Dr. Hridesh Rajan Reappointed as Department Chair

March 24, 2023

Iowa State University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences announced the re-appointment of Hridesh Rajan, professor of computer science and Kingland Professor of Data Analytics, for a second five-year term as chair of the Department of Computer Science.

"Hridesh has made significant progress for the department, thanks to his leadership and the commitment and hard work of faculty and staff,” said Beate Schmittmann, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “I continue to see many positive opportunities ahead for the Department of Computer Science."

Under Rajan’s leadership, the department has continued its upward trajectory. Two new degree programs were launched (an MS degree in artificial intelligence and a B.A. degree in computer science), and six new faculty members added their expertise and scholarship to the department’s rich research profile. In addition, the department has seen a steady increase in enrollments, research funding, and philanthropic commitments.

“We have a lot to be proud of,” said Rajan. “Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic and the transition to remote learning, our students, faculty, and staff have shown incredible resilience. I am particularly proud of their perseverance in navigating these obstacles, as well as their achievements. In addition to successfully adding new degrees, our enrollment has grown by an impressive 31%, with female enrollment increasing by 45% over the last five years.”

Under his leadership, the department recorded a 35% increase in grant funding during this same period and made significant investments in research and infrastructure. A new NSF training program focused on dependable data-driven discovery was launched, and faculty, staff and alumni celebrated the opening of a new facility to accelerate research on autonomous systems and robotics, created the facility for software engineering research laboratory, created student collaboration spaces, and remodeled several faculty offices.

“These achievements demonstrate the strong momentum of our department, and reflect our commitment to innovation and advancing the frontiers of computer science,” said Rajan. “All of these accomplishments are a testament to the hard work and dedication of everyone in our department. We have much to celebrate, and I am excited to see what we will achieve in the future.”

Rajan is a highly respected and well-regarded researcher in data science and software engineering. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), a Fulbright Scholar, and an Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Distinguished Scientist. In addition to a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER award, he has been recognized with an LAS Early Achievement in Research Award, Big 12 Fellowship, an ACM Senior Membership, Kingland Professorship, Sigma Xi membership, and a Facebook Probability and Programming Award. He also received the 2022 ISU Award for Early Achievement in Departmental Leadership. He earned his master’s degree and Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Virginia.

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