Wassim El Hajj
Associate Professor of Computer Science
Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS)
American University of Beirut (AUB)
Dr. Wassim El-Hajj is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at the American University of Beirut (AUB). He received his BS degree from AUB in 2000, and the MS and Ph.D. degrees in 2002 and 2006, respectively, from Western Michigan University (WMU), all in Computer Science. Right after his graduation, he joined the Information Security department at UAE University as an assistant professor. He then joined the Electrical and Computer Engineering department at AUB as a visiting professor and then joined the Computer Science department as a full-time faculty member in 2011. In 2013, he was elected to Chair the department of Computer Science and served for two terms until 2019.
His research interests are in the areas of Wireless Communication, Network Security, and machine learning (focusing on sentiment analysis and emotion recognition). The central theme of his research work in the area of wireless communications is the introduction of new routing protocols that are distributed, scalable and energy efficient. In network security, he works on the development of effective techniques that aim to stop attackers from gaining access to victim’s PC via the network and also works on designing robust mechanisms to turn Software Defined Networking (SDN) into a robust Firewall. To support his research in security, he was awarded in December 2018, a $600,000 grant from Qatar Foundation to secure Smart Grid communication and optimize demand/response. In machine learning (ML), his work focuses on designing scalable ML algorithms and developing accurate sentiment analysis and emotion recognition models. To support his research in ML, he was awarded many grants including a major fund, in 2013, from Qatar Foundation for the amount of 1 million dollars. His research activities culminated with more than 88 publications, published in reputable venues. He was a frequent speaker and a technical reviewer at leading international conferences. In addition to his academic experience, he has a valuable industrial experience with Boeing and Ten Strategic Consulting.
In September 2018, he was elected to serve as the General Chair of the 4th Workshop on Arabic Natural Language Processing (WANLP 2019), a leading venue for work related to Arabic NLP. He is the recipient of numerous recognitions, most notably, the WMU Excellence in Research Award for three years in a row, Honorable mention for Graduate Research and Creative Scholar, the Outstanding Graduate Student Award for 2 consecutive years, and the Teaching Effectiveness Award which is considered the highest teaching award at Western Michigan University.