In the Spotlight: JaJa Named Interim Chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Joseph JaJa, a professor of electrical and computer engineering with an appointment in the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS), has been named interim chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), effective July 1.

The department is one of the largest in the A. James Clark School of Engineering, with almost 90 full-time faculty and affiliate faculty and about 50 research faculty and postdocs.

JaJa will assume leadership of the department from Rama Chellappa, a Distinguished University Professor of electrical and computer engineering who has served as chair of ECE since 2011.

“Joseph JaJa is a highly respected leader in the Clark School and university,” said Darryll J. Pines, dean of the Clark School. “He brings great knowledge and skill in his new role in serving the department."

JaJa received his doctoral degree in applied mathematics from Harvard University in 1977. He joined the University of Maryland faculty in 1983 and served as director of UMIACS from 1994–2004. Under his leadership, UMIACS research funding grew from $2.5M annually to more than $18M. JaJa also served as Interim Vice President and Chief Information Officer of the University of Maryland’s Office of Information Technology from 2010–2011.

JaJa’s current research interests involve big data, computational neuroscience high-performance computing, and statistical machine learning.

He has published extensively in several areas, including parallel and distributed computing, and serves on several editorial boards in the computing field. He has received numerous awards, including the IEEE Fellow Award in 1996, the 1997 R&D Award for the development of software for tuning parallel programs, the ACM Fellow Award in 2000, and the Internet2 IDEA Award in 2006.