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For immediate release: April 13, 2003
Contact: Lauren Robinson-Brown, (609) 258-3601, lauren@princeton.edu

Editors: Photos are available at: http://www.princeton.edu/pr/pictures/a-f/dobkin/

Dobkin named dean of the faculty

PRINCETON, N.J. -- David Dobkin, chair of Princeton's Department of Computer Science for the past nine years and a member of the Princeton faculty for 22 years, has been named dean of the faculty. His appointment is effective July 1.

He will succeed Joseph Taylor, dean of the faculty since 1997 and the James McDonnell Distinguished University Professor of Physics, who announced last fall that he would return to full-time teaching and research at the end of the academic year in June.

"I am very grateful to David Dobkin for his willingness to undertake the critically important role of dean of the faculty," said President Shirley M. Tilghman. "Over the past nine years, he has led the Department of Computer Science with great intelligence and vision to become one of the most distinguished in the world. He has reached out to other departments in the natural sciences and social sciences to expand the intellectual range and impact of the department in the University. He is highly regarded by his colleagues as a scholar and an innovative teacher, as well as a man of excellent judgment and great integrity."

"I know I speak for the entire search committee when I say how delighted I am that President Tilghman has selected David Dobkin as the next dean of the faculty," said Philip Nord, professor of history, who chaired the search committee. "The committee consulted colleagues from across the University, and David was widely recommended to us for his energy, vision, compassion and integrity. He will make an outstanding dean and a superb addition to the administrative team President Tilghman has assembled."

"I am honored to be named to this position and look forward to working with an excellent faculty and a wonderful group of administrators," Dobkin said.

The dean of the faculty, who traditionally comes from the ranks of the faculty at Princeton, has administrative oversight of the departments and programs of instruction and is responsible for recruiting and retaining faculty members.

"David has all of the characteristics required to make a superb dean of the faculty," Taylor said. "He knows the University well, and cares about the quality of teaching and scholarship that we produce. He works well with other people. His judgment is sound, and his scholarly taste is impeccable."

Dobkin joined the faculty after teaching at Yale University and the University of Arizona. He earned his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his Ph.D. in applied mathematics from Harvard University.

Dobkin came to Princeton as a professor of electrical engineering and computer science, and became a professor of computer science in 1985 when the department was formed. The department has undergone a period of rapid growth and change that parallels the growth and change in the field. Its faculty has nearly doubled in size, it has developed many new courses and curricular options, and it moved into a new building in 1989. Computer science is the only department at Princeton in which students can earn either an A.B. or a B.S.E.

In 1998, Dobkin was the first faculty member named to the Phillip Goldman '86 Professorship in Computer Science. The professorship was created through a gift from Dobkin's former student and WebTV Networks founder Phillip Goldman.

A fellow of the Association of Computing Machinery, Dobkin has been awarded a Guggenheim fellowship and a Fulbright grant. His research focuses on the interface between computational geometry and computer graphics. He has been an adviser and visiting researcher at companies such as Bell Labs, AT&T Research and Xerox. He also has served on the executive committee of the National Science Foundation's Center for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science as well as the foundation's Geometry Center. The author of numerous papers, Dobkin is a member of the editorial boards of several professional journals.

In addition to instructing classes in computer science, Dobkin has taught a freshman seminar with sociologist Paul DiMaggio on "Sex, Money and Rock and Roll: Information Technology and Society." The course examines the social issues associated with information technology, focusing on fields such as computer science, economics, law, philosophy, political science and sociology.

Last year, Dobkin served on the provost's Target-of-Opportunity Search Committee, which seeks candidates for the faculty who are outstanding creative artists, who would further diversify the faculty or who are scholars of extraordinary attainment. He has twice (in 1996-97 and 2000-01) served as an elected member of the Faculty Advisory Committee on Appointments and Advancements, which oversees all faculty appointments and promotions. He also was on the search committee for the vice president for information technology and chief information officer in 2000-01.

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