Andrew Moore, dean of Carnegie Mellon University's School of Computer Science, has appointed Srinivasan Seshan head of the Computer Science Department, the school's oldest and largest department, effective July 1.
He succeeds Frank Pfenning, who will return to full-time teaching and research.
"I'm sorry that Frank has decided to step down, because he's done an excellent job leading the Computer Science Department for the past five years," Moore said. "It's great that he will be able to spend more time teaching and doing research.
"Likewise, we are all excited about Srini Seshan's new role as head of CSD," he added. "He is an outstanding researcher and teacher, and I'm confident that his expanded role in leadership will help the department reach even greater heights."
Seshan joined the CSD faculty in 2000. He served as the department's associate head for graduate education from 2011 through 2015.
His research focuses on improving the design, performance and security of computer networks, including wireless and mobile networks. He and his research group have developed ways to more efficiently transfer video content over the internet, and have worked on new architectures that would make the internet more trustworthy and better able to evolve as technology changes.
His most recent project — Elastic Placement, Posture and Performance (EP3) — explores a flexible approach to securing our computing and networking infrastructure. EP3 enhances network security by enabling firewalls, intrusion detection and other security components to be deployed in ways that can change over time, making our networks less vulnerable to attack.
Seshan earned his bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in computer science at the University of California, Berkeley. He worked as a research staff member at IBM's T.J. Watson Research Center for five years before joining Carnegie Mellon.
In addition to a number of best paper awards at professional conferences, his honors include the three-year Finmeccanica Career Development Professorship in Computer Science, which supports outstanding young SCS faculty members; two IBM Faculty Partnership Awards; and the National Science Foundation's Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award — the agency's most prestigious award for junior faculty.
The Computer Science Department, founded in 1965, is one of seven SCS departments. It has a broad set of research programs including theory, programming languages, systems, networks and security. Initially, CSD educated only Ph.D. students, but now has master's degree programs and has performed the bulk of the teaching for undergraduate computer science majors since that program was begun in 1989.
In U.S. News and World Report's latest rankings of graduate schools, SCS tied at number one overall and was the top-rated program in artificial intelligence.