Russell Betts, dean of the College of Science, announced the appointment of Eunice Santos, Ph.D., as chair and professor of the Department of Computer Science. She will formally take up the appointment January 1, 2015.
An award-winning researcher and teacher, Santos was professor of computer science at the University of Texas El Paso (UTEP) and chaired the Department of Computer Science. She also was the founding director of the Institute of Defense & Security at UTEP.
Santos joined UTEP in 2009 after serving as a Senior Research Fellow at the U.S. Department of Defense’s Center for Technology and National Security Policy. Before that, she was a professor at Virginia Tech in the Department of Computer Science and the Genetics, Bioinformatics, and Computational Biology (GBCB) Program; prior to that, she was a professor at Lehigh University in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Santos earned her Ph.D. in computer science from the University of California, Berkeley, and has B.S. and M.S. degrees in both mathematics and computer science.
She has received numerous awards, including a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award, the IEEE-CS Technical Achievement Award for pioneering work in computational social systems, and the Robinson Faculty Award. She also has received multiple teaching awards including the Spira Award for Excellence in Teaching. She is the founding co-editor in chief of the IEEE Transactions on Computational Social Systems. Santos is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
Santos will hold the Ron Hochsprung Endowed Chair, named for IIT alumnus Hochsprung, who recently retired as a Distinguished Engineer from Apple Inc. She succeeds Xian-He Sun, who is now Distinguished Professor of Computer Science. Gady Agam, associate professor of computer science, has been serving as the acting chair of the department.
Santos works in the areas of large-scale distributed processing, computational modeling, cybersecurity, cloud computing, large-scale information processing, complex adaptive systems, and human modeling with applications to the biological, physical and social sciences. These areas support and expand existing strengths in the computer science department and will enable innovative new interdisciplinary research with IIT’s colleges of science, engineering, human sciences, and business.
Santos will support the recent growth in IIT’s Computer Science Department, which is one of the oldest in the country. The department’s areas of focus include experimental and theoretical computer science, distributed systems, information retrieval, computer networking, visual computing, intelligent information systems, and algorithms. It has close research relationships with Argonne National Laboratory and Fermilab.