sealPurdue News

September 13, 2002

Trustees OK new faculty designations, deans, 1 posthumous degree

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University's Board of Trustees today (Friday, 9/13) honored four members of the faculty, confirmed the appointment of three deans on the West Lafayette campus and awarded a posthumous degree.

Andrew Weiner, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, and Ian Rothwell, a professor of chemistry, have been honored with distinguished professorships in their respective fields, while Edward Delp has been appointed the Silicon Valley Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Jeffrey Vitter, who just joined Purdue, was named the Frederick L. Hovde Dean of the School of Science.

"These four individuals are leaders in the sciences, and we can expect them to lead Purdue to the next level," said Purdue Provost Sally Frost Mason. "These designations are critical to developing Purdue's research strengths."

Andrew Weiner

Weiner, whose research focuses on ultrafast optical signal processing and high-speed optical communications, is the Scifres Distinguished Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering. He is especially well known for pioneering the field of femtosecond pulse shaping, which enables a generation of nearly arbitrary ultrafast optical waveforms according to user specification. This technology is now used worldwide for research on laser control of photochemical reactions. Five U.S. patents are held under his name.

Weiner has published four book chapters and 120 journal articles. He has been author or co-author of more than 200 conference papers, including approximately 60 invited conference talks. He also is a board of governors member and secretary/treasurer for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers' Lasers and Electro-optics Society (IEEE LEOS). Weiner's career awards include the International Commission on Optics Prize in 1997, the IEEE LEOS William Streifer Scientific Achievement Award in 1999 and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Research Award for Senior U.S. Scientists in 2000.

He earned his bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1979, 1981 and 1984, respectively. He was awarded the 1984 Hertz Foundation Doctoral Thesis Prize for his thesis on femtosecond pulse compression and measurement of femtosecond dephasing in condensed matter. In 1984, Weiner joined Bellcore where he conducted research on ultrafast optics. In 1989, he became manager of the Ultrafast Optics and Optical Signal Processing Research District.

Weiner assumed his current position at Purdue in 1992, and in 1996 he also began serving as the director of graduate admissions for the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Rothwell, the Richard B. Moore Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, is a world-renowned inorganic chemist specializing in the area of organo-metallic chemistry, and is heading the Department of Chemistry. Rothwell's work has focused on the aspects of early transition metal inorganic and organometallic chemistry. His multidisciplinary approach to the study of important chemical problems utilizes many different techniques including spectroscopy, crystallography, kinetics, photochemistry and electrochemistry. Rothwell has published more than 200 papers.

Ian Rothwell

He earned a bachelor's degree in 1976 and a doctorate in chemistry in 1979 from the University College in London. He was a postdoctoral and visiting assistant professor from 1979 to 1981 at Indiana University, before joining the Purdue faculty in 1981 as an assistant professor.

Rothwell's work has received numerous recognitions including the Meldola Medal and Prize given by the Royal Society of Chemistry to a chemist under the age of 30, the Fresenius Award given by Phi Lambda Upsilon to a chemist under the age of 37, and the Corday-Morgan Medal and Prize given by the Royal Society of Chemistry to a chemist under the age of 40.

Delp's research interests include image and video compression, multimedia security, medical imaging, multimedia systems, communication and information theory. Various companies and government agencies consulted Delp on topics such as image processing, robot vision, pattern recognition and secure communications. Delp, who has been at Purdue since 1984, also has published more than 250 papers.

Edward Delp

In 2000 he was selected a distinguished lecturer of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Signal Processing Society. Delp, who also is a professor of biomedical engineering, is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and a fellow of the Society for Imaging Science and Technology.

Delp earned bachelor's and master's degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Cincinnati in 1973 and 1975, respectively, and a doctorate from Purdue in 1979. In May 2002, he received an honorary doctor of technology degree from the Tampere University of Technology in Finland.

Vitter most recently was the Gilbert, Louis and Edward Lehrman Professor of Computer Science at Duke University, where he served as chair of the Department of Computer Science from 1993 to 2001. He also was co-director and a founding member of Duke's Center for Geometric and Biological Computing. He is an adjunct faculty member at Tulane University, and was previously on the faculty for 13 years at Brown University.

Jeffrey Vitter

He is on the board of directors of the Computing Research Association, where he co-chairs the Government Affairs Committee. Vitter has served as chair, vice-chair and member-at-large of the Special Interest Group on Algorithms and Computation Theory of the world's largest computer professional organization, the Association for Computing Machinery.

Vitter is a Guggenheim Fellow, an ACM Fellow, an IEEE Fellow, a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator, a Fulbright Scholar and an IBM Faculty Development awardee. He has popularized the field of external memory algorithms, where the goal is to exploit locality in order to alleviate the I/O communication bottleneck that arises when processing huge quantities of data. He also works extensively on data compression, database optimization, average-case and randomized analysis and prediction. He has more than 200 publications.

He received his bachelor's degree in mathematics in 1977 from Notre Dame, his doctorate in computer science in 1980 from Stanford University, and he expects to receive an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University this year.

The new appointments now bring the number of distinguished professors to 51 and named professors to 25.

The board also ratified three dean appointments: Vitter, as dean of the School of Science; Toby L. Parcel, as dean of the School of Liberal Arts, and John M. Pezzuto as dean of the Schools of Pharmacy, Nursing and Health Sciences. All three appointments were effective Sept. 1.

Most recently, Parcel was the head of the sociology department at Ohio State University. She has been on the Ohio State faculty for 18 years, including eight years as associate dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Parcel's areas of research are women, family and work. She is the co-author of the book "Parents' Jobs and Children's Lives."

Pezzuto came to Purdue from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has been on the UIC faculty for 22 years, and he spent several years as head and interim head of the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy in the UIC College of Pharmacy. With more than 350 publications and several patents, he is a university scholar and distinguished professor.

In other business, the board awarded a bachelor of science degree in organizational leadership and supervision to Gary McQuay, of Gary, Ind., who had completed more than 85 percent of the degree requirements before his death. McQuay died on Aug. 15 at age 24.

Writer: Amy Patterson-Neubert, (765) 494-9723,

Sources: Sally Frost Mason, (765) 494-9709,

Andrew Weiner, (765) 494-5574,

Ian Rothwell, (765) 494-7012,

Edward Delp, (765) 494-1740,

Jeffrey Vitter, (765) 494-1730,

Toby Parcel, (765) 494-3661,

John Pezzuto, (765) 494-1368,

Related Web sites:
Story about Toby Parcel's appointment
Story about John Pezzuto's appointment
Story about Jeffrey Vitter's appointment

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