Abdol-Hossein Esfahanian What an exciting time to be a computer scientist! Connected, computational devices permeate every aspect of modern life. Computational thinking and programming have joined mathematics, reading, and writing as essential skills for every student regardless of major. Right now, our department faces a myriad of opportunities and challenges. I am delighted to report that our faculty, staff, students, and alumni are embracing the opportunities and overcoming the challenges as they provide leadership and innovative solutions across all of our missions of education, research, and outreach.

In education, we are meeting the ever-increasing interest in computer science from majors as well as non-majors at both the undergraduate and graduate levels by strategically expanding our offerings including our new Bachelor of Science in Computational Data Science degree program. At more than 1,700 students as of Fall 2021, our programs are now the largest in the College of Engineering and one of the largest across MSU. We ensure a high-quality educational experience through a carefully tailored blend of fundamentals and cutting-edge technologies. Learning fundamental underlying principles helps our students build successful life-long careers in today’s rapidly changing world. Working with state-of-the-art technologies helps our students obtain high-quality first jobs. Our students and graduates are in high demand by local, state, national, and international companies as well as by elite graduate programs in top universities.

In research, we provide leadership in applying computational approaches to solve significant hardware, software, and data problems across a wide range of disciplines. You will find faculty working on artificial intelligence, machine learning, data science, big data, internet of things, digital organisms, telemedicine, and computational approaches to law enforcement, biometrics, and security. In addition to their individual research, many of our faculty participate in funded interdisciplinary projects with collaborators from both inside and outside MSU.

In outreach, our faculty and students participate in numerous programs and activities designed to attract and retain students from diverse backgrounds to ensure we build and maintain a more diverse and inclusive community. We also provide technical leadership to improve the academic systems developed and used across MSU.

We are particularly proud of our graduates. Our alumni are active near and far, developing innovative technologies and solving hard multidisciplinary problems. Please share your success stories with us, and we will highlight selected stories on our web site.

It is indeed an exciting time to be a computer scientist. I am extremely honored and humbled to lead our department into the future as we continue to move forward to embrace new opportunities and overcome new challenges.

— Abdol-Hossein Esfahanian, Chairperson