Computer scientist Vardi named University Professor

David Ruth

Jade Boyd

Computer scientist Vardi named University Professor
Logic and computation expert receives Rice’s highest academic honor

World-renowned computer scientist Moshe Vardi has been promoted to University Professor, Rice’s highest academic title.

Moshe Vardi

Moshe Vardi

Vardi, the Karen Ostrum George Distinguished Service Professor in Computational Engineering and director of the Ken Kennedy Institute for Information Technology, is the eighth person named University Professor in Rice’s 106-year history. His appointment will begin Jan. 1, 2019.

The title of University Professor is an appointment-at-large that enables the faculty member to teach in any academic department and share expertise broadly across disciplines to foster greater intellectual pursuits at Rice.

Vardi, who joined Rice’s faculty in 1993, is being recognized for tremendous service and leadership demonstrated at all levels, from the department to university-wide, said Luay Nakhleh, chair of the Department of Computer Science.

“With this recognition we are reminded once again of the high standards that Moshe sets to all of us, not only in terms of technical and scholarly leadership but also in terms of going above and beyond in contributing to the computing community at large,” Nakhleh said. “I would also say that with his recent focus on the future of work and the societal impact of technology, Moshe’s contributions extend way past the computing community.”

A prolific author, Vardi has penned more than 600 articles and co-written two books in the areas of logic and computation. His promotion coincides with another milestone: Vardi’s h-index, a metric that measures a scientist’s productivity and citation impact, is 100, which means he has published 100 papers that have been cited at least 100 times by other research papers.

Vardi is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has received IBM Outstanding Innovation Awards, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Presidential Award and ACM’s Edgar F. Codd Innovations Award, a top recognition for database-research accomplishments.

He is a fellow of ACM, the American Association for Artificial Intelligence, the European Association for Theoretical Computer Science, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. He is also a foreign member of the European Academy of Sciences and Academia Europaea and is editor-in-chief of Communications of the ACM.

Rice’s other University Professors are bioengineering and global health pioneer Rebecca Richards-Kortum, Nobel laureates Robert Curl and the late Richard Smalley, former White House science adviser Neal Lane, mathematician Richard Tapia, the late former President Malcolm Gillis and the late Ken Kennedy, who was also a renowned computer scientist.

Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,970 undergraduates and 2,934 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is just under 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for lots of race/class interaction and No. 2 for quality of life by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to

About Arie Passwaters

Arie Wilson Passwaters is editor of Rice New.