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Purdue announces new head of the Department of Computer Science


Professor Petros Drineas

Petros Drineas, Professor of Computer Science (Purdue University Photo/Brian Powell)

Purdue University College of Science named Professor Petros Drineas as head of the Department of Computer Science, effective July 1, 2024.

After a competitive national search, Purdue University has announced Professor Petros Drineas will take on the role of head of the Department of Computer Science, effective Monday, July 1, 2024. Drineas joined Purdue University as an associate professor in August 2016 and has served as an associate head since June 2020. 

“I am very excited to announce Professor Petros Drineas as our new department head in computer science,” said Lucy Flesch, Fredrick L. Hovde Dean in the College of Science.

“His multidisciplinary approach to big data, population genetics, theory, and Randomized Linear Algebra aligns very well with key research at Purdue, and his vision for educational and departmental initiatives are exactly what we need as we continue to grow computing across Purdue University, both in West Lafayette and Indianapolis,” Flesch said.

As the new head, Drineas will oversee a diverse community of 81 faculty members and more than 3500 undergraduate and graduate students. Priority areas of the department include foundations and applications of artificial intelligence and machine learning, such as natural language processing, human computer interaction, vision, and robotics, as well as systems and security. These areas of research not only drive innovation but also pave the way for transformative solutions that address societal challenges and push the frontiers of human knowledge.

The Department of Computer Science is heavily invested in Purdue Computesone of Purdue’s initiatives. Purdue Computes will boost faculty research while attracting top talent to the campus, building on Purdue's legacy as the nation's first computer science department in 1962 and propelling it to new heights among national leaders.

Drineas received his PhD in computer science from Yale University in 2003. His research interests lie in the design and analysis of randomized algorithms for linear algebraic problems, as well as their applications to the analysis of modern, massive datasets. Among Drineas' achievements are his recognition as a SIAM Fellow and a Purdue University Faculty Scholar, along with prestigious awards such as the IBM Academic Award and the NSF CAREER Award.

"As I step into the head role at Purdue CS, I am deeply honored to continue the legacy of excellence and innovation set forth by my predecessors. Our department takes great pride in its pivotal role in shaping the field of computer science since its inception,” said Drineas.

He added, “We established the first academic computer science department in 1962 and Samuel Conte, our founding head, was influential in recognizing the role that the computer would play in research, education, and business. He was an early proponent of computer science as precisely that: a science."

"I am committed to advancing both research and education in the department. As the incoming head, I am excited to collaborate with our students, faculty, and staff to elevate our department to unprecedented levels of achievement. Together, we will achieve excellence at scale, embracing the ever-evolving landscape of computer science and shaping its future for the next generations,” said Drineas. 

About the College of Science
Purdue University’s College of Science is committed to the persistent pursuit of the mathematical and scientific knowledge that forms the very foundation of innovation. More than 350 tenure-track faculty conduct world-changing research and deliver a transformative education to more than 6,000 undergraduates and 1,750 graduate students. See how we develop practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges with degree programs in the life sciences, physical sciences, computational sciences, mathematics, and data science at
Writer: Emily Kinsell,
Sources: Lucy Flesch,
Petros Drineas,

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