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Department of Computer Science

Chair's message

Kathleen Fisher

Chair’s Message: September 2019

The new school year has begun and Halligan is full of life! The student-run Women In Computer Science group kicked off the school year with the Women in Technology Conference, attracting more than 200 attendees. The Tufts Computer Science Exchange (CSX) is preparing for PolyHack, and the calendar is filled with recruiting events.

We are delighted that, with generous help from a variety of supporters including many alumni, we will be sending 32 students, our largest group ever, to the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. We surpassed our fundraising goal in just 10 days!  Rather than end our fundraising efforts early, we are now stretching our goal by $5000 to allow even more students to attend Grace Hopper and other diversity-related conferences in the future. You can still contribute here.

The number of computer science programs (and students!) continues to grow. We have joined forces with other departments to offer several new degree options. This year we welcome students in both B.S. and M.S. programs in Data Science  and Computer Engineering. We are also accepting Fall 2020 applications for an M.S. degree in CyberSecurity and Public Policy, which is a joint program with the Fletcher School, and an M.S. degree in Software Systems Development, a program designed to prepare students for careers building systems.

Our faculty continues to grow as well. We are excited to be welcoming five new faculty members this semester: Marty Allen, Associate Teaching Professor and Director of Online Programs; Raja Sambasivan, Assistant Professor; Elaine Short, Assistant Professor; Richard Townsend, Assistant Teaching Professor; and Abani Patra, Stern Family Professor, bridging between CS and Math with 50% appointments in both departments. Dr. Patra is also the inaugural director of the Data Intensive Studies Center that spans all of Tufts. Our growth in terms of students, faculty, staff, and programs has made running the department significantly more complex. As a result, I am delighted to announce that Professor Jeff Foster  has agreed to serve as Associate Chair to help me manage the teaching aspects of the department.

Construction has started in earnest on the new Joyce Cummings Center that will be located between Halligan Hall and the new Green Line Station that is also under construction at the corner of College and Boston Avenues. Each morning when I look out my office window, there are five or six construction vehicles digging the foundation.  It’s an exciting time to be here!

We encourage prospective students and alumni alike to get in touch. We’d love to tell you more about what’s going on in the department and we’d love to find out what you’ve been doing!

Kathleen Fisher
Department Chair
Computer Science