The 1997-98 academic year has, so far, been a busy one for all of our faculty and staff. The Undergraduate Study Committee has embarked on the ambitious project of revising the undergraduate curriculum. Several courses have been updated, and new ones introduced, in an effort to prepare our graduates well for jobs in industry or for pursuing advanced degrees in the field. Some tasks remain to be accomplished, however, such as replacing the informal laboratory sections by more structured sessions that are supervised by teaching assistants. This will become essential as our undergraduate enrollment increases at a rate higher than that observed over the last ten years. This increase in the number of Computer Science (CS) majors, is matched by an increase in the number of non-CS students who are registering for our major and service courses. The School of Science and the University are addressing this issue on several fronts. One immediate consequence has been substantial additional funds for supporting graduate Teaching Assistants in Computer Science. As a result, the Department is launching an aggressive recruiting effort by inviting the leading graduate applicants, to whom we awarded fellowships and teaching assistantships, to visit the campus this Spring semester and meet with our faculty and graduate students. Other issues, such as increase in faculty size, and more office and laboratory space, are under consideration.
Another item that has demanded the attention of our faculty, is recruiting highly qualified junior and senior faculty members. The department is currently seeking to fill four positions in two major areas: (i) systems & software, and (ii) computer graphics & scientific visualization. One of these positions is a replacement for that vacated by the departure of Professor Michal Young who left to the University of Oregon in the summer of 1997; he will be missed.
I am happy to report that two of our faculty members were elected as fellows in two of our field's professional societies. Professor Mikhail Atallah was elected fellow of IEEE, and Professor Eugene Spafford was elected fellow of ACM. Gene Spafford was also elected as a member of the board of CRA. We congratulate them both.
The faculty's research activities continue to flourish, and we continue to be alert for funding opportunities that bring national visibility to the Department. Also, our working relationship with industry continues to improve, and membership in our departmental Corporate Partners Council has been enriched by the addition of AT&T, Lucent Technologies, Raytheon Systems, and TRW. We welcome them to our council, and look forward to a long and rewarding association.CS Annual Report - 1 June 1998