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School of Engineering

Short appointed to new named term professorship

Thursday, August 1, 2019
Assistant Professor Elaine Schaertl Short, joining Tufts in August, is the Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor in Computer Science.
Assistant Professor Elaine Schaertl Short. Headshot, woman smiling.

Assistant Professor Elaine Schaertl Short has been appointed to the Clare Boothe Luce Professorship in Computer Science at Tufts University. Funded by the Clare Boothe Luce Program of the Henry Luce Foundation, this professorship supports Short as a new faculty member.

Short received her Ph.D. in computer science in 2017 from the University of Southern California (USC), where her work focused on developing robots that can support children, older adults, and people with disabilities in achieving their goals. A key aspect of this work involved understanding the user as embedded within a social and environmental context and developing algorithms that can learn from, interact with, and provide assistance in environments such as schools, hospitals, and public spaces.

Short demonstrated exceptional teaching, mentoring, and leadership ability throughout her graduate and postdoctoral studies. At USC, Short received Best Research Assistant and Best Teaching Assistant Awards within the Department of Computer Science, and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award. As a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Texas at Austin, Short assisted in the mentoring of Ph.D. students, co-authoring 10 peer-reviewed conference and journal papers with students. She joins Tufts University’s Department of Computer Science as a new faculty member in August 2019.

The Clare Boothe Luce Professorship is part of the Clare Boothe Luce Program, one of the single most significant sources of private support for women in science, mathematics, and engineering in higher education in the United States. Clare Boothe Luce was a playwright, journalist, U.S. ambassador to Italy, and the first woman elected to Congress from Connecticut. In her bequest establishing this program, she sought “to encourage women to enter, study, graduate, and teach” in science, mathematics and engineering. To date, the program has supported more than 2,500 women in STEM fields.

For more than 80 years, the Henry Luce Foundation has invested in knowledge makers and ensured that their work informs public discussion. This commitment to public knowledge derives from founder Henry R. Luce’s, husband of Clare Boothe Luce and creator of Time magazine, mission to disseminate vital news, ideas, analysis, and criticism to a mass audience.

Today, the Luce Foundation carries on this work by supporting projects at universities, policy institutes, media organizations, and museums, among many others. Hundreds of organizations have received more than 5,800 grants totaling over $1 billion since the foundation’s establishment in 1936.