Faculty Page

Welcome to Dr. Unal "Zak" Sakoglu's Website

** Dear Students, I am always looking for motivated and hardworking undergraduate and graduate students who want to work on a research project. IMPORTANT: Please read this link before you contact me.
*** (This position is now filled 9/8/2017) I have a graduate research assistant (GRA) position available for Fall 2017. The GRA will work on a functional MRI imaging data analysis & classification project under my supervision and will be required to do a MS thesis in Fall 2017 and Spring 2018. So this position is ideal for students who are planning to finish their master's in Spring or Summer of 2018. Please follow the instructions on this link to apply. Put "GRA Application" in the subject line of your email. News:
  • Summer 2018: Presented AFRL research work at University of Florida Research and Engineering Facility, Ft. Walton Beach, FL.
  • Summer 2018: Awarded by the US Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) a summer faculty research grant to work on optimal sampling for imagers during the Summer of 2018.
  • Summer 2018: Presented at tutorial on dynamic functional connectivity at PRNI 2018 and research results on classification of Gulf War Illness using functional connectivity at OHBM 2018 in Singapore. UHCL graduate students Mounika Galla, Sasanka Bhamidipadi were also co-authors of the accepted OHBM abstract and presentation.
  • Summer 2018: Our neuroimaging analysis research results on Gulf War Illness fMRI data were presented by collaborator Dr. Gopinath at ISMRM 2018 Annual Meeting in Paris, FR.
  • Spring 2018: Presented research results titled "Classification of Gulf War Illness Using Machine Learning in fMRI" and "Classification of Cocaine Addiction Using Hilbert-Curve Ordering of fMRI Activations" at the ISMRM Machine Learning Workshop in Pacific Grove, CA in March 2018. UHCL graduate students Mounika Galla, Sasanka Bhamidipadi, Jessica De Leon and Christian Huerta were co-authors of the accepted abstracts.
  • Fall 2017: Presented a talk on fMRI analysis at the IEEE DUAL Automation/Innovation Conference, Gilruth Center, NASA JSC, Houston, TX. My CENG 5931 students Christian Huerta and Jessica De Leon got the 3rd best student award at with their poster "Brain Mapping Based Classification of Functional MRI Data". Congrats! My other students, Mounika Galla and Sasanka Bhamidipadi also presented posters there.
  • Fall 2017: New graduate level course: CENG 5931.05 Medical Imaging Data Analysis (Special Topic). Click Syllabus.
  • Summer 2017: Our work on Gulf War Neuroimaging project was presented by our collaborator Dr. Gopinath at the 2017 Human Brain Mapping Annual Meeting in Vancouver, BC. Abstract link here.
  • Summer 2017: Presented AFRL research work at University of Florida Research and Engineering Facility, Ft. Walton Beach, FL.
  • Spring & Summer 2017: Awarded by the US Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) a summer faculty research grant to work at an AFRL facility on optimal sampling for imagers during the Summer of 2017.
  • Apr. 2017: Presented Gulf War Neuroimaging project research at the 25th Annual Conference of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM), Honolulu, HI
  • Apr. 2017: Presented research to students as part of the Tech Talks of IEEE UHCL Student Branch.
  • Feb. 2017: Presented fMRI data-based classification as part of the IEEE Galveston Bay Section talk series at Gilruth Center, NASA JSC, Houston.
  • Jan. 2017: Presented neuroimaging research at the 14th Theoretical and Computational Neuroscience Conference of the Gulf Coast Consortia at Rice University.
  • Jan. 2017: Away at Emory University for collaborative work on the DOD project which started in October 2016.
  • Oct. 2016: Our paper titled "Successful classification of cocaine dependence using brain imaging: a generalizable machine learning approach" got accepted by the BMC Bioinformatics journal.
  • Oct. 2016: Gave a talk on fMRI based classification at MICCAI 2016 Conference, Athens, Greece.
  • Fall 2016: I left TAMUC Computer Science Dept and I am now with Computer Engineering Dept at University of Houston - Clear Lake.
  • Summer 2016: Presented infrared imaging related research with AFRL colleagues at the SPIE 2016 Optics+Photonics Conference in San Diego, CA.
  • Summer 2016: Away at Air Force Research Lab for summer research.
  • Spring 2016: My collaborator Dr. Gopinath at Emory and I were awarded a two-year $554,000 research grant by the US Department of Defense (DOD) in order to do advanced analysis of fMRI data from Gulf War Veterans. The project is initially for two years and the planned start date is in September 2016.
  • Spring 2016: Awarded by the US Air Force Research Lab a summer faculty research grant to work at an AFRL facility on IR Imagers during the Summer of 2016.
  • Spring 2016: Awarded by ProQuest, LLc an R&D grant to optimize enterprise data & information systems and to support a graduate student work on the project.
  • Fall 2015: Our paper, in collaboration with visiting student Sezgin Kacar, got published at the journal "Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine" The paper can be accessed here or in the Publications link above.
  • Fall 2015: Our paper, in collaboration with the TAMUC Ontological Semantics Lab at TAMUC, got published at the journal "Expert Systems with Applications" one of the top journals in Artificial Intelligence MS research link here , and Google Scholar link here . The paper can be accessed here or in the Publications link above. Also, in the news: Pride Online .
  • Summer 2015: Our paper, in collaboration with the collaborators at the US AFRL and in industry, got published at the Proceedings of the SPIE: Infrared Sensors, Devices, and Applications V, 2015. Find link here or in the Publications link above.
  • Summer 2014: My GAR Seetaramaraju (Raju) Jampana successfully defended his master's thesis in Computational Science and graduated! Congratulations Raju!
  • Summer 2015: I am away during the summer since I was awarded a summer research grant by the Air Force Research Lab Summer Faculty Research Program to do research at the Kirtland AFRL .
  • Summer 2015: (Hired) A paid GAR position, to work on an externally-funded data project, is available. Refer to this flyer for details and instructions how to apply.
  • Spring/Summer 2015: Looking for research participants, who will be compensated, for a 1-hour EEG experiment. Refer to this flyer for details.
  • Spring 2015: Our new journal paper on GPU-based dynamic functional connectivity analysis of fMRI data , got accepted by the Computerized Medical Imaging and Graphics Journal, Elsevier. It can be accessed here or downloaded here .
  • Spring 2015: Advanced Data Analysis Laboratory (ADALab), under the directorship of Dr. Sakoglu, is established at the department at Room Jour203. More details coming soon.
  • Fall 2014: My new course CSCI597/502 Statistics for Scientific Computation and Analysis is available in Fall 2014. It is now one of two prerequisite courses for the Computational Science MS program starting this Fall. See the the 2014/15 course catalog for details.
  • Fall 2014: (Hired) A graduate assistant researcher (GAR) position is available starting Fall. See this flyer for details.
  • Summer 2014: GARs Kushal Bohra and Johnny Esquivel successfully defended their theses and graduated! Congratulations Kushal and Johnny!
  • Summer 2014: Received the competitive TX A&M - Commerce Faculty Research Enhancement Project Award for collecting new EEG data, and developing and testing novel classification algorithms on EEG data.
  • Summer 2014: Our paper on GPU implementation of dynamic functional connectivity analysis for fMRI data is accepted for presentation at IEEE International Conference on Electro/Information Technology.
  • Spring 2014: Gave a seminar talk on utilizing space-filling curves for suboptimal and optimal 3-D to 1-D mapping and their application to map 3-D MRI data; on 4/16 as part of CSE Colloquium Series at SMU Lyle School of Engineering.
  • Spring 2014: Graduate students Kushal Bohra, Johnny Esquivel, undergraduate student Heriberto Flores and visiting scholar Devrim Akgun presented projects supervised by Dr. Sakoglu at the MCBIOS 2014 11th Annual Conference . Kushal got 2nd student presentation award with his work on toolbox development for multivariate classification of fMRI data. Congrats Kushal! Click here for the TAMUC news release on the achievement.
  • Spring 2014: Our accepted paper on optimal 3-D to 1-D brain mapping was presented at the ISCA's 2014 Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Conference (BICoB) . You can view the proceeding paper here .
  • Fall 2013: Gave multiple lectures on fMRI analysis methodologies at Sakarya University in November 2013, supported by TUBITAK.
  • Fall 2013: Our work on software development for multivariate classification and dynamic functional connectivity analysis for fMRI data got accepted for presentation at the IEEE EMBS 2013 Annual Medical Device Symposium in Dallas. Graduate students Kushal Bohra and Johnny Esquivel (co-advised by Dr. Mutlu Mete) presented the work. Also, another related project presented by graduate student Harish Ankam, also co-authored by Dr. Sakoglu and Dr. Mete, got the 3rd best presentation award. Click here for the TAMUC news release on the achievement.
  • Summer 2013: Received the competetive TX A&M - Commerce Faculty Research Enhancement Project Award for multivariate classification of fMRI data.
  • Summer 2013: The new 32 channel wireless dry EEG system has arrived! Click here to see a photo of it on me.
  • Spring 2013: Presented research results on the effects of variance on brain functional connectivity analysis, at the Annual Meeting of the ISMRM . Click here for the presentation.
  • Spring 2013: Received TAMUC Faculty Development Grant for traveling to ISMRM .
  • Spring 2013: Gave an invited seminar talk at the CSE Dept at Texas A&M - College Station.
  • Fall 2012: Started Assistant Professor position at Computer Science Dept, Texas A&M University - Commerce.
Bio: Dr. √únal "Zak" Sakoglu is currently an Assistant Professor at Computer Engineering Dept at University of Houston - Clear Lake. Prior to his position, he was a faculty member the Computer Science Department, Texas A&M University - Commerce. He had his BS in Electrical-Electronics Engineering from Bilkent University, and MS & PhD degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering from University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. His graduate research involved developing signal/image processing and nonuniformity correction algorithms for better multispectral classification with infrared array sensors developed at UNM Center for High Technology Materials. He did his post-doctoral training at UNM Neurology Department BRAIN Imaging Center, and Mind Research Network in Albuquerque, where he developed and applied data analysis & classification techniques to functional magnetic resonance imaging data. Subsequently, he worked as Research Scientist at UT Southwestern Medical Center Neuroradiology Department, at Abbott Laboratories Translational Neuroimaging Group, and UT Dallas Center for Vital Longevity, where he analyzed different modalities of medical imaging data such as PET/CT, SPECT/CT, MRI and fMRI, during these positions. He is currently working on development and application of dynamic multivariate pattern classification, data-mining and machine-learning methods to functional neuroimaging data in order to advance the understanding of how the human brain is functioning and how it is effected by different brain conditions (different stimuli, disease, etc.). He is also working on developing better brain mapping, fMRI signal simulation and visualization techniques for improved dynamic analysis and classification of multidimensional neuroimaging data. He also continues his research interests in infrared imaging and remote sensing.
My Linkedin Profile.

Research:
I am currently working on development and application of dynamic multivariate pattern recognition, classification, data-mining and machine-learning methods to functional neuroimaging data (functional MRI, EEG, etc.) in order to advance the understanding of how the human brain is functioning and how it is effected by different brain conditions (different stimuli, age, disease, etc.). I am also on working on developing better brain mapping, fMRI signal simulation and visualization techniques for improved dynamic analysis and classification of multidimensional neuroimaging data. Click on the Publications link below for more details on my research activities.

Publications:
Here is a link to list of my journal articles and conference abstracts, presentations and proceedings if you would like to learn more about my research background and interests. Links to full texts are available there for most of the publications. Please contact me if you have difficulty in downloading any. You can also access most of them here:
Publications on Google Scholar

Teaching
    At UHCL:
  • Fall 2018: CENG 4331.01 Analysis and Design of Linear Systems
  • Fall 2018: CENG 5431.01 Digital Signal Processing
  • Fall 2018: CENG 5531.01 Machine Learning and Applications
  • Fall 2018: Two CENG MS thesis students.
  • Summer 2018: Two CENG MS thesis students.
  • Spring 2018: CENG 3313 Linear Circuits
  • Spring 2018: CENG 3264 Engineering Design and Project Management
  • Spring 2018: Two CENG Graduate Independent Study sections
  • Fall 2017: CENG 4331.01 Analysis and Design of Linear Systems
  • Fall 2017: CENG 5931.05 Medical Imaging Data Analysis (Newly Created Graduate Special Topic Course)
  • Fall 2017: One CENG graduate independent study section
  • Spring 2017: CENG 3314 Advanced Linear Circuits
  • Spring 2017: CENG 6431 Digital Signal Processing Implementations
  • Fall 2016: CENG 4331 Analysis and Design of Linear Systems
    At TAMUC:
  • Spring 2016: CSCI 502 Statistics for Computational Science and Analysis
  • Spring 2016: CSCI 516 Fundamental Concepts of Computing and Machine Organization (Assembly Programming Language) (2 Sections)
  • Fall 2015: CSCI 502 Statistics for Computational Science and Analysis
  • Fall 2015: CSCI 516 Fundamental Concepts of Computing and Machine Organization (Assembly Programming Language) (3 Sections)
  • Spring 2015: CSCI 502 Statistics for Computational Science and Analysis
  • Spring 2015: CSCI 516 Fundamental Concepts of Computing and Machine Organization (Assembly Programming Language)
  • Spring 2015: CSCI 518 MS Thesis (1 thesis student)
  • Winter 2014/15: CSCI 530 Operating Systems (Online)
  • Fall 2014: CSCI 502 Statistics for Computational Science and Analysis
  • Fall 2014: CSCI 516 Section 1 Fundamental Concepts of Computing and Machine Organization (Assembly Programming Language)
  • Fall 2014: CSCI 516 Online Section 1 Fundamental Concepts of Computing and Machine Organization (Assembly Programming Language)
  • Fall 2014: CSCI 516 Online Section 2 Fundamental Concepts of Computing and Machine Organization (Assembly Programming Language)
  • Fall 2014: CSCI 518 MS Thesis (1 thesis student)
  • Fall 2014: CSCI 490 Independent Honor's Readings
  • Summer 2014: CSCI 516 Fundamental Concepts of Computing and Machine Organization (Assembly Programming Language)
  • Summer 2014: CSCI 530 Operating Systems (Online)
  • Summer 2014: CSCI 518 MS Thesis (1 thesis student)
  • Summer 2014: CSCI 507 Computational Science Internship
  • Spring 2014: CSCI 516 Fundamental Concepts of Computing and Machine Organization (Assembly Programming Language)
  • Spring 2014: CSCI 430 Operating Systems
  • Spring 2014: CSCI 518 MS Thesis (1 thesis student)
  • Spring 2014: CSCI 491 Independent Honor's Readings
  • Fall 2013: CSCI 516 Fundamental Concepts of Computing and Machine Organization (Assembly Language)
  • Fall 2013: CSCI 524 Analysis and Design of Software Systems
  • Fall 2013: CSCI 430 Operating Systems
  • Fall 2013: CSCI 518 MS Thesis (1 thesis student)
  • Spring 2013: CSCI 595: Research Literature & Techniques
  • Spring 2013: CSCI 430: Operating Systems
  • Spring 2013: CSCI 489: Independent Study
  • Fall 2012: CSCI 524 Analysis and Design of Software Systems
  • Fall 2012: CSCI 430 Operating Systems
Students and Visiting Scholars:
  • Current:
  • Jessica de Leon, MS Thesis Student, Classification Using Hilbert Space Filling Curve Ordering of fMRI Activity Maps.
  • Sasanka Bhamidipati, MS Thesis Student & GRA, Machine Learning Applications to Classify Events from EEG Data.
  • Mounika Galla, MS Student & GRA, Advanced fMRI Data Analysis Based on Functional Connectivity and ICA.
  • In the Past @TAMUC:
  • A.Mutalip Dirik, MS Student and Graduate Research Assistant (supported by my ProQuest grant), Enterprise Information Systems, 02/2016 - 08/2016. Project completed.
  • Dr. Oz Cetin, visiting scholar, Assoc. Prof at Sakarya University, Turkey, medical image analyses, 08/2015 - 12/2015.
  • Heriberto Flores, senior undergraduate honors thesis student, Structural Brain Data Mapping, 08/2013 - 12/2015. Graduated.
  • Seetaramaraju Jampana, MS Student and Graduate Student Worker (supported by my FREP 2015 grant), Novel Time-Series Classification Analysis of EEG Data, 09/2014 - 08/2015. Graduated.
  • John Esquivel, MS Student and Graduate Research Assistant (supported by my FREP 2014 grant), Dynamic Analysis of fMRI Data, 08/2013 - 08/2014. Graduated.
  • Kushal Bohra, MS Student and Graduate Research Assistant (supported by my startup grant), Multivariate Classification of fMRI Data, 08/2012 - 08/2014. Graduated.
  • Dr. Dev Akgun, Visiting Scholar / Assistant Professor, Sakarya University, Turkey, GPU-based and parallel implementation of medical image analysis algorithms. 01/2014 - 06/2014.
  • Sezgin Kacar, visiting scholar & PhD student, Sakarya University, Turkey, biomedical signal processing tool development. 10/2013 - 12/2013.
  • Brandon Provost, senior undergraduate student, h-index-based CS Dept rankings, 01/2013 - 05/2013. Graduated.
Service:
  • Computer Engineering Program Website Faculty Liaison, UHCL
  • Computer Engineering Program ABET Compliance Committee, UHCL
  • Computer Engineering Program Curriculum Development Committee, UHCL
  • Vice Chair, Education Committee of the IEEE Galveston Bay Section
  • Organizing Committee Member, SPIE Conference on Infrared Sensors, Devices, and Applications VIII (2018), VII (2017), and VI (2016) .
  • Reviewer for Journals: IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics, Human Brain Mapping, Brain Connectivity, NeuroImage, Journal of Medical Systems, Computational Statistics and Data Analysis, Imaging Science Journal, Optics Communications, Annals of Operations Research
  • Professional Memberships: IEEE, ACM, SPIE, ISMRM, ESMRMB (Assoc. Member). Past-member: ASEE, ISCA, OHBM, CNS, SfN.
  • Faculty Supervisor, TAMUC Local TAMUC ACM Student Chapter (2015 - 2016).
  • Coordinator, TAMUC Computational Science Graduate Program (2012 - 2016)
  • Member, TAMUC Graduate Curriculum Development Committee (2012 - 2016)
  • Member, TAMUC Graduate Admission Committee (2013 - 2016)
  • Member, TAMUC Graduate Faculty (2012 - 2016)
  • Member, Committee for the TAMUC CS department's ABET accreditation application (2013 - 2016)
Other Links: Dear Students:
**I am always looking for motivated and hardworking undergraduate and graduate students who want to work on a research project as volunteers, so I would be happy to train and supervise you. Funding may be available for students who are doing master's thesis, as I always seek funding to support research assistant students. Volunteer students who work on a project with me will be given priority for any possible paid GRA positions in the future upon I receive funding.
There are different ways you can help with research. If you just simply want to volunteer, I will be happy to meet you weekly and give you a small project to work on. But probably the best way to get started for you is to sign up for an independent study class under my supervision and obtain 3 credit-hours towards your degree for doing research with me for one semester. If you really really like a research topic and if you want to commit more time, e.g. two semesters, you can also sign up for master's thesis and do research with me for two semesters, I will be happy to supervise and train you on my research.
If you are interested, please email me with your interest with the following attached: 1) A current resume/CV, 2) copy of your unofficial UHCL transcripts, 3) copy of your previous transcripts if you have other degrees, 4) any other supporting documents, like TOEFL, IELTS, GRE scores, description of any projects you have done, and if you have co-authored any papers, etc. attach them, it would be helpful. Please go over my research interests, list of publications, and email me what part of my research you would be interested in.
In any case, if you are interested in my research, I encourage you to take my new course in Fall 2017: CENG 5931 Medical Imaging Data Analysis (Special Topic) .
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Miscellaneous/Photos
Click here for miscellaneous pictures from conferences, with students, etc.
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Thanks for stopping by and please check back soon!
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Unal "Zak" Sakoglu, PhD
Assistant Professor, Computer Engineering
University of Houston - Clear Lake
Houston, TX
Phone (Office): +1 (281) 283-3813
Email: mylastname AT uhcl DOT edu
UHCL Webpage: http://sce.uhcl.edu/sakoglu
Webpage, Linkedin http://www.linkedin.com/in/unalsakoglu
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Copyright 2017 - Unal Sakoglu