Inside Rensselaer
* James Hendler
James Hendler To Lead IT Program
Professor James Hendler has been named assistant dean for information technology (IT) in the School of Science. Hendler is also the Tetherless World Constellation Professor of Computer and Cognitive Science at Rensselaer.

“With the opening of the Computational Center for Nanotechnology Innovations (CCNI), the completion of the Tetherless World Research Constellation leadership, and the incredible opportunities for research at EMPAC, Rensselaer has quickly acquired some of the strongest information technology research infrastructure in the world,” Hendler said. “We want to take the IT program to yet another level by utilizing this research infrastructure and building on the success of the program at Rensselaer.”

In his new role, Hendler will lead the current master’s and undergraduate degree programs in IT. He also will be working with the faculty to enhance the IT track in the multidisciplinary science Ph.D. and to recruit top students to that program. And he will help guide the faculty teaching courses within the diverse IT curriculum and direct curriculum development and enrollment.

Hendler has already made great progress within the Tetherless World Research Constellation after less than two years, completing the constellation leadership team and creating several courses on the Web and Web Science. He plans to mesh the goals of the growing research constellation with the goals of the IT program, to create a program that is constantly on the cutting edge of information science and technology.

“The constellation can build on many of the strengths that the IT program has pioneered over the past 10 years,” Hendler said. “As we move to the next phase in its growth, our researchers and students will be able to bring together science and data in ways that advance discovery and positively impact society. Our courses in Web Science, for example, are among the first in the world, and this is an area where we see tremendous potential for growth.”

Acting Dean for the School of Science David Spooner directed the IT program prior to Hendler for nearly nine years before taking over leadership for the School of Science in May 2008.

Hendler joined Rensselaer in January 2007. Prior to joining Rensselaer he was a professor in the Computer Science Department at the University of Maryland, where he also served as director of the Joint Institute for Knowledge Discovery and co-director of the Maryland Information and Network Dynamics (MIND) Laboratory.

Hendler received a bachelor’s in computer science and artificial intelligence from Yale University, a master’s in cognitive psychology and human factors engineering from Southern Methodist University, and a master’s and doctorate in computer science and artificial intelligence from Brown University. He has written more than 200 technical papers in the areas of artificial intelligence, Semantic Web, agent-based computing, and high-performance processing. He is a fellow of the American Association of Artificial Intelligence, a member of the World Wide Web Consortium’s Semantic Web Coordination Group, editor-in-chief of the journal IEEE Intelligent Systems, and a reviewing editor for the journal Science. He is past recipient of the Fulbright Foundation Fellowship (1995), former chief scientist of the Information Systems Office at the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and former member of the U.S. Air Force Science Advisory Board. He was awarded a U.S. Air Force Exceptional Civilian Service Medal in 2002.
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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 2, Number 20, December 5, 2008
©2008 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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