January 15, 2020

Professors Xu, Ebert, and Prabhakar to take on new leadership roles at Purdue

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University has announced new leadership for its Department of Computer Science, Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS), and Integrated Data Science Initiative.

David Ebert, the Silicon Valley Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, will lead Purdue’s Integrative Data Science Initiative; Dongyan Xu, the Samuel D. Conte Professor of Computer Science, will lead CERIAS; and Sunil Prabhakar will return to his role of head, leading the Department of Computer Science.

Theresa Mayer, executive vice president for research and partnerships, said the three functions are more critically important now for Purdue than they have ever been.

 "New leadership in these areas for which Purdue is so well known internationally —computer science, cybersecurity and data science — will enable us to accelerate our efforts to impact our nation and world with bigger and bolder research agendas than ever before," she said.

“At Purdue, we are committed to responding to the rapidly growing demand for computer and data scientists, and ensuring that students from every discipline master the tools of data science needed in a data-infused world,” Purdue Provost Jay Akridge said, “I am excited about our future in these fundamentally important areas under the leadership of professors Ebert, Xu and Prabhakar.

Patrick Wolfe, dean of Science further noted, “I couldn’t be more pleased to see our faculty colleagues in Computer Science and Electrical and Computer Engineering stepping up like this. With a new data science building coming online quite rapidly, we will be better positioned than ever to build on our impressive legacy in these areas.”

Indeed, Purdue’s track record across computer and data science continues to strengthen. The nation's first department of computer science was established at Purdue in 1962. Purdue established one of the first academic cybersecurity labs in 1991 and the world's first interdisciplinary cybersecurity center in 1998. And in 2018, the university launched the creation of a “data science for all” ecosystem with the launch of the Integrated Data Science Initiative that will make data science education part of every student’s learning experience on campus while also boosting research and partnerships.

Writer: Steve Tally, 765-494-9809, steve@purdue.edu, @sciencewriter

Source: Theresa Mayer, 765-494-6209, tsmayer@purdue.edu

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