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Information and Telecommunication Technology Center names acting director

Thursday, October 1, 2009

LAWRENCE — Perry Alexander, professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Kansas, has been named acting director of KU’s Information and Telecommunication Technology Center. Alexander served as director of ITTC’s Information Assurance and Computer Systems Design labs before his interim appointment.

Alexander succeeds Joseph Evans, the Deane E. Ackers Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, who is taking a leave of absence from KU to continue his entrepreneurial work on the Tactical Ground Reporting System for the federal government, a multimedia reporting system for soldiers on the ground, allowing users to collect and share information. Alexander and Evans worked closely together in garnering federal distinction for the university’s dedication to cyber security research and education. The designation was awarded in May.

“Perry’s leadership in our effort to become National Center for Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education showcased his unique abilities,” said Evans. “He is an exceptional researcher and a dedicated mentor. His successful spin-off company, Cadstone, provides him with unique insights into commercialization. He is an excellent choice to advance the ITTC mission of research, education and technology transfer.”

Priorities for Alexander include the continued development of new faculty and an improved response time to novel research opportunities. In the last five years, nine new faculty researchers have brought a wealth of youth, talent and diversity to ITTC. Good mentoring will be critical to their success, said Alexander. The addition of proficient researchers must be coupled with an enhanced laboratory structure. According to Alexander, a more adaptable infrastructure will give ITTC researchers greater flexibility when addressing new challenges and opportunities for the university, state and nation.

“I am honored to step in as acting director at this exciting time for ITTC,” Alexander said. “We have tremendous new investigators with budding research programs. While working with them, we will continue supporting our established researchers and their efforts. Toward this end, we will adjust the internal ITTC laboratory infrastructure to help our researchers focus on potential new challenges such as green energy and information security.”

Alexander is the principal architect of Rosetta, a system-level design language that allows different parts of electronic systems to communicate with each other. The technology was spun-out in 2001 as a Kansas startup company — Cadstone — that is now a Lawrence-based provider of language-based system-level design tools and services.

Alexander earned bachelor’s degrees in electrical engineering and computer science and master’s and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering from KU. After seven years on the faculty at the University of Cincinnati, Alexander returned to his alma mater in 1999 as an associate professor and principal investigator with ITTC. He was promoted to full professor in 2005. Alexander has published more than 100 refereed papers, has won 15 teaching awards and presented numerous invited talks.

Evans served as ITTC director since August 2008 and acting director from 1999 to 2000. He came to KU in 1989, following a postdoctoral appointment with AT&T Bell Laboratories. From 2003 to 2005, Evans was a program director at the National Science Foundation in its Directorate of Computer and Information Science and Engineering. Upon returning to KU, he was director of research information technology for the university until he became director of ITTC.

Contact: Michelle Ward, Information and Telecommunication Technology Center, (785) 864-4776 

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