Four semifinalist candidates for the position of dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science have been selected, Provost John Coatsworth announced Friday. The shortlist includes Mary Boyce, head of mechanical engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Andrew Gellman, head of chemical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, Paul Weiss, director of the California NanoSystems Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, and SEAS interim dean Donald Goldfarb. The candidates will visit Columbia over the next two weeks to interview and meet with undergraduate engineering students. Gellman and Weiss are scheduled to interview next week, and Boyce and Goldfarb will interview the week after. "I was in an airport flying to India," Gellman said of the time he found out he had been named a semifinalist. "The first person I told was my wife, and we were pretty excited." When asked about what he could bring to Columbia if appointed as dean, Gellman cited his experience of launching new programs and a $26 million renovation project of a chemical engineering laboratory facility in 2004. "I'd say that I'm fairly effective at getting things to happen at least, within my own department, to growing some programs and renovating the building that we use, probably 100 years old,” he said. Gellman also said that “the key difference between science students and engineering students is that the engineering students need to know how their disciplines impact society.” "If you get a Bachelor’s, you get to apply to the problems of today—fairly immediate, important problems," he said "If you're a graduate student with a Ph.D., you're making things that are impractical today practical in the future." Gellman earned a B.S. in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. Weiss said that he engages his students both inside and outside of the classroom, supplementing lectures and problem sets with laboratory experience. “I bind positions for the student who were in my class with laboratories,” he said. “That in many ways makes a bigger impact than what they learn in the classroom and also gives perspective." Weiss earned his undergraduate degrees at MIT and his Ph.D. in chemistry from UC Berkeley. Boyce joined the MIT faculty in 1987 after earning a B.S. from Virginia Tech and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from MIT. She has published over 100 journal papers in her field. Goldfarb, a professor of industrial engineering and operations research, was appointed interim dean of SEAS in July 2012. Before joining Columbia's faculty in 1982, Goldfarb taught in the department of computer science and at the operations research and industrial engineering at New York University and Cornell University, respectively. He holds a B.Ch.E. from Cornell and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton. email@example.com | @kcecireyes
SEAS dean search narrows to 4 candidates
May 23, 11:57am
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