Vanderbilt to establish a college dedicated to computing, AI and data science – Vanderbilt University News

Mar 25, 2024, 11:20 AM
Vanderbilt has begun work to establish a transformative college dedicated to computer science, AI, data science and related fields, university leaders announced today. In addition to meeting the growing demand for degrees in technological fields and advancing research in rapidly evolving, computing-related disciplines, the new, interdisciplinary college will collaborate with all of Vanderbilt’s schools and colleges to advance breakthrough discoveries and strengthen computing education through a “computing for all” approach.
The College of Connected Computing will be led by a new dean, who will report to Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs C. Cybele Raver and to School of Engineering Dean Krishnendu “Krish” Roy. The search for the college’s dean is scheduled to begin in late August, and recruiting of faculty will begin in the coming months. It will be the first new college at Vanderbilt since the university and the Blair School of Music merged in 1981.
“Of all the factors shaping society, few are more influential than the rapid emergence of advanced computing, AI and data science,” Chancellor Daniel Diermeier said. “To continue to carry out our mission, prepare all our students for their careers and advance research across the university, Vanderbilt must contribute even more to the study, understanding and innovative application of these fast-changing disciplines. Our aim is to make Vanderbilt a global leader in these fields, ensuring our continued academic excellence and capacity for world-changing innovation.”
“Our new college will enable us to build upon our strong programs and catapult Vanderbilt to the forefront of breakthrough discovery and innovation—in key areas of computer science and also in a wide range of other disciplines that capitalize on advanced computational methods. In launching this new college, we will provide students with highest-caliber educational opportunities at the intersection of these pathbreaking fields,” Raver said. “The creation of this college represents a tremendous win and will be transformative for our entire university community.”
Raver noted the ways that Vanderbilt is forging a bold and distinct strategic path to address burgeoning research and educational opportunities, including increasing demand for expertise in computing-related fields. Moreover, she said, the global interest in AI “aligns perfectly” with Vanderbilt’s leading work in that field. She said a dedicated college will enable Vanderbilt to keep making groundbreaking discoveries at the intersections of computing and other disciplines and will more effectively leverage advanced computing to address some of society’s most pressing challenges.
“The establishment of this interdisciplinary, ‘cross-cutting’ college is a watershed moment—not only for the School of Engineering, but also for the entire university,” Roy said. “The future of education, research and thinking in all disciplines is now inherently tied to, and will be greatly influenced by, the knowledge and power of computing. The idea of ‘computing for all’ is fundamental to the future of learning.”  
Many of the specific details about the college—including its departments, degree programs and research infrastructure—will be informed by the recommendations of a task force on connected computing composed of faculty from across the university. In addition, Vice Provost for Research and Innovation Padma Raghavan will launch a Computing Catalyst working group that will engage faculty and staff leaders in computing from across campus and solicit their input on strategically expanding the university’s computing resources. “The decision to establish this new college is rooted in conversations with faculty,” Raver said. “We are continuing that faculty engagement with this working group, and we’re fortunate to have the advice of some of the best minds in these fields as we embark on this exciting journey.”  
The members of the Connected Computing Task Force include:
Krishnendu Roy, Chair 
Bruce and Bridgitt Evans Dean of Engineering 
University Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering; Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology; and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering     
Douglas Adams 
Vice Dean of the School of Engineering  
Daniel F. Flowers Chair
Distinguished Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering 
Professor of Mechanical Engineering 
Faculty Affiliate, VINSE     
Hiba Baroud 
Associate Chair and Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
James and Alice B. Clark Foundation Faculty Fellow

Associate Professor of Computer Science 
Faculty Affiliate, VECTOR, Data Science Institute     
Gautam Biswas 
Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Computer Science and Computer Engineering
Professor of Engineering Management 
Senior Research Scientist, ISIS 
Faculty Affiliate, Data Science Institute    
Erin Calipari 
Associate Professor of Pharmacology 
Associate Professor of  Molecular Physiology & Biophysics
Associate Professor of  Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
Director, Vanderbilt Center for Addiction Research 
Faculty Affiliate, Vanderbilt Brain Institute     
Laurie Cutting 
Patricia and Rodes Hart Professor and Professor of Special Education 
Professor of Psychology
Professor of Pediatrics
Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Professor of Radiology & Radiological Sciences
Associate Provost in the Office of the Vice Provost of Research and Innovation
Associate Director of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center 
Faculty Affiliate, Vanderbilt Brain Institute     
Benoit Dawant 
Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Electrical Engineering
Incoming Chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering 
Director and Steering Committee Chair, Vanderbilt Institute for Surgery & Engineering 
Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Professor of Computer Science   
Abhishek Dubey 
Associate Professor of Computer Science 
Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering 
Director, SCOPE lab at ISIS 
Faculty Affiliate, Institute for Software Integrated Systems and Data Science Institute     
Bennett Landman 
Stevenson Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering 
Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Professor of Computer Science
Professor of Neurology
Associate Professor of Biomedical Informatics
Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Associate Professor of Radiology and Radiological Sciences
Faculty Affiliate, Vanderbilt Institute for Surgery and Engineering (VISE), Vanderbilt Brain Institute, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, Vanderbilt University Institute of Image Science (VUIIS), Data Science Institute     
Michael Matheny 
Professor of Biomedical Informatics 
Professor of Biostatistics
Professor of Medicine
Director, Center for Improving the Public’s Health Through Informatics     
Sandeep Neema 
Professor of Computer Science 
Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering 
Chair of the Executive Council, Institute for Software Integrated Systems     
Ipek Oguz 
Assistant Professor of Computer Science 
Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Assistant Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering 
Faculty Affiliate, Vanderbilt Institute for Surgery and Engineering (VISE)     
J.B. Ruhl 
David Daniels Allen Distinguished Chair of Law 
Director, Program in Law and Innovation 
Co-Director, Energy, Environment and Land Use Program 
Faculty Affiliate, Data Science Institute     
Jesse Spencer-Smith   
Professor of the Practice of Computer Science 
Adjunct Professor of Psychology
Interim Director and Chief Data Scientist, Data Science Institute     
Jonathan Sprinkle 
Professor of Computer Science 
Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering 
Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering 
Faculty Affiliate, Institute for Software Integrated Systems     
Yuankai “Kenny” Tao 
Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering 
Associate Professor of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences 
SPIE Faculty Fellow in Engineering
Faculty Affiliate, Vanderbilt Institute for Surgery & Engineering     
Holly Tucker 
Mellon Foundation Chair in the Humanities
Professor of French 
Director, Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities     
Kalman Varga 
Vice Chair of the Department of Physics & Astronomy
Professor of Physics 
Director, Minor in Scientific Computing 
Faculty Affiliate, VINSE     
Steven Wernke 
Chair of the Department of Anthropology
Associate Professor of Anthropology 
Director, Vanderbilt Institute for Spatial Research (VISR)
Faculty Affiliate, Data Science Institute  
Jules White
Professor of Computer Science 

Associate Professor of Biomedical Informatics 
Senior Advisor to the Chancellor for Generative AI in Education and Enterprise Solutions 
Faculty Affiliate, Institute for Software Integrated Systems, Data Science Institute     
Dan Work 
Director of Graduate Studies in Civil Engineering
Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering 
Professor of Computer Science 
Faculty Affiliate, VECTOR, Institute for Software Integrated Systems, Data Science Institute      
Tracey George 
ex officio 
Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs and Professional Education 
Charles B. Cox III and Lucy D. Cox Family Chair in Law and Liberty 
Professor of Law    
Tiffiny Tung 
Ex officio 
Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education 
Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Chair in the Social and Natural Sciences
Professor of Anthropology  
 
Members of the Vanderbilt community can learn more about this initiative and share feedback with the faculty working group by visiting vanderbilt.edu/about/computingtaskforce.  
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