Skip to main content

John Rachlin

Assistant Teaching Professor

Rachlin, John


Office Location

105-107 Forsyth Street
132A Nightingale Hall
Boston, MA 02115

Mailing Address

Northeastern University
ATTN: John Rachlin, 202 WVH
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115-5000

Research Interests

  • Databases
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Bioinformatics
  • Large-Scale Computing


John Rachlin is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the College of Computer and Information Science. Prior to joining Northeastern, he was a Staff Software Engineer at Fitbit and a Principal Software Engineer at Optum Analytics. At Optum he developed tools and technologies to integrate and analyze patient electronic medical record (EMR) data as part of the company’s transition to Hadoop-based distributed computing. He is also the Co-Founder of Diatom, LLC, a software consultancy specializing in bioinformatics, health-care, and big-data solutions. Dr. Rachlin is also an aspiring artist, and enjoys sharing his paintings with family and friends via his gallery website:


  • PhD in Computer Science, Boston University
  • MS in Computer Science, Johns Hopkins University
  • BA in English and Physics, Cornell University

What are the specifics of your educational background?

I recieved my Bachelors of Arts in English and Physics from Cornell University, my Masters of Science in Computer Science from Johns Hopkins University, and my PhD in Computer Science from Boston University.

My PhD thesis was on multi-node graphs and their application to bioinformatics. Describes a novel graph-theoretic framework whereby edges are activated or deactivated as a function of the state of their incident vertices.

What is your research focus in a bit more detail? Is your current research path what you always had in mind for yourself, or has it evolved somewhat? If so, how/why?

My industry career has mainly focused on research in bioinformatics, biological networks, and optimization using evolutionary computing paradigms. In more recent years, I have worked on developing large-scale data processing platforms for applications in health-care informatics.

What courses/subjects do you teach?

  • CS 3200: Database Design
  • CS 5200: Database Management Systems
  • DS 4300: Large-Scale Storage and Retrieval
  • CS 1800: Discrete Structures
  • CS5002: Discrete and Data Structures
  • DS2000: Programming with Data

Where did you grow up/spend the most defining years of your childhood/young adulthood?

I grew up in Vermont on the shores of Lake Champlain.