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Message from the Dean

The School of Computer Science pursues an overarching vision set by our founders Alan Perlis, Herbert Simon and Allen Newell. They defined the term “computer science” as “the theory and design of computers, as well as the study of the phenomena arising from them.” Today, we continue to interpret our mission as the creation of more efficient and effective hardware and software systems, as well as the creation and study of computer systems that enhance and interact with the real world.

With its structure as a full-fledged college within the university, SCS can and does draw from many disciplines, including engineering, science, mathematics, social sciences, linguistics and design. Our research and education address the many opportunities and issues created by computer technology and its uses. During the tenure of former CMU president Jared Cohon, SCS flourished. Our total student enrollment, including undergraduate, masters and Ph.D. students, has almost doubled to its current level of 1,600, and the admissions process has gotten increasingly competitive. Our research budget has nearly tripled, to $110 million.

Under our new president, Subra Suresh, we are prepared for nothing less than continued academic and research achievement. Suresh is a strong supporter of computer science and comes to us with impressive credentials, including past service as director of the National Science Foundation and dean of the College of Engineering at MIT. In choosing faculty, we pursue a strategy of hiring talented young colleagues who add new dimensions to our programs and set our course for the future. This strategy is clearly reflected in our newest faculty members, who span a wide range of disciplines. In fact, one attribute shared by our faculty is that they each individually straddle two or more fields!

Carnegie Mellon has long been known for large projects that combine the efforts of multiple faculty and students and work on problems that can only be solved with large, multidisciplinary teams. Such efforts are reflected in our NSF-sponsored Quality of Life Technology Center, which applies robotics technology to assisting people with disabilities and helping people live independently as they age, and our Pittsburgh Science of Learning Center, which employs the latest techniques to collect data on the education process and identify and evaluate new methods of teaching mathematics and language skills. Both are joint projects with the University of Pittsburgh. We are also pleased to host two of the recently created Intel Science and Technology Centers, the successors to Intel’s highly successful Pittsburgh research lab. These centers provide focal points for major efforts in cloud computing and in the design and application of embedded computing technology.

Randy Bryant
Dean and University Professor
School of Computer Science
Carnegie Mellon University

About the Dean

Randal E. Bryant has been dean of the School of Computer Science since 2003. Called the “quintessential computer science professor” by former CMU president Jared Cohon, Bryant is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences as well as a fellow of both the IEEE and ACM.

Bryant’s research focuses on the development of computer-aided design tools that simulate and verify digital circuits, as well as on symbolic manipulation and large-scale parallel computation. He is the co-author, along with CMU Professor David O’Halloran, of “Computer Systems: A Programmer’s Perspective,” which is used by more than 130 colleges and universities worldwide, and has been translated into other languages, including Mandarin Chinese and Russian.

Bryant’s tenure as dean has seen the creation of two new degree-granting departments within the School of Computer Science—the Machine Learning Department and the Lane Center for Computational Biology. As SCS dean, Bryant also oversaw the relocation in 2008 of many classrooms and faculty offices to the Gates Center for Computer Science and the Hillman Center for Future Generation Technologies, establishing a new “SCS quad” on the east side of the Pittsburgh campus.

In 2010, Bryant received the A. Richard Newton Technical Impact Award in Electronic Design Automation, and in 2009, he was honored with the Phil Kaufman Award from the Electronic Design Automation Consortium and the IEEE Council for Electronic Design Automation for his seminal breakthroughs in the field of formal verification. Bryant serves on the Informational Technology Advisory Board of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Academic Research Council of the Singapore Ministry of Education; and a council member of the Computing Community Consortium. He is a past member of the review committee for the federal Networking and Information Technology Research and Development program; the Computer and Information Science and Engineering Advisory Board of the National Science Foundation; and the board of directors of the Computing Research Association.

He has received a number of best paper awards, including the 1989 IEEE Baker Prize and the 2003 IEEE CAD Transactions Best Paper Award (with Yirng-An Chen), as well as Carnegie Mellon's Newell Medal for Research Excellence. Prior to his appointment as dean, Bryant was a 20-year member of the SCS faculty, having come to Carnegie Mellon from a faculty appointment at the California Institute of Technology. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Bryant earned his doctorate in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Home page: http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~bryant/