Tyler Derr

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Assistant Professor
Computer Science, Data Science
Department of CS, Data Science Institute
Vanderbilt University

Network and Data Science (NDS) Lab

Email: Tyler (dot) Derr (at) vanderbilt (dot) edu
Office: 4030 Sony Building
Mail: 400 24th Ave S Rm 254, Nashville, TN 37212

Google Scholar


Dr. Tyler Derr is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science, Teaching and Affiliate Faculty in the Data Science Institute, and Faculty Fellow in the Frist Center for Autism and Innovation at Vanderbilt University. Before that, he received his PhD in Computer Science from Michigan State University in 2020 under the supervision of Dr. Jiliang Tang. He has published over 50 papers in highly ranked journals and top conference proceedings, with h-index 25 and i10-index 40 (Google Scholar).

Tyler directs the Network and Data Science (NDS) lab, which conducts research in the areas of data mining and machine learning, with emphasis on social network analysis, deep learning on graphs, and data science for social good with applications in drug discovery, education, political science, and autism research. He has mentored his PhD students to have received numerous honors and awards including Vanderbilt's C. F. Chen Best Paper Award in 2022 and Runner-Up Award in 2023, the sole recipient of Vanderbilt's Graduate Leadership Anchor Award for Research in 2023, Finalist in Vanderbilt's Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition in 2023, Nvidia Academic Hardware Grant in 2022, 1st Place in Vanderbilt's AI Showcase in 2024, Vanderbilt's Outstanding Doctoral Student Award in 2024, along with their works being selected among the top-10 Most Influential CIKM’22/WWW’23 Papers by Paper Digest. He is actively involved in top conferences in his field, both in terms of publishing and serving as an AC/SPC/PC member, while receiving recognition such as the Best Paper Award at GLFrontiers Workshop at NeurIPS’23, Best Student Poster Award at SDM’19, and 3 Best Reviewer Awards. He has contributed to the organization of numerous international conferences and workshops, specifically, 9 conference organizing committees (at CIKM, DSAA, KDD, and WSDM), and co-founded the Machine Learning on Graphs (MLoG) Workshop (with 5 iterations at ICDM and WSDM). Being passionate about sharing knowledge, he has delivered 3 tutorials on Graph Neural Networks at KDD’20, AAAI’21, and SDM’24, along with given numerous invited talks, such as at the ACM Web Conference Knowledge Graph Day, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) Core Universities AI Workshop held at Georgia Tech, Foundation Model Research Center at Tsinghua University, Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences (MPI MiS), etc. He serves as Associate Editor for 4 journals, e.g., Tsinghua Science and Technology and IEEE Transactions on Big Data. Tyler has received numerous prestigious awards and honors, such as the NSF CAREER Award in 2023 and being selected for the Visiting Faculty Research Program at AFRL/RI. Additionally, he was honored with the Fall 2020 Teaching Innovation Award from the School of Engineering and the 2024 Provost Immersion Grant for Faculty at Vanderbilt University, highlighting his dedication to exceptional teaching and mentoring.

Research Interests

data mining, machine learning, social network anlaysis, recommender systems, deep learning on graphs, responsible and trustworthy AI, and interdisciplinary social good applications (e.g., drug discovery, education, political science, and neurodiversity)

[Open positions]
I am recruiting PhD students to work with us in the NDS Lab on topics in our general interests (see NDS Lab research interests to the right).
Master's and undergraduate students within Vanderbilt University and visiting scholars are also welcome. Please feel free to email me.
Please see here for position details.

Call for Papers

  • ACM Transactions on Intelligent Systems and Technology (TIST) Special Issue on Transformers (Coming Soon!)

    • Guest Editor along with Luu Anh Tuan, Richa Singh, Aline Villavicencio, and Feng Xia

    • Submission Deadline: December 1st, 2024

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Recent News (before 2023 can be seen here)