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Lopresti named interim dean at RCEAS

Daniel Lopresti, professor and chair of the department of computer science and engineering, will become interim dean at RCEAS on July 1.

Daniel Lopresti, professor and chair of the department of computer science and engineering, has been named interim dean of the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science effective July 1, 2014. This follows the announcement that current Dean David Wu will leave Lehigh to fill the role of provost and executive vice president of George Mason University.

“Professor Lopresti has demonstrated academic excellence throughout his 11-year career here at Lehigh, in addition to a strong commitment to the university,” said Provost Patrick V. Farrell in announcing the appointment. “He’s earned the respect of faculty, staff and students, and has been a leading force in a number of top-level university initiatives that include the development of the Mountaintop Experiential Learning project, co-chair of the Cluster Initiative, and the implementation of the university’s long-range strategic plan. I know he will be a strong and effective leader for the engineering college during this time of transition.”

Farrell said that a search committee for the next engineering dean will be formed following the naming of a new university president. Early in 2014, Lehigh President Alice P. Gast announced she will be accepting the role of president of Imperial College London, effective August 1.

At that time, the search committee for the new engineering dean will be charged with conducting an international search to seek external as well as internal candidates for the position, invite nominations, and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each candidate, Farrell said.

Lopresti came to Lehigh in 2003, joining the department of computer science and engineering. His research examines fundamental algorithmic and systems-related questions in pattern recognition, bioinformatics, and computer security, and serves as director of the Lehigh Pattern Recognition Research (PatRec) Lab. He was named department chair in July, 2009.

He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Dartmouth in 1982, and his Ph.D. in computer science from Princeton in 1987. After completing his doctorate, he joined the department of computer science at Brown and taught courses ranging from VLSI design to computational aspects of molecular biology, and conducted research in parallel computing and VLSI CAD.

He went on to help found the Matsushita Information Technology Laboratory in Princeton, and later served on the research staff at Bell Labs, where his work turned to document analysis, handwriting recognition, and biometric security.

While at Lehigh, Professor Lopresti has become an established leader in the international document analysis research community, having co-chaired most of the major conferences in the field. He was recently named Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Document Analysis and Recognition published by Springer. He has also applied his technical expertise in the area of electronic voting. This summer, he and Greg Lang, assistant professor of microbial evolution in the department of biological sciences, will lead a team of student researchers in a 2014 Biosystems Dynamics Summer Institute project funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). He is also collaborating with Patti Manz, associate professor of school psychology, and other colleagues on a CORE grant to develop mobile applications for home visitation programs. He continues to remain actively involved in the Mountaintop Experiential Learning project where he and other members of his department will engage 20 undergraduates this summer in the general area of "Smart Spaces."

Posted on Thursday, April 24, 2014

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