19.07.13 - James Larus is the new Dean of EPFL’s School of Computer and Communications Science (IC). He is a leading expert in programming languages and in the construction of robust software systems. He will be taking office in October 2013 after having worked at Microsoft for sixteen years.

James Larus, a leading expert in programming languages and computing systems architecture, has been appointed as Dean of the School of Computer and Communications Science (IC) at EPFL. He will take office in October 2013, succeeding Martin Vetterli, who now heads the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNFS), and Ruediger Urbanke, interim Dean.

Dr. Larus brings to the School the talents of a renowned scientist and a comprehensive experience in both academia and industry. Born in the United States, James Larus has earned a worldwide reputation for developing tools used in the construction of robust software. His research started at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and continued at Microsoft, where he spent sixteen years. He has received numerous accolades and honors from the international computer science research community, including the ACM and the IEEE. In 2006, he became an ACM Fellow, the most prestigious honor granted by the Association for Computing. He has published 110 papers, 9 of which received Best or Most Influential Paper Awards.

"In the United States, EPFL’s School of Computer and Communication Sciences is considered as one of the best," reveals James Larus. "During my several visits, I have come to realize the quality of its people and its research. That is why my decision to accept the position was rather easy to take."

Among the subjects he is most passionate about, the new Dean lists machine learning, big data management, security issues, system strength and reliability, and respect for private data. He considers the development of massive online courses (MOOCs) and of new learning aid technologies as some of the most interesting challenges in the field.

A significant contribution

His major contributions include technology transfer of software development tools for large coorporations, such as Microsoft's Static Driver Verifier and FX/Cop. He is a co-author of a book on transactional memory and has helped the software community by creating programming languages for parallel computing. He is also one of the main architects of Singularity, a new safe and resilient operating system, as well as Orleans, a framwwork for cloud programming and computer hardware projects at Microsoft.

Born in New York on 15 September 1958, James Larus studied applied mathematics at Harvard before studying Computer Science at the University of California - Berkeley in the 1980s. Starting in 1989, he was on the faculty in the computer science department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He joined Microsoft Research in 1997 and was appointed as the head of a research group the following year. In 2008 he was promoted to Director of Research and Strategy for the eXtreme Computing Group.

Author:Sarah PerrinSource:Mediacom