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Explosive growth of faculty, courses and research signal new era for Computer Science at Yale


With many new courses, new faculty members, and a broader field of research, Computer Science (CS) at Yale is better positioned than ever to face emerging challenges. challenge, and to meet the needs of students, interdisciplinary research on campus, and industry. .

The CS department recently hired nine tenure track faculty members and four teaching track lecturers to its ranks. These hires are in addition to an earlier round of 11 new tenure track faculty members and two lecturers hired in the past few years. The hiring boom accomplished several long-term goals, including expanding the department’s areas of expertise. Also, since Computer Science has emerged as the second most popular major (behind economics) at Yale, it goes a long way to meet the curricular needs of students.

“Our new faculty members are selected for excellence in their research, as well as for their fields they represent, all of which are in demand by our students and faculty on campus as well as in industry,” Zhong said. Shao, the Thomas L. Kempner Professor of Computer Science and chair of the department. “Their range of expertise addresses some of the most critical challenges we face today.”

SEAS Dean Jeffrey Brock said the new faculty will be critical to achieving the ambitious goals outlined in SEAS’ Strategic Vision, particularly in the areas of artificial intelligence and robotics, while building on key areas such as cybersecurity and distributed computing.

“This exciting group of new faculty stands to transform our CS department,” said Brock. “During our recruiting season, they noticed Yale’s momentum in CS and engineering, ultimately turning down excellent offers from other top schools to join our faculty. core and cutting-edge research area.”

Many of the new faculty members, such as Fan Zhang, cited the department’s “rapid growth in recent years.” Some say they are drawn to Yale’s collaborative environment, especially considering that Yale ranks at or near the top in many research areas. Daniel Rakita, for example, says he looks forward to working with Yale Medical School to see how his lab’s robotics research can help in hospital or home care settings, as well as working with Wu Tsai Institute of Brain-Machine Interface technologies.

“Many people I spoke with indicated that there are no boundaries between departments at Yale, and interdisciplinary research is not only encouraged here, but a ‘way of life,'” Rakita said. Many of the new faculty are already engaged with top academic leaders around campus, from medicine, to economics, to quantum computing.

As part of this hiring boom, the department is strategically focusing on certain research areas, including artificial intelligence, reliable computing, robotics, quantum computing, and modeling.

The nine new tenure-track faculty hires, and their research areas are below.

[We spoke to these new faculty members about their research, their motivations, potential collaborations, and much more. Click here to learn more about each of our latest faculty]

  • Arman Cohen: Research at the intersection of machine learning and natural language processing
  • Ben Fisch: Internet privacy and verification, with applications in blockchains such as Bitcoin
  • Tesca Fitzgerald: Develop algorithms to enable robots to adapt to task variations (such as new tools, goals, or constraints) that they are not trained to respond to
  • Daniel Rakit: Development of algorithms that allow robot manipulators to operate in real-world environments
  • Katerina Sotiraki: Cryptography and its evolution in anticipation of quantum computers. Specifically, this includes the development of cryptography against quantum attacks
  • Alex Wong: Provide perception to perform autonomous tasks
  • Rex Ying: Applications of graph learning, including social network analysis, protein networks, and drug discovery
  • Manolis Zampetakis: Foundations of machine learning (ML), statistics, and data science, including statistical analysis from biased data
  • Fan Zhang: Computer security, focusing on the science of blockchains

The four new teaching-track lecturers hired, and their research areas are:

  • Ozan is: Computer vision
  • Dylan McKay: Theory of computation
  • Sohee Park: Multimedia, machine learning
  • Alan Weide: Programming languages

This hiring season marks the first since structural changes that have made SEAS more independent, giving the faculty more avenues for growth.

“Our independence and ability to be opportunistic are key elements in our ability to realize this transformative growth in Computer Science at Yale,” said Brock. “As CS plays a critical role in a wide range of disciplines, the size and scope of CS is essential to our strategy for SEAS. I am pleased to take the first step to fulfill the arche- look for a SEAS that is well integrated within its host University and aligned with its mission.”

SEAS became independent from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences in July 2022.

A curriculum to meet the needs of students and industry

Increasing the department’s curriculum is also in the planning stages for a while, a goal made possible by the recent hiring of new teachers and mentors. Shao said there is a concerted effort to meet the high demand in areas such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, machine learning, introductory programming and CS courses for non-majors.

“This has been on the to-do list for the department for years, but we just don’t have the people,” Shao said. “And finally, with the new faculty hires, we can actually offer these courses.”

Ben Fisch, for example, will teach a new course on blockchains for graduate students and advanced undergraduates in computer science. Tesca Fitzgerald will introduce a new graduate-level seminar on Interactive Robot Learning. And Katerina Sotiraki will teach classes in theoretical and applied cryptography, at the undergraduate and graduate levels. These are just some of the new courses available.

Responding to the needs of the industry, the department also added courses focused on the so-called full stack web programming – that is, the set of skills needed to develop the interface as well as the coding behind building a complete web application. One of the department’s most popular courses, in software engineering, will now be offered for two semesters of the year, instead of one. Both, Shao said, are specifically aimed at the needs of industry and students.

“As new challenges arise, Computer Science at Yale will continue to adapt,” Shao said. “We are excited about the future of our department, and these new additions to our faculty and our curriculum will be an important part of it.”



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