Galil to be Dean for five more years

Photo courtesy of Zvi Galil

After five-years of service beginning in July 2010, Dr. Zvi Galil was reappointed as the Dean of the College of Computing (CoC).

“While I don’t use my research results as a dean, since they are about efficiency of algorithms, efficiency is very important to me as a dean,” Galil said. “I use the same mindset and some of the principles to try to run the College efficiently. It is quite important, because we never have sufficient resources to do everything we want to do, and being efficient enables us to do more of things.”

Galil added that the implementation of the “threads” system has was very important as an innovative way to provide computer science education at a higher level.

“In 2006, the Threads undergraduate curriculum explored the ways computer science is taught at the undergraduate level,” Galil said.

He added that moves like this supplement the CoC’s position as one of the premier computing research organizations in the nation.

Prior to his involvement at Tech, Galil was a notable professor, receiving the title of Julian Clarence Levi Professor of Mathematical Methods and Computer Science as well as the Great Teacher Award the Columbia Society of Graduates. A former Applied Mathematics graduate of Tel-Aviv University in Israel, Galil was the chair of the Computer Science Department at Columbia University before becoming the president of Tel-Aviv University.

“I’m a tremendous cheerleader for our people because of how hard I know they work — and I’m not only talking about faculty and staff, but the students as well,” Galil said. “I’m known as ‘the email dean’ because of how frequently I send messages about our people’s accomplishments. To see so many people using their talents and energy to help advance the cause of the College of Computing and Georgia Tech, that’s what keeps me going.”

In the past, Galil has contributed to two journals as an editor-in-chief. His other activities have included working as the chief computer science adviser in the United States to the Oxford University Press.

Galil’s tenure now extends five more years to serve currently 5,000 plus CoC students, including those students currently enrolled in the Online Master of Science in Computer Science degree (OMSCS).

“Just this week there was a wonderful story about one of our OMSCS students stumbling upon Google’s ‘secret’ interview process while doing a Google search, and that student partly attributed his success in ultimately landing the job at Google to his participation in the online MS program,” Galil said. “There are more stories like that, and with nearly 2,900 students enrolled this semester, there will be many more in the future. To know that we launched a program that will help so many people improve their own skills and advance their careers is tremendously satisfying.”

OMSCS is aimed at improving affordability and accessibility of higher education. Besides the initiation of OMSCS in partnership with Udacity and AT&T, other expansions were made during Galil’s tenure. These include the creation of Institute for Data & High Performance Computing, which is led by Interim Director Richard Fujimoto, the Center for 21st Century Universities (C21U), directed by former Dean Rich DeMillo, the Institute for Robotics & Intelligent Machinesand the Institute for People and Technology also dubbed as CoC’s first “interdisciplinary research institute,” whose first executive director is the CoC professor Beth Mynatt.

“Research operations like C21U are another natural outcome of an environment that spends so much time thinking about how we can make education better serve the needs of our students and of society,” Galil said.

Galil’s areas of expertise include the design and analysis of algorithms, complexity, cryptography and methods of experimental design.