Professor Brian D. Davison, an expert in search engines and data science, has been named chair of Lehigh's Department of Computer Science and Engineering

Professor Brian D. Davison, an expert in search engines and data science, has been named chair of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE), effective August 1, 2022.

Davison has served on the Lehigh faculty for more than 20 years and is associate director of the Institute for Data, Intelligent Systems, and Computation (I-DISC).

He currently leads an interdisciplinary team, funded by the National Science Foundation, developing novel approaches to dataset search to improve and expand the awareness and use of datasets across diverse fields and users (data journalists, policymakers, etc.). He also studies IP geolocation and investigates ways to enhance related databases.

Davison is a co-founding director of the interdisciplinary Master's Program in Data Science in the Rossin College and teaches courses on data science topics. He directed the undergraduate minor in data science for several years and has previously taught classes on data mining, search engines, networking, system administration, and C and UNIX programming.

Davison joined Lehigh’s CSE department in 2001 as an instructor and became an assistant professor in the following year. He was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 2009 and became a full professor in 2021. During his most recent sabbatical, he worked in the Core Data Science group at Facebook (now called Meta).

"This is an exciting time for computer science with the tremendous demand for expertise reflected in student demand for computing courses, whether as majors or minors or via courses that supplement studies in other majors," Davison says.

Under the leadership of outgoing chair Jeff Trinkle, the CSE department "has been hiring great new faculty in recent years and we will continue to grow our department for the foreseeable future," says Davison. "Our students are well-positioned to learn many cutting-edge topics such as robotics, machine learning and data science, human-centered computing, and blockchain."

Trinkle, an expert in advanced robotics, is retiring following an extensive career that began in 1987 and has included numerous academic and government roles. Prior to joining the Lehigh faculty in 2019, Trinkle spent more than 15 years at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He was a founding member of the National Robotics Initiative announced by President Barack Obama in 2011 and led the $40-plus million program for the National Science Foundation from 2014 to 2016.

"During his tenure as CSE chair, Jeff played a leading role in bringing some 10 new faculty members, across specialty areas and ranks, into the department," says Steve DeWeerth, professor and dean of the Rossin College. "I have enjoyed working with him, and I look forward to collaborating with Brian to begin a new chapter in the development of computer science and engineering at Lehigh."

About Brian Davison

Davison's research has been supported by the NSF, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Microsoft, Amazon, and Sun Microsystems.

In 2006, he received funding through the NSF’s prestigious Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) program in support of his work on improving the quality of internet search results through contextual link analysis.

He was also a collaborator in the development of the PRAISys (Probabilistic Resilience Assessment of Interdependent Systems) platform at Lehigh. This framework combines models of individual infrastructure systems with models of their interdependencies for the assessment of resilience after natural disasters and other extreme events.

His work has been published in numerous scientific journals and he has presented extensively at (and served on organizing committees for) leading international conferences on data science, intelligent systems, web search, data mining, and related topics.

He is a member of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and Internet Society (ISOC).

In 2021, he completed his term as editor-in-chief of the ACM journal, Transactions on the Web, and currently serves as associate editor of Frontiers in Big Data: Data Mining and Management and senior associate editor of ACM's Transactions on Intelligent Systems and Technology.

At Lehigh, he has advised more than 25 graduate students.

Davison holds a PhD and MS in computer science from Rutgers University and earned his BS in computer engineering from Bucknell University.

Professor Brian D. Davison, an expert in search engines and data science, has been named chair of Lehigh University's Department of Computer Science and Engineering, effective August 1, 2022