Dr. Fikret Ercal, professor and assistant chair of computer science at the University of Missouri-Rolla, has been named interim chair of the UMR computer science department. He will replace Dr. Daniel St. Clair, who is currently on leave from UMR. Ercal will serve in the position for approximately one year while the department conducts a national search to find a permanent chair. The appointment took effect in mid-August.
Ercal earned Ph.D. and master of science degrees in computer and information science from The Ohio State University in 1988 and 1985, respectively. He also holds master of science and bachelor of science degrees with first class honors in electrical engineering from Instanbul Technological University (ITU) in Turkey.
“I am pleased that Dr. Ercal has agreed to lead the department during this critical time,” says Dr. Paula Lutz, dean of the UMR College of Arts and Sciences. “I have every confidence that he will keep the department focused on their goals as they conduct their chair search. I look forward to working with him.”
While at UMR, Ercal has received three Faculty Excellence Awards and a Best Paper award in 1996. He is a golden core member of the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and has served on the executive committee of the IEEE Technical Committee on Parallel Processing for many years. Ercal is an honorary member of Phi Eta Sigma and a founding member of the ITU Alumni Association International Branch. He has edited four books, more than 24 journal articles and many refereed conference publications. His research interests are in parallel and distributed processing, bioinformatics, image processing and computer vision.