Paul Cohen named first dean of School of Computing and Information

Pitt named Paul R. Dean the founding dean of Pitt's School of Computing and Information. Photo courtesy of the University of Pittsburgh

Paul R. Cohen will become the founding dean of Pitt’s new School of Computing and Information — the first new school established at Pitt since 1995 — which will enroll its first students in the fall.

The School of Computing and Information will provide courses centered around the idea of integrating data and technology into other academic pursuits, creating programs which will encourage innovation and entrepreneurship, according to a press release.

The idea for a new school formally began in April 2015 as the result of discussion between faculty of the School of Information Sciences and the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences about further utilizing computing and information programs at Pitt.

Courses and programs will be designed around three main themes — connected life, health and medicine; synergistic computing in education; and computing at the extremes. Students already enrolled in existing courses will be able to join the new school or continuing taking their classes as planned and remain outside it.

Aside from Cohen, most faculty will come from the SIS and Department of Computer Science.

“[Cohen] is a visionary leader who will quickly drive our School of Computing and Information to the forefront of academic excellence,” Chancellor Patrick Gallagher said in a release. “He is also an expert collaborator and a leading authority on utilizing data, technology and information in new ways to solve some of the most challenging and complex issues facing society today.”

Cohen has held positions at the University of Southern California, the University of Massachusetts, and the University of Arizona, where he founded the School of Information in 2008. He is the author of a book, published in 1995, titled “Empirical Methods for Artificial Intelligence,” and is the editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Intelligent Data Analysis.

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