Atanasoff Today: Donor Support

Donor Support Strengthens Research and Education
New Support from Kingland

Alumni and friends play an important role in supporting world-class research and learning in the Department of Computer Science. Throughout the years, fellowships, scholarships and other support helped extend access to excellence in learning and scientific pursuit. In recent years, that support has grown. 

In 2017, two faculty members were awarded named faculty positions, thanks to a generous donation from Kingland and its owners, David and Deb Kingland.

Hridesh Rajan, professor in the Department of Computer Science, was named Kingland Professor of Data Analytics. Stephen Vardeman, University Professor in the Department of Statistics and the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering, was named Kingland Data Analytics Faculty Fellow.

Rajan is the director of the Laboratory for Software Design in the Department of Computer Science and the Professor-in-Charge of the Data Science program at Iowa State. Through invention and refinement of shared cyberinfrastructures for data-driven sciences, Rajan’s research on the Boa project, a software language and infrastructure that makes data mining easier, is decreasing the barriers to entry in data-driven science. He founded the Midwest Big Data Summer School to deliver broadly accessible data science curricula and serves as a steering committee member for the Midwest Big Data Hub (MBDH).

The funds support his research in investigating shared infrastructures for data-driven science, giving researchers easy access to big data analysis that would otherwise require specialized computation expertise, datasets and infrastructure to which they may not have access.

The awards are part of a $1.5 million donation to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the College of Business and the College of Engineering by Kingland, a global leader in data quality control, development and risk management, and a personal donation from David and Deb Kingland to support several areas in data science. The donation also established the Kingland Data Analytics Scholarship Fund, which will help attract top students and increase the affordability and accessibility for students who hope to pursue a data-related degree.

Hridesh Rajan, professor in the Department of Computer Science, was named Kingland Professor of Data Analytics.
(Photogrpah by Chris Gannon)

Cohen Selected for Distinguished Award

In 2018, Myra Cohen was selected as the newest recipient of the Lanh and Oanh Nguyen Chair in Software Engineering. Cohen’s research is focused on the testing of highly-configurable, or customizable software. Her research enables end users to experience software with fewer glitches and bugs by vastly improving software-testing processes. Cohen’s expertise has enabled customizable software products and product lines, or those with graphical interfaces, to be tested with increased speed and efficiency.

The award was established by Dr. Long Nguyen (Ph.D. computer science ’75) and Kimmy Nguyen, to provide support and to ensure the future success of the computer science program. The award was created in 2008 to recruit world-class faculty members who significantly enhance the Department of Computer Science and Iowa State University.

Cohen joined the department in 2018 and is highly regarded for her research in both software engineering and computer science.  She is nationally recognized for her research and expertise in the field of software testing.  She is an Association for Computing Machinery Distinguished Member; and she also received two distinguished paper awards from the same organization. In addition, she was honored with a National Science Foundation CAREER Award.  Cohen received a coveted Air Force Office of Scientific Research Young Investigator Award, an exceptional honor given to researchers who demonstrate outstanding ability and promise in conducting basic research.

Read more about Cohen's research here.


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