Denis Gracanin and team continue FutureHAUS construction at Virginia Tech

Denis Gracanin, an associate professor in the College of Engineering’s Department of Computer Science, along with Joseph Wheeler, professor of architecture in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies and co-director of the Center for Design Research, and Clive Vorster, a visiting instructor in the School of Architecture + Design, have worked the past three years with students from architecture, industrial design, interior design, and computer science to envision how people will interact with their homes in the near future.

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Cliff Shaffer named W.S. ‘Pete’ White Professor

Clifford A. Shaffer, professor of computer science in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, has been awarded the W.S. “Pete” White Chair for Innovation in Engineering Education by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.  The W.S. “Pete” White Chair for Innovation in Engineering Education was established by American Electric Power to honor Pete White, a 1948 graduate of Virginia Tech, and to encourage new interest in the teaching of engineering and improve the learning process. Recipients hold the chair for a period of two years.


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Cliff Shaffer
Cliff Shaffer

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Notes from Department Head Cal Ribbens

The case for gathering and nurturing a diverse academic community is clear.  Preparing computer scientists to create solutions for the whole world requires a community of computer scientists that reflects the whole world.  Virginia Tech’s “Principles of Community” states it well:  “we affirm the value of human diversity because it enriches our lives and the University,” and we seek “… to create a community that nurtures learning and growth for all of its members.”  Besides being the right thing to do, time and time again I have seen the benefits of improved access and inclusion for everyone.  When we bring together people from different cultures, backgrounds, viewpoints, and ways of thinking, we get better results – better teaching and learning, better creating, better problem solving.  And it’s just more fun to come to work when you are part of such a team.

The Department of Computer Science is committed to diversity and inclusion.  Particularly in the last eight years under the leadership of Dr. Barbara Ryder, this commitment has increasingly become part of our department’s culture.  In many ways, we are just getting started, and I intend to build on this commitment and momentum during my term as department head.  Please let us know if you have suggestions for ways to improve diversity in our department and our field, or to see how you can help.  And check out the newly revamped section of our website on diversity, and news of the newly established Barbara Ryder Fund for Diversity in Computer Science.


Dr. Ribbens

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New Endowed Fund to Support Diversity in Computer Science

The Department of Computer Science at Virginia Tech is pleased to announce the establishment of the “Barbara Ryder Fund for Diversity in Computer Science.”  This new endowed fund honors the outstanding personal efforts and culture-changing example of Dr. Barbara Ryder, J. Byron Maupin Professor of Engineering, who served as CS Department Head from 2008 to 2015.  Initial seed funding for the fund comes from the prize accompanying the department’s recent National Center for Women and Information Technology Extension Services Transformation (NCWIT NEXT) award, which was given in recognition of progress and continuing commitment to increase the participation of women in computing.  Under Dr. Ryder’s leadership the department’s focus on recruiting and retaining a diverse community of students, staff, and faculty increased significantly.  By establishing this fund, the department is committing to a sustained emphasis on diversity.  Income from the Ryder Fund will support an exciting range of activities and programs for years to come.

To donate to the Barbara Ryder Fund for Diversity in Computer Science, please visit our Giving to CS@VT page.



Graduation at VT 2016 - 10



Distinguished Lecture 2015 015



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Staff take part in professional development opportunities

Congratulations to Teresa Hall, Sheila Hulick, Andrea Linkous, Missy Thomas, Linda Fitzgerald, and Julia Costello for earning certifications offered by University Organizational and Professional Development (UOPD).

Andrea Linkous– Office Software Skills Training Program and Customer Service Excellence Certificate Program

Sheila Hulick– Research Administrator Level I and Research Administrator Level II

Teresa Hall– Research Administrator Level I

Missy Thomas– Research Administrator Level II

Linda Fitzgerald– Administrative Professional Development Program Certificate and Customer Service Excellence Certificate Program

Julia Costello– Computer Software Skills Training Program


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From left to right: Andrea Linkous, Sheila Hulick, Teresa Hall, Missy Thomas, Linda Fitzgerald, Linda Fitzgerald, and Julia Costello (not pictured)




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