OIT Research and Data Science Services team

Research and Data Science Services Team Brings SMU’s AI and IoT to Life

The OIT Research and Data Science Services team was started in late 2018 and has grown to include experts in data science, high-performance computing, the Internet of Things (IoT), and artificial intelligence. The team is available to faculty and students to consult on and support research projects from across disciplines.

Eric Godat, Ph.D.
Research & Data Science Services – Team Lead

Eric Godat, Ph.D.Despite growing up in the shadow of campus, Eric’s career at SMU didn’t start until he entered the SMU Physics Ph.D. program in 2012. Having spent years researching parton distribution functions of lead ion collisions at the Large Hadron Collider, Eric moved to focus on data science—becoming the inaugural member of the OIT’s new Research and Data Science team. Built to support faculty and accelerate their research using data-driven tools, the team has grown by incorporating and recruiting other excellent scientists and specialists under Eric’s leadership.

Beyond just being a Data Science Research Applications Developer and Adjunct Professor, Eric is still finding time for a little PokemonGo and leading the campus Discord group. He’s also a lifelong Magic The Gathering player and local sports enthusiast.

Rob Kalescky, Ph.D.

Rob Kalescky, Ph.D.Rob is currently an HPC Applications Scientist at Southern Methodist University (SMU), working with the Center for Research Computing to help enable research using SMU’s HPC resources. He received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from SMU in 2014. His chemical research career has spanned a wide breadth of length and time scales ranging from the most accurate quantum calculations published for several small molecules to classical molecular dynamics simulations of proteins reaching hundreds of nanoseconds.

Rob is also an avid distance runner who enjoys training for and running marathons, tinkering with electronics and computers, and reading.

John LaGrone, Ph.D.

John LaGrone, Ph.D.John received his Ph.D. in computational and applied mathematics from SMU in 2016, where he focused on developing absorbing boundary conditions for wave propagation problems. For several years, John served as a postdoctoral fellow at Tulane University. During that time, he worked on modeling and simulating passive and active fibers in viscous flows with applications ranging from fertility to oil spill remediation. After Tulane, John worked as a programmer and computer vision engineer at the 3D scanning startup, Scandy. In his current role at SMU, John works on various research projects and supports high-performance computing resources.

When not on campus, John is likely to be found trying an overly complicated recipe. Occasionally, he thinks it’s a good idea to attempt a 50+ miles bicycle ride—and soon ends up regretting that decision.

Guillermo Vasquez

Guillermo VasquezGuillermo joined the SMU team in 2015 as the Linux Research Specialist following his years as Linux/Cyber Security/Forensics Investigations professor in both the private and public sectors. Since 2019, he has brought his wealth of applied technology expertise to prototyping internet-connected electronic sensing devices in an interdisciplinary scientific fashion to faculty/researchers and students.

In addition to citing that “Linux” is his first language, Guillermo is a passionate photographer and an open-source technology advocate. He regularly contributes code and white papers within the open-source community in the areas of robotics and cyber-security.

Tue Vu, Ph.D.

Tue Vu, Ph.D.Being the latest member of OIT Research & Data Science, Tue just joined the team as AI & ML Research Scientist this past Halloween. He received his Ph.D. in Computational Hydro-Climatology at the National University of Singapore in 2013, focusing on Regional Climate Model to dynamically downscale the Global Climate Model and studied the impact of climate changes on regional scale natural hazards. Prior to SMU, Tue spent three years at Clemson University working as Research Assistant Professor researching insurance industry-funded projects on natural hazards in flood, drought, and food security. During this time, Tue was also a full-time Senior HPC Research Facilitator/Data Scientist supporting students, faculty, and researchers of more than 60 departments to upscale their research to the Palmetto HPC, teaching workshops on Machine Learning/Deep Learning, and working on interdisciplinary data science projects.

In his free time, Tue usually enjoys hiking in Carolinas’ mountain trail, but since coming to Dallas, he’s needed to switch his attention to reading books.

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Ian Aberle

Ian Aberle is an Adobe Creative Educator and the Senior IT Communications Specialist & Trainer for the Office of Information Technology (OIT). For over 25 years, he has helped the SMU community use technology and implement digital and web media through multiple roles with the Digital Commons, SMU STAR Program, and now OIT. Ian enjoys photography and road trips with his family in his free time.