New Dean of MIT Schwarzman College of Computing

February 21, 2019

To the members of the MIT community:

Last October, when President Reif announced the MIT Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing, he framed it as one of a number of crucial moments in Institute history when “MIT stayed true to its mission with a calculated change of course.”

Such a bold reshaping clearly demands a leader with great imagination, a collaborative spirit, broad experience and a deep appreciation for the existing strengths and culture of MIT. Today, I am delighted to announce that we have found an inaugural dean for the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing who offers all these strengths and more. Dan Huttenlocher SM ’84, PhD ’88 expects to begin his work as dean this summer.

Dan brings to the role a remarkable range of qualifications. A member of the Cornell faculty since 1988, with appointments in both computer science and management, Dan is an award-winning teacher and a pioneer in computer vision. At Cornell, he helped imagine and launch two important new entities: the Faculty of Computing and Information Science, which he later led as dean, and Cornell Tech, an innovative joint venture with The Technion, in New York City. Since 2012, as Cornell Tech’s founding dean and vice provost, Dan has helped set its direction and ensure its success, from developing its degree programs, to encouraging research that unites computation with fields as wide-ranging as media studies, health care, financial technology and smart cities, to working with the city’s public school teachers to develop a system-wide computer science curriculum.

Dan’s experience also includes 12 years at Xerox PARC and six years in which he helped launch and nurture the firm Intelligent Markets. Since 2010, Dan has been a member of the board of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, which he now chairs. He also serves on the boards of both Amazon and Corning.

You can read more about Dan’s experience and accomplishments here.

The son of two academics, Dan lived in Boston until he was eight, when the family moved to greater New York and then on to Chicago. He earned his bachelor’s in 1980 from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he devised a double major in computer and communication sciences, and experimental psychology. For his graduate work, the answer was MIT, where he completed a master’s in EECS and a PhD in computer science. He was a member of the AI Lab, a forerunner of CSAIL.

Since his time as a graduate student living in a shared house on Broadway, Dan has kept in close touch with the Institute, including through service on two MIT Corporation Visiting Committees: Undergraduate and Graduate Education; and Media Laboratory/Media Arts and Sciences.

The College of Computing represents a pivotal new chapter in MIT’s perpetual effort to reinvent itself in order to live up to its mission. As we take on this Institute-wide challenge, I believe we are very fortunate to have, in Dan, such an inspiring and collaborative leader – someone equipped to ensure a strong beginning for the College and to lay a foundation for its lasting success. I very much look forward to working with Dan as he takes on this new challenge, and I hope you will join me in welcoming him back to the MIT community.

Finally, I wish to thank the many people who helped advise me in making this choice – first and foremost, the Advisory Committee on the selection of the dean, chaired by Institute Professor Ron Rivest. The committee’s advice and counsel were of immeasurable value throughout the search process, and I greatly appreciate the time and energy they devoted to this effort. I also benefited from the insight of the five School Deans, the Faculty Officers, Chancellor Barnhart, Vice President Zuber, Vice President Sarma and of course President Reif. And I am grateful to the many members of the MIT community who offered ideas and perspective throughout this search.

Sincerely,

Martin A. Schmidt

 

Provost’s Advisory Committee
for the founding Dean of the MIT Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing

Regina Barzilay, EECS
Eran Ben-Joseph, DUSP
Constantinos Daskalakis, EECS
Eran Egozy, Music
Peter Fisher, Physics
Eric Grimson, Chancellor for Academic Advancement
Paula Hammond, ChemE
Fox Harrell, Comparative Media Studies
Anette (Peko) Hosoi, MechE
Daniel Jackson, EECS
Patrick Jaillet, IDSS/ORC/EECS
Leslie Kaelbling, EECS
Dina Katabi, EECS
Jeffrey Lang, EECS
Hae-Seung (Harry) Lee, EECS
Andrew Lo, Management
Wanda Orlikowski, Management
Aviv Regev, Biology
Ronald Rivest, EECS (Chair)
Douglas Pfeiffer, Office of the Provost (Staff)