UC Berkeley professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences Jitendra Malik and professor of mathematics and computer science James Demmel have been appointed as the new chairs of the campus electrical engineering and computer sciences, or EECS, department and the department’s computer science division, respectively.
Demmel, a former chief scientist of the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society — a campus research facility that addresses social and environmental issues facing California — will replace the current chair, Randy Katz, on July 1, according to Katz.
Demmel received his doctoral degree in computer science at UC Berkeley in 1983. He later joined the campus computer science division and mathematics department as a faculty member in 1990.
Demmel’s main research interests include applied mathematics, numerical analysis and mathematics applied control theory.
While on campus, Demmel has taught classes ranging from lower-division algebra courses to graduate classes.
According to Katz, the division chair will be responsible for managing computer science courses, as well as hiring and advancing computer science faculty and staff members.
Malik will additionally take an administrative position at the EECS department by also replacing Tsu-Jae King Liu as the chair. After completing his doctoral degree in computer science from Stanford University in 1985, Malik joined UC Berkeley’s faculty in January 1986.
Malik’s research focuses on areas such as computer vision, computational modeling of human vision, computer graphics and the analysis of biological images. He is on the faculty of the department of bioengineering and the cognitive science and vision science groups.
In the past, Malik has served as the department chair of EECS from 2004 to 2006. He has also served as the chair of the UC Berkeley computer science division from 2002 to 2004.
According to Katz, the search for the new chairs was not contentious, and new chairs are appointed about every three years.
“It’s very common to change chairs every once in a while,” Katz said.