Catherine D. Schuman

Katie Schuman


Katie's general research interests are neuromorphic computing, deep machine learning, and data mining. Her dissertation research was in neuroscience-inspired dynamic architectures. She received the Excellence in Research award from the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in Spring 2014 and Spring 2015. Her advisor was Dr. Doug Birdwell. Relevant work includes:

Neuroscience-inspired dynamic architecture (NIDA) network as applied to a handwritten digit application is shown in the following video.

Katie has presented her work as a poster at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing in Phoenix, Arizona, in October 2014, as part of the doctoral consortium at the IEEE Symposium Series on Computational Intelligence in Orlando, Florida, in December 2014, and at the Neuro-Inspired Computational Elements workshop in Sandia, New Mexico, in February 2015 (video). An audio virtual tour of the poster presentation at Grace Hopper 2014 is shown in the following video.

In the fall of 2010, Katie worked in the Laboratory for Information Technologies. In the spring of 2011, Katie worked with Dr. Michael Langston, exploring novel applications of fast heuristics for graph coloring.

During the summers of 2008, 2009 and 2010, Katie worked as an undergraduate research assistant with Dr. Jim Plank, focusing on erasure codes for storage applications. Her senior thesis was "An Exploration of Optimization Algorithms and Heuristics for the Creation of Encoding and Decoding Schedules in Erasure Coding." The thesis appeared in Pursuit - The Journal of Undergraduate Research at the University of Tennessee.

Her other research work includes:



Katie has served as a teaching assistant for the following classes at the University of Tennessee: Katie received awards for Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant in the Department of EECS in December 2011 and April 2015.

Past Work Experience


Katie is a member of the Women in Computing group at Oak Ridge National Lab. She is a founding member of the Systers: Women in EECS @ UTK organization and served as its vice president from May 2013 until May 2014. She was also co-chair of the Systers mentorship committee.

Katie is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). She previously served as secretary of the UT chapter of ACM. She is also a member of IEEE and the Society for Neuroscience. Katie was previously a member of STARS. She served as an undergraduate mentor in the STARS program, hoping to promote interest in the field of computing, especially among women and minorities.

Personal Life

Katie is from Harriman, Tennessee. She enjoys spending time with her family (especially her nieces and nephews), reading and pop culture in all forms.