The School is jointly administered by the College of Engineering and the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences
The University of Georgia has appointed Gagan Agrawal, professor and associate dean for research and graduate studies in the School of Computer and Cyber Sciences at Augusta University, as the director of the UGA School of Computing. Agrawal was selected after a national search and will begin as director July 1.
UGA elevated its longstanding department of computer science to a School of Computing in July 2022 in response to rising student enrollment and the growing role of computing in a range of fields. Created within an interdisciplinary framework, the School of Computing is jointly administered by the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Engineering.
Agrawal served as assistant professor in computer and information sciences at University of Delaware between 1996 and 2001.
Between 2001 and 2019, he served as associate professor, professor, graduate director and interim department chair of computer science at Ohio State University. He has led research in High Performance Computing, Cloud/Grid systems, Scientific Data Management, Data Mining, Social Media Analytics, and most recently, Cybersecurity. His work in these areas has resulted in more than 300 peer-reviewed publications, more than 9000 citations, and 35 advised or co-advised students finishing their Ph.D.
He has served as PI or co-PI for 26 different awards from the National Science Foundation and received significant funding from the Department of Energy, the National Security Agency and others.
“Dr. Agrawal is a recognized national leader across a variety of computing research fields and we welcome his leadership at one of the University of Georgia’s newest and most pivotal academic units,” said S. Jack Hu, UGA senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. “I look forward to working with Dr. Agrawal and the deans of the Franklin College and the College of Engineering in supporting the instructional and research mission of the School of Computing.”
The School of Computing administers the university’s bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. programs in computer science as well as the master’s program in cybersecurity and privacy. Growth in the programs reflect high demand for graduates with expertise in computing and related fields.
“The vastly expanded role of computer science across our society tracks generally with the founding of the computer science department at our university in 1984, a relatively brief span during which data and information security have touched every person and industry,” said Alan Dorsey, the former dean of the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, who played a key role in the creation of the new school. “We are excited about this next era of expanded opportunity for our students and faculty, and I’m grateful to Dr. Thiab Taha for his invaluable leadership of computer science and service to the University of Georgia.”
Anna Stenport succeeded Dorsey as Franklin College’s dean on June 1.
“We are excited to have Dr. Agrawal join UGA as the founding director of the School of Computing,” said Don Leo, dean of the UGA College of Engineering. “His successful record of interdisciplinary research and education will help us realize the opportunities of having a joint program between our two colleges.”
Nationally, employment in STEM-related occupations is projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to grow 8% through 2029, with computer science and engineering among the fields with the highest forecasted growth.
Faculty in the School of Computing embody the interdisciplinary research that has become a hallmark of UGA, leading the university’s Institute for Artificial Intelligence, Institute for Cybersecurity and Privacy, Georgia Informatics Institutes, and Center for Cyber-Physical Systems.
By Alan Flurry