From the Dean's Desk - Dec. 8, 2020

Dear GT Computing community,

 Georgia Tech Dean of Computing Charles Isbell

It’s almost the end of the year: the air is cold and clear, and I’m reminded of what a coat feels like. It’s also almost the end of the semester: the graders are grading, and students are dreaming of getting out. In fact, the Institute is actually holding a socially-distanced, in-person ceremony in Bobby Dodd Stadium. Safety demands minimal participation, but one can also watch online.

Similarly, the College will be holding our Dean’s New Alumni Ceremonies virtually again this fall, as we don’t (yet) have our own stadium to use. Our ceremony for our new undergraduate alumni will be this Thursday at 7 p.m., and the ceremony for our graduate alumni will happen next Tuesday, also at 7 pm. Our ceremonies look a little different this year, but the pride is the same.

Speaking of community, I was asked to deliver the opening keynote address at NeurIPS 2020 yesterday. I hate talking about myself (well, I mean, I don’t hate talking about myself, but you know what I mean), but because I was able to tape it beforehand, we were able to provide not just a a normal keynote with slides but a full-blown, let us say, story, including appearances by lots of folks you know here at the College (Including Irfan, Alex, and Ayanna) as well as some folks you know from across the Computing field. More importantly, the talk was about the case for responsibility in machine learning, one aspect of our larger push for responsible computing. Twitter liked it, so at least I think there’s some evidence that we can leverage communications to tell the stories we want to tell, even in pandemic times.  Many thanks to the team who helped make it, and particularly to the talented Terence Rushin who all-but-performed magic.

Finally, I’d like to congratulate Xinshi Chen, a Ph.D. student in CSE, who has just been awarded the 2020 Google Ph.D. Fellowship for her work in machine learning. Thank you for representing our research community so ably, Xinshi!

Now, please, have a good week. We’ve got just a little more work to do to bring this semester all the way home, and then we can all have the thing we want most.

Charles L. Isbell, Jr.

John P. Imlay, Jr. Dean

College of Computing

Georgia Tech


EA: Alicia Richhart,, 404-894-8357


Don't just adopt opinions,  develop them


Socially-distanced, in-person ceremony:

This Thursday at 7 pm:

Also at 7 pm:

A short story:

2020 Google Ph.D. Fellowship:

Work to do:

All the way home:

The thing we want most: