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Lehigh University logo

Finding lessons in the data

Welcome to the 18th issue of Resolve, a magazine dedicated to research and educational innovation in the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science at Lehigh University.

It is a distinct honor to serve once again as interim dean of the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science. I am focused on encouraging and uplifting the collaborative spirit that is crucial in the modern engineering landscape — and key to continued discovery and innovation across our College’s educational and research endeavors.

I’ve been at Lehigh for more than 25 years and have served since 2002 as associate dean for research and graduate studies. Over that time, I’ve grown to admire and respect the integrated approach to learning and research that has become the hallmark of Lehigh Engineering.

Nowhere is that approach more evident than in the emerging Data X initiative, which is featured in this issue of Resolve. While it will significantly expand Lehigh’s capacities for teaching and learning in computational and data science, Data X will also increase access to this knowledge base for all Lehigh students, regardless of their major.

Through Data X, Lehigh is recruiting new faculty in computer science and in related fields across Lehigh’s colleges, building new bridges to industry, and infusing the art of data analysis throughout all areas of study.

We are also thrilled to host the 14th International Semantic Web Conference in mid-October—another strong indicator of Lehigh’s growing reputation in the computer science community, and of the Lehigh Valley’s emergence as an innovation incubator within striking distance of New York, Philadelphia, Boston and Washington, D.C.

This issue also delves into our longstanding and highly successful Computer Science and Business undergraduate program. In describing the program, its co-director, Prof. Hank Korth, says it best: “CSB is for students who want to make technology happen, not just cope with it.”

Other articles cover recent successes of junior faculty who are making progress in their respective fields, including National Science Foundation CAREER Award recipients Nader Motee, Bryan Berger and Arindam Banerjee. We also sat down with Allan Frank ’76 ’78G ’79G, the City of Philadelphia’s first Chief Technology Officer, to find out how local government can leverage technology to benefit its constituents.

There’s also news of some important research collaborations, including work with DuPont Corporation, the Department of Energy and Stevens Institute of Technology. From vanquishing hospital-borne “superbugs” to biomass fuels, and from network theory to the spread of Ebola to the impact of friction on machine parts, Lehigh researchers are finding new ways to create value and benefit industry and society.

I hope you enjoy this issue of Resolve. Please drop me a line with your thoughts and comments.

John Coulter
Interim Dean
P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science