Van Vung Pham

Dr. Van Vung Pham

Assistant Professor

Dr. Pham is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science, Sam Houston State University. His areas of expertise centered around data analytics, data visualizations, machine learning, and deep learning. He received his Bachelor's from President University and Master's from Politecnico di Milano, both with full scholarships. He then became a lecturer at FPT University for eight years before joining the Department of Computer Science from Texas Tech University under the President's strategic growth initiative in Data Science (3-year fellowship) for his Ph.D. As a Research Assistant. He published one patent, various peer-reviewed journals, and conference papers. Dr. Pham also wrote an NSF I-Corps proposal and executed it as an Entrepreneur Lead. As part of his research development, he won one best paper award, an award in VAST 2018 Mini-Challenge 2, honorable prizes in KDD 2020 Cup and BigData 2020 Cup challenges and achieved Spirits of NSF I-Corps award.

Dr. Pham’s areas of expertise centered around data visualizations, data analytics, machine learning, and deep learning. His skill set holds a unique place in computer science because he has worked with different stages in a production pipeline of a complete machine learning solution for various problem domains. They are 1) data exploration, 2) building machine learning/deep learning models, 3) interpreting/explaining the learned models, 4) reporting results to the public. He is currently working on projects related to analyzing information about climate change. For instance, there are projects that use data visualizations/data analytics to analyze data collected from soil profiles. There are also projects that use machine learning/deep learning to predict soil properties (e.g., pHs or carbon storage) from visible and near-infrared (Vis-NIR) spectra acquired from soil profiles. He is also working on projects that use deep neural networks (e.g., YOLO, R-CNN) to solve computer vision tasks (e.g., road damage detection).

  • Ph.D. in Computer Science, Texas Tech University, Texas, USA
  • Master of Science in Computing Systems Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, President University, Indonesia
Research Interests
  • Data exploration
  • Building machine learning/deep learning models
  • Interpreting/explaining the learned models
  • Reporting results to the public
  • 08/2021 - Present: Position: Assistant Professor, Computer Science Department, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas, USA.
  • 06/2018 – 08/2021 (part-time): Position: Research Assistant at Interactive Data Visualization Lab, Computer Science Department, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, USA.
  • 09/2010 – 06/2018: Positions: Lecturer and Head of the Academic Department, FPT Greenwich Collaboration Program, FPT University, Hanoi, Vietnam
Honors and Awards
  • Award: Shortlisted winners (top 10% among 121 participated teams) in IEEE BigData Cup 2020 – Global Road Damage Detection (
  • Award: Honorable prize (7th place among 549 participants) in KDD Cup 2020 – Graph Adversarial Attack and defense (
  • Award: Spirits of NSF I-Corps, Bay Area National I-Corps, Spring 2020, for the team most exemplifying hard work, discipline, and intellectual honesty. Role: Entrepreneurial Lead.
  • Award: Best paper, EnvirVis 2019, Workshop on Visualizations in Environmental Sciences, June 3, 2019, Porto, Portugal.
  • Award: Strong Support for Exploratory Analysis, VAST Challenge 2018: Mini-Challenge 2, IEEE VIS Conference, Berlin, Germany.
  • Honorable Mention: Representation of Small-Scale Temporal Patterns, VAST Challenge 2018: Mini-Challenge 3, IEEE VIS Conference, Berlin, Germany.
  • Full scholarship: Ph.D. in Computer Science from Computer Science Department, Texas Tech University.
  • Full scholarship: Master of Science in Computing Systems Engineering from Politecnico di Milano, Italy.
  • Full scholarship: Bachelor of Science in Information Technology from President University, Indonesia.
  • Source of Support: NSF, Total Amount: $50,000, Period Covered: 04/2020-10/2020, Role: Entrepreneurial Lead.
  • Pham, V., Weindorf, D. C., & Dang, T. (2021). Soil profile analysis using interactive visualizations, machine learning, and deep learning. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture, 191, 106539.
  • Pham, V., Weindorf, D. C., & Dang, T. (2021, December). RDNet: Deep Learning Model for Predicting pH H 2 0 and pH KCl from Soil Vis-NIR Spectra. In 2021 IEEE International Conference on Big Data (Big Data) (pp. 3436-3445). IEEE.
  • Pham, V., Pham, C., & Dang, T. (2020, December). Road damage detection and classification with detectron2 and faster r-cnn. In 2020 IEEE International Conference on Big Data (Big Data) (pp. 5592-5601). IEEE.
  • Pham, V., Dang, T., Wilkie, A., & Banterle, F. (2020). ScagnosticsJS: Extended Scatterplot Visual Features for the Web. In Eurographics (pp. 77-80).
  • V. Pham, T. Dang, and D. Weindorf, “Data visualization device and method (Publication Number: WO/2021/055243, Publication Date: 25.03.2021, International Application No.: PCT/US2020/050313, International Filing Date: 11.09.2020, Priority Date: 16.09.2019),” Patent.