A letter to the Brown University community from President Christina Paxson on May 27, 2016, announced that Maurice Herlihy and Eli Upfal of the Department of Computer Science (Brown CS) have joined colleagues from across the University in being appointed to named chairs. Maurice is the An Wang Professor of Computer Science, and Eli is the Rush C. Hawkins Professor of Computer Science. The appointment honors the two men for their achievements and years of service and serves as another milestone for Brown CS, which now has a total of six named chairs.
The past two years have been important ones for Maurice: on July 15, 2014, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) honored him with a 60th Birthday Celebration in Paris at the ACM Symposium on Principles of Distributed Computing. Just last year, he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, joining leading thinkers in science, public affairs, business, arts and humanities. Most recently, he received the ACM SIGOPS (Special Interest Group on Operating Systems) Hall of Fame Award, recognizing the most influential Operating Systems papers from at least ten years in the past.
"It's an honor," he says, "to be appointed to the Wang chair, named for one of New England's tech pioneers. I'm grateful to the department and the university for their support."
Eli has been similarly busy. Less than a year ago, he won a Brown Institute for Brain Science Innovation Award for his research into better understanding the activity of specific neural networks in the brain and how they change dynamically during learning. His research continues to span a variety of areas: last year, he published ten papers on topics ranging from hard-core theory of computing to computational biology, parallel computing, and knowledge discovery. Most recently, his research group had a remarkable two full papers and one poster paper accepted at the Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (KDD 2016).
"Any success I've had here," Eli says, "was mainly due to the amazing students and post-docs that I have worked with at Brown. My background was mostly in math and statistics, and it was the collaboration with colleagues at Brown and elsewhere that made this knowledge relevant to CS."
"Both Maurice and Eli," says Department Chair Ugur Cetintemel, "have been doing innovative work that pushes the boundaries of computer science, making an impact within and outside of our discipline. We're pleased that they are being acknowledged with these prestigious named chairs."