Di Appointed to Lead Computer Science and Computer Engineering

Jia Di (left) will become head of the Department of Computer Science and Computer Engineering Jan. 1. Dale Thompson (right) has served as interim department head since July.
University Relations

Jia Di (left) will become head of the Department of Computer Science and Computer Engineering Jan. 1. Dale Thompson (right) has served as interim department head since July.

Professor Jia Di has been chosen to lead the Department of Computer Science and Computer Engineering.

The department is the largest in the College of Engineering, with more than 600 undergraduate students enrolled.

Di succeeds Xiaoqing "Frank" Liu, who departed in July to become dean of engineering at Southern Illinois University.

Di has been a faculty member in the Department of Computer Science and Computer Engineering since 2004 and holds the Twenty-First Century Research Leadership Chair. He is internationally recognized for his research in asynchronous integrated circuit design and hardware security. Di holds six patents and is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, an elected member of the National Academy of Inventors, and an eminent member of Tau Beta Pi.

Kim Needy, dean of engineering, said Di is well-positioned to lead the department.

"I'm thrilled for Dr. Di to take the reins of our largest department during such a critical time in that department's history," she said. "Careers in computer science and computer engineering are in high demand in Arkansas and around the world, and the work of educating the next generation of professionals has broad implications. His record of excellence as a researcher and a teacher, as well as his long tenure as a faculty member, position him well to lead the department to new heights."

Di said he was looking forward to the role.

"I am honored for this opportunity and very much grateful for all the support and trust from my colleagues in CSCE and the College of Engineering," he said. "I will work with everyone to bring our department to the next level and better fulfill our mission."

Needy praised associate professor Dale Thompson, who served as interim department head, for his leadership through the fall.

"We're tremendously grateful for Dr. Thompson's work over the last several months," she said. "His leadership kept the Department of Computer Science and Computer Engineering moving forward through all the complexities of the fall semester and our students, staff and faculty were all positively impacted by his efforts."

Thompson said he is looking forward to taking the CSCE Department to the next level.

"I look forward to Dr. Di taking the department to the next level," he said. "He has been very successful in research and is an excellent mentor for both students and faculty. I am pleased that he is willing to take on the next challenge of leading the department."

Di's appointment begins Jan. 1.

Contacts

Nick DeMoss,director of communications
College of Engineering
479-575-5697, ndemoss@uark.edu

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