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Xiaodong Zhang received Joel and Ruth Spira Award for Excellence in Education Leadership by the Lutron Foundation

On April 19, 2018, at the annual CSE awards banquet, CSE Chair Xiaodong Zhang received Joel and Ruth Spira Excellence in Education Leadership Award. Lutron representative Will Howe presented the award to Xiaodong who is finishing his three terms of department chair and will return to his full-time faculty position. 

Established with an endowment by the Lutron Foundation in honor of the company’s founders, the award recognizes professors in a selected group of top universities with excellent engineering programs, including CMU, Cornell, Georgia Tech, Michigan, MIT, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, and Purdue, for their accomplishments in teaching and education leaderships. 

Xiaodong was selected to chair the department in 2006 after a national search of two years. He joined the department from the College of William and Mary, where he was the Lettie Pate Evans Professor and Computer Science Department Chair.  Since he became the Department Chair here, great changes have been taken place in CSE at Ohio State. In Mr. Howe’s award presentation, he gave the following impressive numbers:

• 26 new faculty members have been hired since 2006, including several women and under representative minority members. More than half of the current tenure-track faculty in the department joined the department after 2006.

• 18 young faculty members received NSF Career Awards. The total number of the NSF Career awards in the department is 28, which is the highest record at Ohio State. 

• 6 senior faculty members were elected to become Fellows of ACM and IEEE.  

• Three senior faculty members are named as University Distinguished Scholars.

• Annual faculty research expenditure from external grants has been more than doubled and reached to $11M in 2017-18.

• The department’s graduate program is highly selective and is one of the largest in the college. More than 300 Ph.D. students have been graduated since 2006, which is more than half of the total number of Ph.D. graduates in the entire CSE history of 50 years.

• The Computer Science graduate program ranking and Computer Engineering graduate program ranking have been steadily improved. In 2006, the computer engineering ranking was #23 by a score of 3.3. In the most recent ranking, the computer engineering ranking is #17 by a score 3.6. In 2006, the computer science ranking was #34 by a score of 3.2. In the most recent ranking, the computer science ranking is #30 by a score of 3.4.

• Undergraduate enrollment has increased 122% (over 2,000 students in three majors: CSE, CIS, and Data Analytics) and annual undergraduate majors graduates increased 138% (over 400). The department has graduated more than 3,000 undergraduate majors since 2006, which is more than 40% of the total number of CSE majors in the 50 year CSE history.

• $1.5M endowment funds have been raised as named scholarships to support undergraduate and graduate students.

Xiaodong also recieved a department service award presented at the banquet and he thanked the support and the honor given by colleagues and the Lutron Foundation.  He said “All these accomplishments come from the talents, leaderships, hardworking, and collaborations among the students, staff members and the faculty. Keeping the current momentum, CSE will move to another level in the next 5-10 years.”

In addition to his busy administrative and professional service duties, Xiaodong has maintained a high profile research program. While the intellectual pursuit still maintains prominence in his research, Xiaodong also strives to transfer his research into advanced technology to impact general-purpose computing systems in both hardware and software. Several technical innovations and research results from his research group have been widely adopted in commercial processors, major operating systems and databases, and distributed systems.  Among his list of Ph.D. graduates, 7 men and women have become faculty members in universities in the US, and 6 of them have received NSF Career Awards and DOD YIP award.  

Xiaodong’s scholarship and leadership have been well recognized in the fields. He was named as IEEE Fellow (Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineers) for his contributions to computer memory systems in 2009, and was named as ACM Fellow (Association for Computing Machinery) for his contributions to data and memory management in distributed systems in 2012. He received a Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award from University of Colorado at Boulder in 2011.

Pictured Above: Will Howe,representative from Lutron;Dr. Xiaodong Zhang; Dr. Rafe Wenger, who made the nomination