Keith Edwards

(ICS 89, MS ICS 91, Ph.D. CS 95)

Professor and Director of GVU

What were the circumstances of your coming to work at the College of Computing?

I’d been on the west coast, working at Xerox PARC, for about a decade.  Like many of the industrial pure-research labs at the time, their focus started to shift toward commercialization and more applied research, so I decided it was time for a change. I was very fortunate to be able to transition back into an academic position!

Prior to this, had you ever thought about coming back to work at GT Computing?

Never!  After going straight through undergrad-Masters-Ph.D. I’d decided I was done with academia for a while; it took about 10 years for that to wear off.  🙂

What’s one of your favorite memories from your time as a student?

I was in an *amazing* cohort of students when I was in grad school, not only brilliant people, but we had a strong social network as well.

How has the College changed since you were a student?

It’s much bigger, for one thing.  There are upsides and downsides to this.  In the early days it felt like everyone knew everyone else, and there were fewer walls between the different specializations.

How is GT Computing different than similar institutions?

I’ve always thought GT Computing was incredible in its intellectual diversity (beyond just what we might think of as “core” computer science), and that these other aspects of computing are so valued.  Not every place is like this…

What do you carry with you from your time as a student that still informs/influences your personal/professional life?

Like I said, intellectual diversity and interdisciplinarity are some of the hallmarks of GT Computing, and that’s influenced my career greatly.  While I consider myself an HCI person, I’ve done a lot of work involving cybersecurity, computer networking, hardware, and other areas, so I’ve tried to reflect those values in my own career.

How would you like to see the college grow in the next decade?

I’d like to see the intellectual diversity in the college accompanied by other forms of diversity, which have perhaps not been so strong.  We’re making progress in this area, but there’s still a long way to go.