From the Dean's Desk - March 2, 2021

Dear GT Computing community,

 Georgia Tech dean of Computing Charles Isbell

As I am sure you have seen, President Cabrera has announced that the Institute plans to return to campus for a full residential experience in the Fall. Whatever our goal, the Institute will of course continue to follow the guidelines of the Department of Health and the CDC—not to mention our own faculty experts—in planning the return to campus. I'd like to add my thanks to his for a community that has pulled together through an insane year (year? yes year.). There is still more to do, and while the Fall outcome is far from certain, I suspect we will manage it together.

Speaking of together, an issue that I know many of you have been discussing intently is Dropbox. For those of you who are somehow blissfully unaware, there has been a great deal of entropy around whether GT will continue its contract with Dropbox. I’d like to thank everyone who has provided thoughtful feedback and detailed explanations of a variety of use cases: in aggregate, these efforts have been tremendously helpful to the Institute in understanding our needs. The CIO is working on articulating a sole-source justification necessary to continue the Dropbox service (before you ask, you don’t want to know… and if you do want to know let me know when you have three hours… and then I’ll see when I have three hours and, well…). Again, the outcome is not completely certain, but the gradient is positive. In any case, I’ll let you all know more as I know more.

I’d also like to share some good news from our alumni and friends. Bev Seay, the chair of our Advisory Board, was named the 2021 Businesswoman of the Year by the Orlando Business Journal. Bev is known in her community and around the country for her innovative approaches to systems engineering, modeling and simulation, and her leadership skills. I can tell you that I respect and admire Bev, and that we are lucky to have her on our side. A lot of good things have happened for CoC, and Bev has been in the center of making it happen more than once.

In other alumni news, Joy Buolwamini (BS ’12), now a graduate researcher at MIT and the founder of the Algorithmic Justice League, appeared on NPR to discuss algorithmic bias and marginalized communities. We can be proud of her work to pursue responsible computing that serves all people equally.

I think that’s mostly it. Do have a good week. I know we’re all working hard, but make sure to take a little time to yourself, even if it’s just to dance like no one's watching (because no one probably is, and they probably aren’t paying attention to your carefully broken up links or efforts at narrative symmetry either, but that’s okay because in the end it’s just the right thing to do).

Charles L. Isbell, Jr.

John P. Imlay, Jr. Dean
College of Computing
Georgia Tech