Shan Suthaharan

Picture of Professor Shan Suthaharan

Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, 2001
Ph.D. in Computer Science, Monash University [Australia], (1996)

Office: Petty 161

Research: Big Data Analytics and Machine Learning, Big Data Privacy and Security, Bayesian Inference and Optimization
Teaching: Computer Networks, Software Engineering, Big Data and Machine Learning, Senior Capstone

Research Overview

Dr. Suthaharan’s research interests fall predominantly under the state-of-the-art themes of big data analytics and machine learning. In big data analytics research, he studies various data characteristics — data heterogeneity, complexity, scalability, and unpredictability — of big data for extracting knowledge to understand the data source that produced the big data. In machine learning research, Dr. Suthaharan studies advanced mathematical, statistical, and computational techniques to formulate efficient machine learning models and algorithms that can help accomplish big data analytics research. His research includes the selection and optimization of hyperparameters of machine learning models using Bayesian analysis to make machine learning highly usable in big data analytics in interdisciplinary settings. Dr. Suthaharan is also interested in exploring software engineering models and designs to support big data analytics and machine learning research. One of his current and major research areas is in ophthalmic data science and machine learning.

Research Support

Dr. Suthaharan’s research has been supported by the Foundation Fighting Blindness, Amazon Web Services, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, the National Science Foundation (NSF), Australian Research Council, Center for Science of Information, Institute for Mathematics Applications, the Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute, and various universities, including University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Emory University, University of California Irvine, University of California Berkeley, University of Melbourne (Australia), University of Sydney (Australia), and AT&T Research Labs.


Dr. Suthaharan joined UNCG in 2001 as an Assistant Professor, and promoted to Associate Professor in 2005, then promoted to Professor in 2014. In administrative roles, he served as Director of Undergraduate Studies for more than 10 years and as Interim Head in Fall 2015 at UNCG. He was also Director of Computer Science Division from 2004 to 2006 at UNCG. He played a major role in leading the committee and maintaining ABET accreditation of the undergraduate program successfully. Dr. Suthaharan is also the author of the high impact and high quality textbook on the state-of-the-art topics of big data analytics and machine learning. Notably this book was reviewed by ACM Computing Reviews and received a “Reviewer Recommended” rating. He is also an inventor of the key management and encryption technology that has been patented in Australia, Japan, and Singapore. Dr. Suthaharan also received several research awards and visited highly prestigious universities, such as Emory University, UC-Irvine, UC-Berkeley, University of Sydney-Australia, and University of Melbourne-Australia.