Alex Orso Named Interim Dean of College of Computing
Alex Orso, professor and associate dean, has been appointed interim dean of the College of Computing, effective Aug. 1. Dean Charles Isbell, who served since 2019, has been named the new provost of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
During Orso’s 23 years at Georgia Tech, he has established himself as a leading expert in software engineering, with emphasis on software testing and program analysis. His research has improved software reliability, security, and trustworthiness. He is the recipient of four research impact awards, and his research has been funded by government agencies such as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Department of Homeland Security, the National Science Foundation, and the Office of Naval Research, as well as industry collaborators including Fujitsu Labs, Google, IBM, and Microsoft. Orso is also a distinguished member of the Association for Computing Machinery and an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers fellow.
In 2021, he was instrumental in securing $11 million in funding for the creation of the Scientific Software Engineering Center, of which he was named the co-founder and inaugural director. The center, which is part of Schmidt Futures' Virtual Institute for Scientific Software initiative, will develop new methodologies for improving high-performance scientific software and training tomorrow’s software engineers.
Beyond the impact of his research, Orso is known for his dedication in the classroom. Popular among on-campus students and beloved by students in the Online Master of Science in Computer Science (OMSCS) program, he is considered one of the original advocates of the OMSCS program. He continues to teach the virtual Software Development Process course for the online master’s students — a course that he created and first taught in 2014 when the lauded degree program launched.
From 2015 to 2017, he was associate school chair in the School of Computer Science, and he was appointed associate dean in the College of Computing in 2020. He has embraced his leadership role on campus and, in 2021, was elected a Faculty Executive Leadership Academy fellow.
“We are grateful to Alex for his willingness to step into the role of interim dean,” said Steven W. McLaughlin, provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs. “Alex is a dedicated, steadfast member of the computing community, and the College of Computing could not be in better hands during this period of transition.”
Orso will serve until a new dean is named. An external firm will be identified to lead a national search, and a campus search committee will also be formed through nominations. Committee nominations can be submitted through the nomination form, which will remain open through May 26.
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