Texas Tech University

Meet the Chair

Welcome to the Department of Computer Science website

It has been a busy and thriving year for the Texas Tech Department of Computer Science (CS). As I am in my third year serving as a department chair, we have made great strides in many important areas. We also have faced and overcome many challenges; some expected, others not. These include the loss of a key staff member and two faculty members to illness, retirement and resignation, as well as having three faculty members who are coping with serious illnesses. In spite of these challenges, we have accomplished a great deal.

Our graduate and undergraduate (CS fundamental) enrollment this fall semester has risen from last fall by 36% and 39%, respectively. Our increase in graduate enrollment accounts for almost a third of overall increased graduate enrollment in the Whitacre College of Engineering.

Rattikorn Hewett, Ph.D.

Rattikorn Hewett, Ph.D.

Our research award dollars have increased by 46% from the last academic year. Our department won internal multi-million dollar competitive grants to lead two cluster hire initiatives of President Nellis in Big Data and Cyber Security. This will allow us to hire two new faculty members in these areas.

The college's dean, Al Sacco Jr., has acquired and approved funding to renovate a new state-of the-art Computer Software and Systems Laboratory and a new collaborative classroom. The demolition and construction of the new laboratory has begun.

Our External Advisory Board inducted 10 more CS Academy members and organized our second fund-raising event that was hosted by our EAB member and alum, Dr. Dennis Carroll, at his home in Austin last May.

We also have a number of significant student and faculty accomplishments. We welcome our new faculty member, Dr. Mahshid R. Naeini and congratulate Dr. Yong Chen on being named a 2014 Young Achiever in Scalable Computing by the IEEE Technical Committee on Scalable Computing. Dr. Richard Watson has been named to the Texas Tech Teaching Academy, and he is the first CS faculty member with that designation. Dr. Gopal Lakhani has donated generous gifts to our students. We recognize these great contributions and accomplishments, but there is a good deal more that needs to be done as we progress towards our goal to become a reputable department within a "Tier 1" university.

All of the successes we have had are not only a credit to the department's individual members, but to all of us. Many thanks to those of you who have put forth a great deal of effort and made a difference. We could not have accomplished so much without your tireless determination and hard work. I would like to end my message by borrowing the famous quote of President Kennedy in his Inaugural Address in 1961 for use in our context. "Ask not what your department can do for you – ask what you can do for your department!"

Department of Computer Science