Meet Rice CS’ New Faculty: Arlei Silva, Assistant Professor

Silva specializes in data science, network science, machine learning, and graph algorithms

Meet Rice CS’ New Faculty: Arlei Silva, Assistant Professor

Arlei Silva has joined Rice University’s Department of Computer Science as an assistant professor, specializing in the areas of data science, network science, machine learning, and graph algorithms.

"These days, everything is interconnectedpeople, devices, and institutionsand the data we collect reflects that,” says Chris Jermaine, Rice’s Chair of the Department of Computer Science. “Arlei works to develop algorithms that can intelligently analyze large volumes of networked data."

Silva’s research focuses on algorithms and models for mining and learning from complex datasets, which are broadly defined as data science, especially for data represented as graphs/networks. 

“I'm particularly interested in problems motivated by computational social science, infrastructure, and healthcare,” says Silva. “As an assistant professor, I will develop a research program around these topics. Due to the multidisciplinary nature of my research, I will collaborate closely with social scientists, engineers, and healthcare providers in order to address some of the challenges arising from these applications. More broadly, my goal is to push data science research toward problems with high societal impact.”

Silva received his PhD in Computer Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara, advised by Ambuj Singh, where he was also a postdoctoral scholar. Before that, he received a BSc and MSc degrees in Computer Science from Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, in Brazil, advised by Wagner Meira Jr. He has also been a visiting scholar at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, hosted by Mohammed J. Zaki.

When asked what he’s most looking forward to in his new role at Rice, Silva says, “starting a research group and interacting with students at Rice. I really enjoy the synergy between teaching, mentoring, and research. This will allow me to address exciting scientific challenges while training the next generation of CS researchers and professionals.”

“My main motivation to join Rice CS is the outstanding research work already being done by its faculty members. I believe that my interests will allow for exciting collaborations within the department and also across campus. In particular, CS faculty are involved in several broader initiatives aligned with my research goals, such as the Data Science Initiative, the Kinder and Ken Kennedy Institutes, and the D2K Lab.”

“Rice is a great place to start a career as an assistant professor, as shown by the success of its young faculty,” explains Silva. “Everyone with whom I interacted since my interview has been very welcoming and supportive. I have already met with possible collaborators on campus and can't wait to hit the floor running.”