Meet Dean desJardins
As the inaugural Dean of the College of Organizational, Computational, and Information Sciences (COCIS), I am excited for all of the possibilities for collaboration and insight that the College offers. Simmons is a truly exceptional place, with a deep commitment to its mission of “providing transformative learning that links passion with purpose.” During the time I have been at Simmons, I have been repeatedly inspired by the accomplishments, partnerships and inclusive spirit of our students, faculty, and staff.
COCIS includes the School of Library and Information Science, the School of Business, and the Division of Mathematics, Computing, and Statistics. The 21st century presents incredible opportunities — along with incredible challenges — in creating and harnessing the power of computation, information, and automation to make the world a better place. COCIS represents a confluence of disciplines that can collectively tackle these global challenges. As dean, I work closely with faculty and students and think strategically to invigorate existing research and teaching, create new programs and initiatives, and elevate the exciting work that’s happening at Simmons to reach a broader audience.
Prior to joining Simmons, I was the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Engineering and Information Technology and a member of the computer science faculty at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). Before joining the faculty at UMBC, I was a Senior Computer Scientist at SRI International. I earned my A.B. in Engineering from Harvard University and my Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley. My research is in artificial intelligence (AI), focusing on machine learning, multi-agent systems, decision making, and interactive AI.
My recent professional activities include co-chairing the 2020 International Joint Conference on AI; serving as a member of the Advisory Committee for the National Science Foundation’s Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate; serving as a Member-at-Large for the Information, Computing, and Communication Section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; and co-authoring a National Science Foundation-funded Research Roadmap for AI with the Computing Community Consortium. I am dedicated to expanding access to computing education and diversity in the field of computing by partnering with the [email protected] initiative to increase the availability of K-12 CS courses at public schools in Massachusetts. I have mentored 12 PhD students, 27 MS students, and over 100 undergraduate researchers. I am committed to improving student diversity, access, and quality of computer science courses at the high school level.
- Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence/Educational Advances in Artificial Intelligence (AAAI/EAAI), Outstanding Educator Award, 2020.
- Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) Fellow, 2018.
- Distinguished Alumni Award in Computer Science, Division of Computer Sciences, University of California, Berkeley, 2018.
- A. Richard Newton Educator ABIE Award, Anita Borg Institute, 2017.