Posted on May 27, 2015

Dr Farnam Jahanian has been appointed as a member of Qatar Computing Research Institute’s (QCRI) Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC), a distinguished group of computing experts serving as strategic and technical advisors to the Institute. QCRI is a Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF) national research institute that focuses on tackling large-scale computing challenges and addresses national priorities for growth and development. It supports QF in its mission to build the country’s innovation and technology capacity.

On the appointment, Dr Ahmed K. Elmagarmid, Executive Director, QCRI said: “I am pleased to welcome Farnam to our advisory committee. As a prominent and recognised leader in technology and research, Farnam’s experience and insight will be of great value to QCRI, as we continually achieve more important milestones and make an impact on society. I look forward to working with him and the SAC on planning for our future.”

Dr Jahanian noted the synergies between QCRI and CMU in advancing the field of computer science, education and research, saying: “As partner institutions within Qatar Foundation, Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar and QCRI continue to collaborate on innovative, interdisciplinary projects that will benefit people in this region and the world. I am delighted to extend the university's partnership with QCRI by serving on the Scientific Advisory Committee and I look forward to working closely with the other members to support the mission of this important organisation.” 

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An accomplished scientist and successful entrepreneur, Dr Jahanian was recently named Provost of Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), and has more than 25 years of experience in research and higher education. Dr Jahanian previously served as Vice President for Research at CMU, where he led the university's efforts in expanding its world-class research and innovation ecosystem. Prior to CMU, Dr Jahanian led the National Science Foundation Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) in the United States. He also served as co-chair of the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Subcommittee of the United States National Science and Technology Council Committee on Technology.

Dr Jahanian was on the faculty at the University of Michigan, where he held the Edward S. Davidson Collegiate Professorship in the College of Engineering, and served as Chair for Computer Science and Engineering and as Director of the Software Systems Laboratory. A successful entrepreneur, Dr Jahanian co-founded Arbor Networks, an internet security services company, where he was the chairman until its acquisition.

Dr Jahanian serves as chair of National Research Council’s Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (CSTB) based in the United States and is a board member of the Computing Research Association (CRA) and the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT). He has served on dozens of national advisory boards and government panels in the United States, and earlier in his career held research and management positions at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center. 

The author of over 100 research papers, he has received numerous awards and recognition for his research, commitment to education, and technology commercialisation activities. Dr Jahanian holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Texas. He is a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). 

The QCRI Scientific Advisory Committee, chaired by Dr Ruzena Bajcsy, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of California, Berkeley, and Director Emerita of CITRIS (the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society) is comprised of renowned international scholars, computer scientists, and engineers who provide insights, guidance and strategic input helping to establish QCRI as a leading scientific institute locally and internationally.

In addition to Dr. Jahanian, committee members include Professor Alfred Aho, Lawrence Gussman Professor in the Computer Science Department at Columbia University; Mr Abdulla Al Talib, Chairman of the Board of Qatar Mobility Innovations Center; Mr Peter Cochrane of Cochrane Associates; Dr Yousef Khalidi, Distinguished Engineer at Microsoft Windows Azure; and, Dr Lew Tucker, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Cloud Computing at Cisco.