By PATRICK KURP
Special to the Rice News
Keith Cooper, the L. John and Ann H. Doerr Professor of Computational Engineering, will become the associate dean for research for Rice’s George R. Brown School of Engineering July 1.
Cooper has been associated with Rice since 1974, when he enrolled as a freshman studying electrical engineering. He served as chair of the Computer Science Department from 2002 to 2008.
“If we want to increase the quantity and quality of research at Rice, we have to think more ambitiously and start writing more large-scale proposals,” Cooper said. “We want to move beyond the half-million and three-quarter-million-dollar level, and think in terms of a million dollars and beyond.”
“Keith has led large multi-investigator proposals, and he is a can-do, make-it-happen kind of guy,” said Edwin “Ned” Thomas, the William and Stephanie Sick Dean of Engineering, who announced Cooper’s appointment. “He already has experience doing what we want the entire School of Engineering to be doing.”
Cooper received his Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering in 1978 and his master’s degree and Ph.D. in mathematical sciences in 1982 and 1983, respectively, all from Rice. He worked as a research scientist in mathematical sciences from 1983 to 1984, and in computer science from 1984 to 1990, when he joined the computer science faculty as assistant professor. He was one of the founders of Rice’s compiler research group.
He and his wife, Linda Torczon, a senior research scientist in the Computer Science Department, co-authored Engineering a Compiler, a textbook for a senior-level course in compiler construction (second edition, 2011). Cooper is an author on more than 80 papers and technical reports. He has produced 18 Ph.D.s.
We have to figure out what the impediments are to fostering larger-scale collaborations between disciplines and various institutions,” Cooper said of his new position. “We want to encourage faculty and students to think about research on a larger scale.”