Dr. Ali Hurson, professor of computer science and engineering at The
Pennsylvania State University, has been named chair of the computer science
department at the University of Missouri-Rolla. The appointment will take
effect Jan. 1, 2008.
Hurson was hired following a national search chaired by Dr. Bruce McMillin,
professor of computer science at UMR. Hurson will take over the position from
Dr. Fikret Ercal, professor of computer science, who has served as interim
“Dr. Hurson brings to UMR a wealth of experience in computer science from a
highly respected program at Penn State," says UMR Provost Warren K. Wray.
“His enthusiasm and his research and teaching vision will help strengthen what
is already an outstanding department and I look forward to working with
“Recent structural changes at UMR and the collegial atmosphere of the
computer science department drew me to this position," Hurson explains. “My
goal is to improve the quality of teaching and research and to increase the
department’s national recognition."
Hurson began his academic career as an assistant professor of computer
science at the University of Central Florida before joining the faculty of the
University of Oklahoma. In 1985, he joined the electrical engineering
department at Penn State as part of a team to set up the university’s computer
engineering program. The program was later merged with the computer science
department to form the computer science and engineering department.
For the past 25 years, Hurson’s research has focused on the design and
analysis of computer architectures, multidatabases, application of mobile agent
technology, mobile databases, mobile and pervasive computing and global
information sharing environments.
An active member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
(IEEE) and the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), Hurson has served as
guest editor of several trade journals. He is also co-founder of the IEEE
Symposium on Parallel and Distributed Processing and the IEEE Conference on
Pervasive Computing and Communications.
Hurson earned a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Central
Florida in 1980. He is the first Ph.D. graduate from the University of Central
Florida and the first recipient of a Ph.D. in computer science from the state
of Florida. He also earned a master of science degree from the University of
Iowa in 1978.