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Department of Computer Science

Chair's message

Kathleen FisherDear Friends,

Since becoming chair of the Department of Computer Science on September 1, 2016, I have had the pleasure of watching the department grow and thrive. The faculty and students in the department have been busy teaching, researching, and learning!

An ongoing challenge for the department continues to be meeting the rising student demand for computer science courses and degrees. We anticipate graduating 190 Computer Science majors this spring, up from 141 in 2016, along with 36 Computer Science minors. Additionally, we estimate that over a third of this year’s Tufts graduating seniors will have taken at least one of our computer science courses during their undergraduate years. Over 1,240 students—roughly 1,000 of them undergraduates—are taking our courses this semester alone! Despite the challenges of teaching so many students, the department continues to provide high-quality learning experiences.

To cope with the high level of student demand, we have been working to grow the size of the faculty and to increase the number and training of undergraduates who work as teaching assistants.

In other faculty news, Susan Landau has joined the department as a bridge professor with a joint appointment in the Fletcher School. Her work sits at the intersection of cybersecurity and policy. Assistant Professor Liping Liu joined us this fall in the machine learning group and Assistant Professor Jivko Sinapov is our new robotics professor—we enjoy seeing his students take his TurtleBots for a “walk” around the second floor of Halligan! Megan Monroe is our newest lecturer and is bringing her enthusiasm and unique style to courses such as Natural Language Theory, Computation Theory, and Visualization.

On a bittersweet note, Professor Anselm Blumer has retired after 32 years of service. We will miss Anselm enormously—we had to spread his administrative duties alone among five (!) other faculty members—but are grateful that he, in his new role as Associate Professor Emeritus of Computer Science, will remain available to offer advice and assistance even as he devotes more time to travel and family.

Finally, we’d love to hear from our alumni. Please send an e-mail and let us know how you are doing. We want to know what you are up to post-Tufts and Halligan Hall!

Kathleen Fisher, Professor and Chair
Department of Computer Science
Tufts University