Frank Pfenning Appointed Head of Carnegie Mellon’s Computer Science Department

Frank Pfenning Appointed Head of Carnegie Mellon University’s Computer Science Department

Frank Pfenning Frank Pfenning, who has been involved in the Carnegie Mellon Portugal program since its creation, is the new head of the Computer Science Department (CSD) at Carnegie Mellon University.

As a professor of computer science, “Frank has taught an amazing array of courses. He served as director of the computer science Ph.D. program, keeping track of the progress of around 150 Ph.D. students. He also managed the committee that designed our recently introduced computer science masters program,” said Randal Bryant, dean of the School of Computer Science.

After Jeannette Wing, Frank Pfenning will be taking over to lead a distinguished faculty that was one of the first computer science departments in the U.S. and is part of the School of Computer Science, which is tied for first place among U.S. computer science Ph.D. programs in the U.S. News & World Report.

The new head of the CSD earned his master’s (1981) and doctorate (1986) degrees from Carnegie Mellon. His research focuses on applications of mathematical logic in computer science. Pfenning also developed a new course, “Principles of Imperative Computation,” that is part of CSD’s updated introductory computer science curriculum.

Pfenning has been playing an important role in shaping the Computer Science component of the program. Until recently, he oversaw all of the program activities in the School of Computer Science. Currently, he is co-advising two students in the dual degree Ph.D. program in Computer Science, namely Bernardo Toninho from the Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia of the Universidade Nova de Lisboa (FCT/UNL) and Flavio Cruz from the Faculdade de Ciências of the Universidade do Porto (FCUP). In addition to serving as advisor to students, Frank Pfenning collaborates on research with Luís Caires from the FCT/UNL and OutSystems, a Lisbon-based company specializing in agile development of custom enterprise web applications.

Some of Frank Pfenning’s professional accomplishments include receiving the Herbert A. Simon Award for Teaching Excellence in the School of Computer Science in 2002, serving as the Alexander-von-Humboldt Fellow at the Technical University Darmstadt, and being a visiting scientist at Ècole Polytechnizue and INRIA-Futurs. He has served on numerous boards of international professional organizations, research journals and academic conferences.

Frank Pfenning was recently in Portugal to give a talk at the inaugural symposium of the phase II of the Carnegie Mellon Portugal program. Frank Pfenning talked about creativity and entrepreneurship. On the sidelines of the event the professor said he was looking forward to continuing the deep involvement of the Computer Science Department in phase II of the program.


February 2013