Ashok Deb is a PhD student in Computer Science at the University of Southern California (USC) and a researcher in the Machine Intelligence and Data Science (MINDS) group at the USC Viterbi’s Information Sciences Institute (ISI). His research is at the intersection of data science, computational social science, and artificial intelligence. Common threads across his work include natural language processing, social media and misinformation. Current applications under study include political elections, cyber security, social consumerism and health behaviors. He is a currently serving, Active-duty Army officer with 17+ years of service. Prior to joining USC, he served as an Assistant Professor and researcher at the US Military Academy (USMA) and an analyst at the Pentagon. He received his BS in mathematics from the USMA and MS in operations research from Georgia Tech.
Ashok Deb was born on April 7, 1979 in Augsburg, Germany to the late SFC(Ret) Alok Deb from India and Ada Bankhead Deb from Sulligent, Alabama. Ashok moved with his family to Clarksville, TN as a young child and went through the Clarksville-Montgomery School System, graduating in 1997 from Northwest High School. At Northwest, Ashok was a member of the golf and tennis teams, active with JROTC and was ultimately the Battalion Commander. He participated in Youth Leadership Clarksville and was a Boys State attendee. During his senior year, he also received his Eagle Scout Award as part of Troop 525. After graduation, Ashok reported to the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY as a member of the Class of 2001. After 4 years as a Math major with Computer Science track, a lot of marching and a little golfing, Ashok graduated in June 2, 2001 and was commissioned an officer in the Signal Corps. This was exactly 100 days before 9/11. After initial communications training in Fort Gordon, GA, Ashok’s first duty assignment was in Mannheim, Germany with the 72ndSignal Battalion where he served as a Platoon Leader and Company Executive Officer. He then served as a Company Executive Officer and Company Commander in the Headquarters of 5thSignal Command. Due to his superb performance, is Commanding General gave him the option of going to any post Ashok wanted after the Advanced Course….as long as it was Fort Hood or Fort BraggJAshok chose Fort Bragg and spent the better part of 3 years falling out of planes as a Jumpmaster with the 327thand 50thSignal Battalions (Airborne) (Forced Entry). It is while at Bragg he deployed to humanitarian efforts in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and Honduras. Additionally, he culminated his time at Bragg with a deployment to Operation IRAQI FREEDOM during the surge from 2008-2009. While based in Camp Victory, Baghdad, Ashok travelled throughout the country providing satellite communications to both Military Transition Teams (MiTT) and Morale, Welfare, Recreation (MWR) facilities. After Iraq, Ashok had the extreme fortune of attending the Georgia Institute of Technology full time to work on a Masters in Operations Research. This facilitated his new functional area in the military, Operations Research / Systems Analysis as well as prepared him for being an Instructor and Assistant Professor in the Math Department at West Point. For the 3 years he taught at West Point he lived in NYC near Times Square. He was selected by leadership to go to the Pentagon after West Point to serve on the Army staff in the G8. After 2 years helping prepare the Army budget, Ashok deployed to Afghanistan for one year to put everything he used learned to use assisting the Afghan Army and Police. After a year-long, all-expense paid vacation to the all-inclusive mountain resort in Kabul, Afghanistan, Ashok took 96 days of leave to travel and relax. After the leave was over, he drove from Washington, DC to Los Angeles, CA to start his PhD studies in Computer Science at the University of Southern California. He is currently taking classes and conducting research in the Computational Behavior Sciences group in the Machine Intelligence and Data Science (MINDS) lab.