Catalina Vajiac

Ph.D. student, Computer Science

Carnegie Mellon University

cvajiac at cs dot cmu dot edu

About Me

I am a Ph.D. student in Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University advised by Prof. Christos Faloutsos. My work is supported by the NSF GRFP. I’m focused on providing interpretable algorithms and interfaces for fighting human trafficking online. You can find my CV here.


  • Anti-Human Trafficking
  • Graph Mining
  • Anomaly Detection
  • Visualization and interactive systems


  • Ph.D. in Computer Science, 2019 - Present

    Carnegie Mellon University

  • B.S. in Computer Science, 2015 - 2019

    University of Notre Dame

  • B.S. in Computing and Applied Mathematics, 2014 - 2018

    Saint Mary's College

What’s New

Recently, my work on anti-human trafficking has gotten some press. Check out this article from CMU SCS and this one from WXPI local news!

My work is now funded by the NSF GRFP!

My first-author paper on anti human trafficking got accepted in IEEE ICDE 2021.

Since June 2020, I’ve been developing an anti-bias initiative at CMU’s Computer Science Department. As part of this initiative, I’ve co-developed the pilot for 15-996: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Computer Science and Society, along with Bailey Flanigan and Sara McAllister.

Previous Projects


Synchronous Hyperedge Replacement Graph Grammars

University of Notre Dame

Jan 2018 – May 2018 Indiana
Extracted features from temporal graphs by learning a CFG from their fragments.

Exploration of Numerical Precision in Deep Neural Networks

Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics at UCLA

Jan 2016 – Dec 2016 California
Studied resiliency of neural networks when exposed to lower numerical precision.

Computer-Assisted Image Analysis for Paper Analytical Devices (PADs)

Saint Mary’s College

Jan 2016 – Dec 2016 Notre Dame, IN
Created image analysis software to classify chemical reactions in PADs.

Honors and Awards

Graduate Research Fellowship

Outstanding Student Award

Anita Borg Scholar

Donald E. Miller Award

Honors on Undergraduate Thesis

Meritorious Winner

Outstanding Poster Award

Indiana Epsilon Inductee