Spring 2010 Issue | All Issues | Duke Computer Science

Chair's Message

Pankaj K. Agarwal, Chair

Welcome to our inaugural electronic issue of Threads. We have ceased printing a hard copy of the newsletter to enhance the convenience for our readers and to become more environmentally friendly. We hope you will find this new format useful and efficient.

I am pleased to announce that Silvia Ferrari, An Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science who is internationally renowned for her work in control theory, has joined the Department as secondary faculty.

Our faculty and students have made significant accomplishments during the past few months, which I am always proud to share. Bruce Donald was named an ACM Fellow for his contributions in robotics, MEMS, and computational molecular biology. Carlo Tomasi received the 2009 David and Janet Vaughan Brooks Teaching Award, one of the four A&S Teaching Awards that recognizes truly outstanding teaching in the College. Thom LaBean was promoted to the rank of Research Professor. One of our new young faculty members, Xiaowei Yang, received the prestigious NSF CAREER award for her project to design a more trustworthy Internet. Chris Dwyer received the highest honor given to scientists by the U.S. government, the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PCASE).

Undergraduate and C-SURF Fellow, Peng Shi, was a finalist for the CRA Undergraduate Research Award. The C-SURF Program is designed to provide outstanding undergraduates with an in-depth research experience. We are pleased to announce that ten new Fellows were added to the program this year. We look forward to seeing the results of their research.

The Department was again one of the key sites for the ACM Mid-Atlantic Programming Contest. At Duke, twenty-six local teams gathered in the LSRC for this all-day programming challenge. Three of the four Duke teams placed in the contest, and Team Duke Firkochen then competed in the ACM World Finals in Harbin, China in February.

Our annual recruiting event, TechConnect, was a great success in spite of the lackluster economy. This program, co-sponsored by the Computer Science Department and the Pratt School of Engineering, attracted 43 companies. More than 350 students participated to network with company recruiters.

Finally, this will be my last Chair's message for Threads. I am stepping down as Department Chair after having served for six years. It has been a privilege and an honor to serve the Department as Chair. I am very pleased to announce that Carlo Tomasi has agreed to be the next Chair effective July 1, 2010, and I am confident the Department will make great strides under his leadership.

I would like to invite you to check out our website to learn the latest news about the Department. We encourage alumni to register at the online form for this purpose in order to be a part of our community. If you are in the RTP area, we hope you will stop by for a visit. We look forward to hearing from you.

Best wishes,
Pankaj K. Agarwal

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