Haym Hirsh, professor and chair of computer science at Rutgers University, has been named Cornell’s dean of Computing and Information Science (CIS), effective July 1, Provost Kent Fuchs announced April 22.
Hirsh was selected following an extensive national search, and he succeeds Dan Huttenlocher, who was appointed vice provost and founding dean of the Cornell NYC Tech campus in February 2012. Hirsh will head Cornell’s college-level unit that includes three departments and more than 80 affiliated faculty, following the interim leadership of Eva Tardos, professor and senior associate dean of CIS.
“We are very pleased that Haym Hirsh, a proven leader, researcher and educator and an enthusiastic computer science visionary, is coming to Cornell,” Fuchs said. “We look forward to having him lead our innovative Faculty of Computing and Information Science, and we welcome him and his family to Ithaca. I also want to extend our deepest gratitude to Dan Huttenlocher for his forward-looking leadership of CIS, and to Eva Tardos, who has expertly shepherded our CIS program as its interim leader.”
Hirsh is an expert in artificial intelligence and data mining, with a focus on questions that integrally involve both people and computers.
From 2006-10, Hirsh served as director of the Division of Information and Intelligent Systems at the National Science Foundation. He also has held visiting positions at Bar-Ilan University, Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Zurich, and from 2010-11 at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Center for Collective Intelligence in the Sloan School of Management.
As dean, Hirsh will be responsible for moving CIS’s research and education programs forward in reputation, distinction and influence. Among his expected duties will be to partner in the development of the Cornell Tech initiative in New York City, seeking collaborative opportunities and creating strong bonds between university elements at both campuses.
Hirsh said he looks forward to joining one of the world’s most distinguished universities for computing research and education. He was particularly drawn to Cornell’s Faculty of Computing and Information Science with its three departments – computer science, information science and statistical science – and engagement with all of Cornell’s colleges, representing an organizational model that “reflects an appreciation of how computing is transforming all areas of scholarship and education.”
“Cornell is recognized internationally for rethinking the academic ‘org chart’ in a way that facilitates wide-ranging collaborations,” Hirsh said.
Hirsh received a Ph.D. and M.S. in computer science from Stanford University in 1989 and 1985, respectively, and a B.S. in mathematics and computer science from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1983.
CIS was created more than a decade ago as a college-level unit and spans traditional college boundaries with the mission of bringing the computing sciences into every discipline. The unit will be housed in the new Bill and Melinda Gates Hall on campus, which is scheduled for completion later this year.