NSF's Wing Will Return to Carnegie MellonTo Lead Computer Science Department

Byron SpiceWednesday, May 12, 2010

PITTSBURGH-Jeannette Wing, assistant director for the National Science Foundation's Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) Division, will return to Carnegie Mellon University July 1 to once again head its Computer Science Department (CSD). She succeeds Peter Lee, who stepped down as department head in August 2009 to become director of the Transformational Convergence Technology Office in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

Wing, the President's Professor of Computer Science and a faculty member in the School of Computer Science (SCS) since 1985, had been head of the CSD for three years prior to joining the NSF in 2007.

"For almost three years now, Jeannette has had a powerful influence on computer science nationwide as she has guided CISE, by far the largest source of federal funding for computer science research," said Mark S. Kamlet, Carnegie Mellon executive vice president and provost. "It is good to know that her strong, steady hand will again be leading our Computer Science Department, which has long set the standard for computer science education and research."

CISE provides more than 80 percent of all federally funded research in computer science. During Wing's NSF tenure, the budget for CISE increased to $619 million for the current fiscal year, up 17 percent from 2007, not including $235 million in stimulus funding last year. The administration is seeking an 11 percent budget increase for CISE in the coming fiscal year.

Wing has championed the idea that computational thinking, which draws on fundamental concepts of computer science to solve problems, design systems and understand human behavior, should be incorporated broadly into educational programs. She launched a Center for Computational Thinking at Carnegie Mellon in 2007 and, at the NSF, established funding programs to advance computational thinking.

At the CSD, Wing will oversee 70 faculty members, 587 undergraduates and 135 graduate students. CSD is part of SCS, which tied for first-place among computer science Ph.D. programs in U.S. News and World Report's 2011 edition of America's Best Graduate Schools.

"We are all excited to have someone with Jeannette's technical and leadership talent guiding the activities of the stellar group of faculty, students, and staff in CSD," said Randal E. Bryant, SCS dean. "Having a strong computer science department is critical for the success of SCS and the entire university."

Prior to becoming CSD head in 2004, Wing served five years as SCS associate dean for academic affairs, overseeing and standardizing the school's nine doctoral and 12 master's degree programs. She also served nine years as associate department head for the doctoral program in computer science.

As a researcher, Wing has been an international leader in the area of formal methods - the use of mathematical models and logics to specify and reason about computing systems - and in trustworthy computing, with a focus on software security.

Wing is an alumna of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she earned bachelor's and master's degrees in electrical engineering and computer science in 1979, and a doctorate in computer science in 1983. She began her career as an assistant professor at the University of Southern California and joined the Carnegie Mellon faculty in 1985. She has worked or consulted for AT&T Bell Laboratories, Xerox Palo Alto Research Laboratories, Digital Equipment Corp., USC/Information Sciences Institute, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Microsoft Corp.

A fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery and the IEEE, Wing has served on numerous advisory and editorial boards. Earlier this year, she was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, a center for independent policy research.

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Byron Spice | 412-268-9068 | bspice@cs.cmu.edu