Gregory Abowd, Marie Thursby Named Regents' Professors


August 8, 2012

Georgia Tech has named Gregory Abowd of the College of Computing and Marie Thursby of the Scheller College of Business Regents' Professors.

The University System of Georgia Board of Regents grants the professorships to outstanding, tenured full professors based on excellence in research and contributions to their professions and institutions.

"We are very proud of our new Georgia Tech Regents' Professors," said Rafael L. Bras, provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs. "By definition, they represent the very best among our extraordinary faculty — they are educators, academicians and scholars of the first order."

Abowd, a distinguished professor in the School of Interactive Computing, arrived at Tech in 1994 and quickly developed a research agenda on the applications of novel technologies in living laboratories such as the classroom and home. Since 2002, much of his research has been devoted to challenges linking information technologies to autism. Abowd established the Atlanta Autism Consortium in August 2008, which helped to unite Atlanta’s many autism-related constituencies.

He was selected as a Rhodes Scholar in 1986 and, after completing his research studies at the University of Oxford, worked from 1989 to 1992 as a research associate with the Human-Computer Interaction Group in the Department of Computer Science at the University of York in England. From 1992 to 1994, Abowd was a postdoctoral research associate with the Software Engineering Institute and the Computer Science Department at Carnegie Mellon University.

"I am very grateful for the recognition of this Regents' Professorship, because it recognizes the importance of the work my colleagues, students and I have been doing," Abowd said. "I am also very grateful because this recognition was initiated by my peers, and it is an indication of their respect for what I have accomplished over the years at Georgia Tech."

Thursby, a research associate of National Bureau of Economics Research since 1987, is currently Hal and John Smith Chair of Entrepreneurship in the Scheller College of Business. Her research on innovation and technology transfer has been used in congressional, National Institute of Health and U.S. National Academies policy discussions.

One of her major contributions to Tech since arriving in 2002, has been founding the internationally acclaimed Technological Innovation: Generating Economic Returns (TI:GER) program. TI:GER is a collaboration between the Institute and Emory University and has received multiple awards including the Academy of Management Entrepreneurship Pedagogy Award in 2006. The program teams PhD students in science and engineering with MBA and JD students in an experiential curriculum focused on the intersection of technical, legal and business issues and innovation.

Prior to arriving at Tech, Thursby was the Burton D. Morgan Chair of International
Policy and Management at Purdue University and has held faculty appointments at the
University of Michigan, Ohio State University, Syracuse University and North Carolina State University.

"I feel quite honored and grateful," Thursby said. "At Georgia Tech, I get to work with great colleagues and students in an environment that can't help but make one productive."