Rensselaer Awarded Grant To Establish a Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professorship in Computer Science
Rensselaer has received a five-year $499,000 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation to establish the Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professorship in Computer Science. The initiative supports the Institute in advancing women in computer science and other STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields.
The grant will be used to hire a female assistant professor with a research and teaching focus in the fast-paced field of mobile and distributed computing systems. The Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor will join Rensselaer as a faculty member, occupying a position that will continue in the tenure/tenure-track faculty ranks even after the five-year grant period.
Since its first grants in 1989, the Clare Boothe Luce Program has become the single most significant source of private support for women in science, mathematics, and engineering. Clare Boothe Luce, the widow of Henry R. Luce, was a playwright, journalist, U.S. Ambassador to Italy, and the first woman elected to Congress from Connecticut. In her bequest establishing this program, she sought “to encourage women to enter, study, graduate, and teach” in science, mathematics, and engineering. Thus far, the program has supported more than 1,500 women.
“If the United States is to extend its scientific and engineering leadership in the 21st century, we must have the full creative and entrepreneurial participation of all our people, and advancing the role of women in academia is critical to that endeavor. Clare Boothe Luce understood this truth, and she directed her own power to the aid of women in the generations that follow her,” said President Shirley Ann Jackson. “Rensselaer is committed to providing women in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, at each stage of their careers, with bridges to new levels of academic success. The Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor will join a strong and growing community of exceptional female researchers.”
“The Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professorship will allow Rensselaer to diversify our faculty while advancing research and education in a highly compelling area,” said Laurie Leshin, dean of the School of Science. “Mobile and distributed computing offers tremendous power and flexibility, and impacts the everyday lives of billions of people. This generous grant will enable Rensselaer to hire a junior faculty member and significantly strengthen our presence in the field. The Computer Science Department at Rensselaer, although moderately sized, with a faculty of 22, casts a large shadow in frontier computational science. Rensselaer is a recognized leader in several emergent areas of modern computer science including data-, network-, and Web-sciences—areas that move beyond traditional hardware and algorithm development.
Jim Hendler, Tetherless World Constellation Professor and head of computer science, said the Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor will be a welcome addition to an academic department that prides itself on “leading research and on developing courses that expose students to critical emerging areas.
“If the United States is to extend its scientific and engineering leadership, we must have the full creative and entrepreneurial participation of all our people, and advancing the role of women in academia is critical tothat endeavor.”—President Jackson
“We live in a world where smartphones and tablet computers are ubiquitous, and ever-shrinking computational devices, such as wearable computers and ‘Google glasses,’ are moving from science fiction to real-world fact,” Hendler said. “Application development for mobile and distributed systems has become one of the most important new areas for research and education in computer science and we are excited to work with the Clare Boothe Luce Program to recruit a top young researcher in this exciting research field.”