New dean named for ICS

August 3, 2016

Entrepreneur Marios Papaefthymiou, current chair of computer science & engineering at the University of Michigan, will begin his term as dean Jan. 1, 2017.

Marios Papaefthymiou – an expert in the design of energy-efficient, high-performance computers – has been appointed the next dean of the Donald Bren School of Information & Computer Sciences at the University of California, Irvine. His term will begin Jan. 1, 2017.

“Given the central role played by information and computer sciences in the transformation of research across many vital fields, it was very important for the campus to recruit a strong, visionary leader for the Donald Bren School,” said UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman. “Marios Papaefthymiou is such a leader. We are excited about the school’s future and welcome Marios to the UCI community.”

Papaefthymiou is currently chair of computer science and engineering at the University of Michigan, a position he has held since 2011. He served as director of the campus’s Advanced Computer Architecture Laboratory from 2000 to 2011.

In addition to his academic achievements, Papaefthymiou co-founded Cyclos Semiconductor, a developer of energy-efficient resonant clocking technologies that allow computers to function at high levels with drastically reduced power consumption.

He earned a doctorate in computer science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a B.S. in electrical engineering at the California Institute of Technology.

“I am thrilled for the opportunity to serve as dean of UCI’s School of Information & Computer Sciences,” Papaefthymiou said. “I look forward to working with my future fellow faculty members, staff and students in the school and across the campus to pursue new frontiers in information and computer science research and education.”

When it was founded in 1968, UCI’s School of Information & Computer Sciences was one of the earliest such entities in the country and the first in the University of California system. The founders placed an emphasis on using computers in teaching and instruction, which had a significant impact across the campus.

The school has built a strong reputation in fields such as informatics, human-computer interaction, machine learning, big data and embedded systems. Enrollment in undergraduate majors climbed from 802 students in the fall of 2009 to 2,366 in the fall of 2015 and is expected to top 2,700 this year. The number of underrepresented undergraduates in ICS programs grew 280 percent between 2010 and 2015.

In 2004, the school was renamed for philanthropist and Irvine Company chairman Donald Bren after his donation of $20 million, among the largest single gifts UCI has ever received.

“The challenge to the leader in this position will be to further enhance and build upon one of the most well-established and prominent schools of information and computer science in the country,” said Enrique Lavernia, UCI provost and executive vice chancellor. “I believe Professor Papaefthymiou is extremely well-suited to the role.”

“I thank the search committee, led by professor of computer science Padhraic Smyth, for its great work in evaluating candidates and making this selection,” he added. “I would also like to express my deep gratitude to Hal Stern for his exceptional leadership over his extended term as dean of the Bren School.”

Stern will remain acting dean through the end of 2016.