools to better understand forced movement due to conflict, learning from public, open source big data to advance social science research involving the understanding of human behavior and opinion, identifying noise and poor-quality information on social media, studying privacy on the web, and understanding social structures and behavior dissemination in animal societies. Her research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Collaborative on Gun Violence Research, the State Department, the Office of Naval Research, the Social Science and Humanities Research Council, and the Department of Defense. Dr. Singh has also recently organized three workshops involving future directions of big data research. She is currently involved in different organizations working on increasing participation of women in computing and has spearheaded initiatives to help increase the number of female computer science majors to just under 50%. Dr. Singh received her B.S.E. from Duke University and her M.S. and Ph.D. from Northwestern University.



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

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