Hridesh Rajan

Kingland Professor and Department Chair


  • PhD, Computer Science, The University of Virginia, 2005 
  • MS, Computer Science, The University of Virginia, 2004.                        
  • BTech, Computer Science & Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Varanasi, 2000.    

Selected Books and Publications

Selected Awards and Recognitions

  • 2022 ISU Award for Early Achievement in Departmental Leadership
  • 2020 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellow
  • 2020 Facebook Probability and Programming Award
  • 2018-19 Fulbright U.S. Scholar
  • 2017 ACM Distinguished Scientist
  • 2009 US National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award
  • Various best paper and distinguished paper awards

Recent Service Roles


Hridesh Rajan holds a Ph.D. and an MS from the University of Virginia, both in Computer Science. His B.Tech. in Computer Science and Engineering is from the Indian Institute of Technology, Varanasi (formerly IT-BHU). Dr. Rajan is the Kingland Professor of Computer Science at Iowa State University, where he served three years (2017-2019) as the founding Professor-in-charge (equivalent to a director role) of Data Science Programs. During this period, he founded the annual Midwest Big Data Summer School to deliver broadly accessible data science training, served on the steering committee of the Midwest Big Data Hub, and led TADS (Theoretical and Applied Data Science), a cross-campus transdisciplinary research initiative of faculty and students interested in foundations and applications of Data Science. Since 2019, he has been serving as the Department Chair of Computer Science, where he oversaw a significant growth period in students, faculty, staff, research funding, and philanthropic support. During his tenure as Department Chair, Dr. Rajan led the effort in diversity and inclusion leading to departmental broadening participation in computing plan and a 45% increase in female enrollment. Dr. Rajan has led the creation of new majors, minors and certificates including the M.S. degree in Artificial Intelligence, the Data Science Minor, Certificate, and B.S. degree programs, and the B.A. degree in Computer Science. Rajan is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), a Fulbright Scholar, and an ACM Distinguished Scientist. His research interests are in Software Engineering and Programming Languages where he is most known for his design of the Ptolemy programming language that showed how to modularly reason about crosscutting concerns and the Boa programming language and its infrastructure that decreases the barriers to data-driven software engineering. He has been recognized by an NSF CAREER award in 2009, by the LAS Early Achievement in Research Award in 2010, a Big-12 Fellowship in 2012, an ACM Senior Membership in 2014, an Exemplary Mentor for Junior Faculty Award in 2017, a Kingland Professorship in 2017, an ACM Distinguished Membership in 2017, a US-UK Fulbright Scholarship in 2018, a Facebook Probability and Programming Award in 2020, and an Early Achievement in Departmental Leadership Award in 2022. He served on the editorial board of IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering and ACM SIGSOFT Software Engineering Notes, and currently serves on the advisory board of Proceedings of the ACM on Programming Languages and on the editorial board of Automated Software Engineering Journal. He was a Member of Technical Staff at Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies in Bangalore India from 2000 - 2001. Prof. Rajan also serves on ABET's Computing Accreditation Commission (CAC) as a commissioner.

Area of Expertise: 
Data Science
Programming Languages
Software Engineering
Ph.D., Computer Science, The University of Virginia, 2005
M.S., Computer Science, The University of Virginia, 2004
B.Tech, Computer Science & Engineering, IIT Varanasi, 2000