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June 25: Carnegie Mellon Reappoints Bryant As School of Computer Science Dean


Byron Spice

Carnegie Mellon Reappoints Bryant
As School of Computer Science Dean

bryantPITTSBURGH—Randal E. Bryant, University Professor and dean of Carnegie Mellon University's School of Computer Science (SCS), has been reappointed to a five-year term as dean, effective July 1.
Since Bryant became dean in 2004, the school has established the world's first Machine Learning Department, launched the National Science Foundation-sponsored Quality of Life Technology Center with the University of Pittsburgh and conceived and constructed the Gates and Hillman Centers, new classroom, lab and office buildings that the school will occupy later this summer.
"Dean Bryant's steady, thoughtful leadership style has meshed well with the diverse, energetic faculty of the School of Computer Science," said Mark S. Kamlet, university provost. "The school already was a premier institution for computer science education and research, but his guidance has helped extend its reach even further, particularly by increasing interaction with the arts and with the developing world."
SCS was recently ranked among the top four in the nation for its graduate programs by U.S. News and World Report with strengths noted in programming languages, artificial intelligence, systems and theory.
A faculty member since 1984, Bryant is a dedicated teacher who as dean has continued to teach at least one undergraduate course each year. He is co-author of a best-selling textbook, "Computer Systems: A Programmer's Perspective," that is currently used by more than 130 schools worldwide, with translations in Chinese and Russian; a revised version is set for publication later this year. Since he became dean, the school has integrated the concept of "computational thinking" into courses for both computer science majors and non-majors.
As a researcher, Bryant is known in academia and industry for developing computer-aided design tools that simulate and verify digital circuits - seminal work for which the IEEE awarded him its Emanuel R. Piore Award in 2007.
Bryant has recently championed new research initiatives in data-intensive computing, which involves large-scale computing systems similar to those used by Google and other search engines. These systems emphasize the acquisition and manipulation of large data sets rather than faster processing. He has urged the academic computer science community to make data-intensive computing a research priority and has worked to increase the resources available to the school for this work. In 2007, Carnegie Mellon was the first school Yahoo! chose to give access to its M45 computing cluster for data-intensive computing research.
"Data-intensive computing is a big bet for research that I believe could yield big rewards in the future," Bryant said. "We have only just begun to explore this area, both here at Carnegie Mellon and in academia in general, and I will continue to push hard to get our researchers the access to computing machinery they need to achieve major advances in science, health care and information access."
Bryant earned a bachelor's degree in applied mathematics at the University of Michigan in 1973 and received a doctorate in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1981. He was an assistant professor of computer science at the California Institute of Technology before joining Carnegie Mellon in 1984. He became head of the Computer Science Department in 1999 and was named a University Professor in 2004.
In addition to the IEEE Piore Award, he is a co-recipient of the Association for Computing Machinery's (ACM) prestigious Kanellakis Award for Theory and Practice. He is a fellow of both the IEEE and the ACM and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.
A Dean Evaluation Committee of the university's faculty, chaired by University Professor Manuel Blum, recommended Bryant's reappointment. "The committee members did a wonderful job in reviewing and evaluating Dean Bryant," Kamlet said. "The university thanks them for their excellent work."   


Pictured above is Randal E. Bryant, dean of Carnegie Mellon University's School of Computer Science.