A Message from the Chair - Dr. Anish Arora
When we will look back on the ongoing pandemic −and we are all looking forward to that!− the annals of CSE will show a time of intense and mostly positive changes. Notably, in Fall 2020, CSE proudly welcomed OSU’s new President, Dr. Kristina Johnson, to its faculty. Dr. Johnson has brought a compelling vision of strategic growth for the university and has hit the road running. Thanks to her bold leadership, we are tremendously excited about substantially growing the workforce that CSE produces in computing and, along with our partner units in Engineering, Arts and Science, and Medicine, in computational STEM and data analytics.
We have been equally delighted to welcome the new Dean of College of Engineering (CoE), Dr. Ayanna Howard, to the CoE faculty as of this Spring. Like Dr. Johnson, Dr. Howard has a stellar record of accomplishments and stands out as a role model to our faculty members. We are enthusiastic about partnering with her and aligning CSE’s strategic initiatives with the goals that she and Dr. Johnson are advancing for the college.
I’d like to share with you the new initiatives underway in CSE since I became Department Chair last July. We have bootstrapped a Center for High Performance Artificial Intelligence, led by Professor DK Panda. The center capitalizes on CSE’s internationally recognized excellence in High Performance Computing and the central role that we serve at OSU for all things related to Artificial Intelligence. In partnership with the Translational Data Analytics Institute (TDAI), we launched a professional Master’s in Translational Data Analysis in Fall 2020. With our fellow Electrical and Computer Engineering department, we are offering stackable certificates in Cybersecurity starting this summer, which we expect will become a professional Master’s degree program. Deep explorations are underway for new educational programming in CS+X and AI+X, as well as online degree programs, at both undergrad and graduate levels. I will note that CoE, OSU Office of Research, OSU Office of Academic Affairs, and TDAI have empowered these initiatives by supporting complementary faculty hiring via multiple open positions and targeted positions.
Our educational activities tie closely with CSE’s embrace of Broadening Participating in Computing as its strategic approach towards realizing its Diversity and Inclusion goals. This past year has cemented our resolve to improve our department’s culture for serving underrepresented groups. This top priority has been strategically encoded in plans ranging from targeted student support in scholarships such as Choose Ohio First, to redoubling our commitments to our award-winning ACM-W student group, Hack-I/O and OHI/O student and outreach program activities, and Ohio Conference on Women in Computing (OCWIC), to CSE’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee-led focus on systemically addressing marginalizing experiences, to programmatic efforts that achieve equity in retention and graduation rates.
As I close this message to you, I must say that there is much to be grateful for in the face of all the challenges that CSE students, staff, and faculty have experienced this year. It has been my privilege to work with a most collegial and committed faculty and staff, many of whom have stepped up to lead in ways big and small. Our students have cooperated graciously and helped us address issues as they arose. And even though the pandemic prevented us from fully celebrating our 50th anniversary with our stakeholders, you have continued to support us in virtual ways for which I applaud you. Your engagement is especially appreciated as we work towards our strategic goals.
I hope you stay well and safe! Go Bucks!