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This fall, NJIT’s Ying Wu College of Computing (YWCC) welcomed two new department chairs: Frank Biocca, chair of the informatics department, and Baruch Schieber, chair of the computer science department.

Biocca and Schieber bring a vast array of experience and knowledge to NJIT.

“I am delighted to have such accomplished scientists and administrators, with such diverse backgrounds, on the college leadership team,” said YWCC Dean Craig Gotsman. “Both Baruch and Frank will be key players in implementing my vision for the future of the college, growing it to be an important bridge between the academic and corporate tech communities.”

Biocca has held leadership positions at universities around the world, including Newhouse Endowed Chair Professor of Information and Public Communications at Syracuse University and World Class University Professor at Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul, South Korea.

He is also the director of M.I.N.D. Labs, an international network of collaborative research labs focusing on communication, cognitive science and human-computer interaction.

Schieber has devoted the majority of his career to industrial research, managing groups at IBM’s T.J. Watson Research Center. There, as a distinguished research staff member and the manager of the “Mathematics of AI” group, he led computer scientists, mathematicians and operation researchers in activities combining cutting-edge research with the design and implementation of advanced software.

His team focused on model discovery, machine learning, algorithms, mathematical programming and high-performance computing.

Check out the profiles below to learn more about what these scholars do when they aren’t inspiring the next generation of tech leaders.

Baruch Schieber

Department of Computer Science Chair Baruch Schieber joins NJIT from IBM where he served as a Distinguished Research Staff Member and the Manager of the “Mathematics of AI” group.

Schieber has developed: At IBM Research, state of the art business optimization solutions, including a transportation optimization system for the US Postal Service that operates the world’s largest transportation network, integrated data analytics, simulation, and optimization of airport security resource allocation for the U.S. Transportation Security Administration, and vessel network optimization for a major container shipping liner.

Schieber has published: More than 140 papers in scientific journals and conferences in many areas of theoretical computer science, including parallel and distributed algorithms, approximation algorithms, scheduling, online algorithms and dynamic algorithms.

Favorite Movie:

Legally Blond

What inspires you?

“In this environment, the possibility to make a change in peoples’ lives, especially first-generation college students. One thing I really like is that NJIT is first in the nation in improving the lives of students — upward mobility. This inspires and motivates me.”

Favorite TV Show?

Seinfeld

iPhone or Android?

Android

Twitter or Instagram?

None

Favorite food?

Israeli or Middle Eastern food, especially sabich, an eggplant-based dish.

Coffee or Tea?

Coffee

Favorite song?

Anything by Boaz Sharabi

If you could sing a duet with anyone, who would it be?

Paul McCartney

If you could master one instrument, what would it be?

Drums

Dogs or cats?

Cats

Best gift you ever received?

Not something material. Spending time with my grandfather. That is a gift that some receive and some don’t. He imparted a lot of wisdom.

Country you wish to visit?

Nepal

Best way to de-stress?

Run, jog

A sport you wish you could play?

Competitive running

Scary film or happy endings?

Happy endings

Favorite Season:

Spring

The title of your autobiography?

“Trying to be a Mensch.”

 

Frank Biocca

Department of Informatics Chair Frank Biocca has held leadership positions at universities around the world.

Biocca has developed: In 45 projects funded by NSF, NIH, and the EU, interfaces or applications for virtual and augmented reality systems, components for brain-computer interfaces, real-time public opinion measurement, landmine detection game for children in war zones, and even an urban, city-simulation for the Centers for Disease Control. Biocca has patents or patents pending in social virtual reality systems, mobile social media application, and mobile face-to-face communication.

Biocca has published: More than 200 scientific publications, including 10 books in the areas of human-computer interaction, virtual and augmented reality systems, and the effect of interfaces on cognition. Biocca’s publications have been cited nearly 20,000 times, the most cited scholar in virtual environments. Some of his publications and books have been translated into other languages, including Spanish, Italian, Finnish, Korean, French and Portuguese.

Favorite Movie:

“Blade Runner”

What inspires you?

“The creative process. A university has the people and the kind of creative environment that I really enjoy. It inspires me to be creative.”

Favorite TV Show?

I don’t watch TV.

iPhone or Android?

Android

Twitter or Instagram?

Instagram, but really linger lightly in Facebook and KakaoTalk.

Favorite food?

Italian food. Pasta.

Coffee or Tea?

Cappuccino

Favorite song?

Most things by Leonard Cohen or Journey

If you could sing a duet with anyone, who would it be?

Billy Joel or Billy Holiday

If you could master one instrument, what would it be?

Drums. (Previously played drums and sang lead in a band)

Dogs or cats?

Big dogs

Best gift you ever received?

A trip to Bali. Very unusual.

Country you wish to visit?

Antarctica, where a friend-scientist secretly drinks scotch over 1,000,000 year-old core ice.

Best way to de-stress?

Jog, bike, something physical to reduce the stress.

A sport you wish you could play?

Ice hockey

Scary film or happy endings?

Happy endings

Favorite season:

Fall

The title of your autobiography?

“Frank on the Run.”