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NJIT, New Jersey’s science, technology and design university, has appointed computer science professor and seasoned high-tech entrepreneur Dr. Craig Gotsman, as dean of the Ying Wu College of Computing (YWCC), which offers the largest computing program in the tri-state region, effective Jan. 1, 2017. 

Gotsman was the founding director of the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute at Cornell Tech, a New York City-based graduate campus dedicated to fostering innovation and producing entrepreneurial engineers, with the purpose of growing the tech sector of NYC. Gotsman has also co-founded several technology startup companies and consulted to many large technology corporations.

Before Cornell Tech, Gotsman held the Hewlett-Packard Chair in Computer Engineering at Technion–Israel Institute of Technology, where he co-founded the Technion Center for Graphics and Geometric Computing in 2001. While at Technion, he also served in a number of associate dean roles and as deputy senior vice president. Gotsman has been a visiting professor at Harvard University, INRIA Sophia Antipolis (France), ETH Zurich (Switzerland) and a research scientist at MIT.

“We are delighted that Professor Craig Gotsman has joined NJIT as the next dean of the Ying Wu College of Computing,” says Dr. Fadi Deek, provost and senior executive vice president at NJIT. “Craig is an exceptional leader with a strong record of scholarship and innovation and a champion for academic excellence. I am confident that he will build on the progress made under the leadership of outgoing Dean Marek Rusinkiewic—who has led the college with distinction over the last three and a half years—and will lead an already accomplished faculty and student body to greater visibility and leverage his entrepreneurial spirit to bring more success to the college and university. With a growing research portfolio, bursting with over $10 million in federal grants, YWCC continues to raise NJIT’s profile as a leader in basic and applied research. Craig’s vision and leadership make him an ideal dean to drive growth as we implement 2020 Vision—the NJIT Strategic Plan with major investments planned for the College of Computing.”

“In the 21st century, it is essential to open campuses to the outside world,” says Gotsman, who is a staunch advocate of bridging academia and industry. “Forever gone are the days of the ivory tower academic model. Now things are changing so quickly that we have to interact much more with the outside world just to keep up, especially in the tech sector.                                          

“One of my priorities is to increase the visibility and impact of the college at all levels. We will invite the community in to show them what we’re doing, and actively encourage our faculty and students to innovate by developing their own ideas and starting their own ventures.”

Dean Gotsman explains an algorithm

Gotsman was instrumental in establishing the partnership between Cornell University and Technion at Cornell Tech. Some of his key accomplishments included developing, marketing and managing novel academic programs; forging industry connections and fundraising; promoting new approaches to innovation; and commercializing intellectual property in an academic environment. Gotsman has been a professor of computer science at Cornell Tech since 2012.

As an educator, Gotsman has spearheaded efforts to provide students with opportunities for building practical knowledge through hands-on, cooperative and experiential education. It is a practice he aims to further integrate into NJIT’s computing curriculum, capitalizing on the emerging tech scene in New Jersey, and especially on the university’s proximity to New York City, which is home to a rich startup ecosystem expected to eclipse Silicon Valley as the next high-tech capital of the world.

“There are many advantages to young students interacting with active tech entrepreneurs,” says Gotsman. “Beyond the exposure to cutting-edge technologies and real-world problems, immersing the students in the entrepreneurial culture and the level of energy that comes with it is extremely valuable. It adds important new dimensions to the students’ educational experience and makes for a more rounded engineer.”                                                                                                                                             

Gotsman’s research interests include 3-D computer graphics, geometric modeling, animation and computational geometry. He has published over 180 research papers, won eight best paper awards at leading conferences and mentored more than 50 postgraduate students at all levels. He holds 10 U.S. patents and has commercialized some of his academic research to co-found three startup companies. He is a member of Academia Europaea, Europe’s leading Academy of Science and Arts. Gotsman received all his degrees from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Created in 2001, YWCC became one of the first schools of its kind in the United States, is the fastest growing college at NJIT and boasts the largest computing program in the region, offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in computer science, information systems and information technology.

One of only 32 polytechnic universities in the United States, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) prepares students to become leaders in the technology-dependent economy of the 21st century. NJIT’s multidisciplinary curriculum and computing-intensive approach to education provide technological proficiency, business acumen and leadership skills. NJIT is rated an "R1" research university by the Carnegie Classification®, which indicates the highest level of research activity. NJIT conducts approximately $162 million in research activity each year and has a $2.8 billion annual economic impact on the State of New Jersey. NJIT is ranked #1 nationally by Forbes for the upward economic mobility of its lowest-income students and is among the top 2 percent of public colleges and universities in return on educational investment, according to PayScale.com. NJIT also is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of the top 50 public national universities.