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Incoming Provost to Deliver Keynote at Annual Symposium

Monday, June 21, 2010

Provost Jeffrey Vitter Jeffrey Vitter, professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University and incoming provost and executive vice chancellor at the University of Kansas, will present a keynote address at the 21st Annual Symposium on Combinatorial Pattern Matching.

The symposium, whose proceedings are part of the Springer series on Lecture Notes in Computer Science, will take place June 21–23 in New York City. It is the premier conference worldwide on the subject of pattern matching, and it investigates a variety of topics in bioinformatics, coding and data compression, data mining, string algorithms, and text search.

Vitter’s address, Compression, Indexing, and Retrieval for Massive String Data deals with the intersection of two fields he helped found: compressed data structures and external memory algorithms. In compressed data structures, the goal is to operate directly on compressed representations of data, yet still achieve fast response time. For example, in the 1990s, the state-of-the-art methods to support fast pattern matching in a given string required an index structure many times larger than the string data it was indexing. Research over the last 12 years has reduced the index size to a fraction of the string data size, and in addition, the indexing structure can reproduce the original data at will, so the original data can be discarded. In the external memory setting, the problem instances considered involve massive amounts of data, and the challenge is to design algorithms that avoid a bottleneck in I/O communication.

Vitter recently published a reference book in the field, Algorithms and Data Structures for External Memory.

Information on the symposium is available online at http://cs.nyu.edu/parida/CPM2010/ .

About Provost Vitter:

Jeff Vitter is the incoming provost and executive vice chancellor at the University of Kansas. He is currently a professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University, where he served from 2008 to 2009 as provost and executive vice president for academics. From 2002 to 2008, Vitter served as the Frederick L. Hovde Dean of Science at Purdue University. From 1993 to 2002, Vitter held a distinguished professorship at Duke University, as the Gilbert, Louis, and Edward Lehrman Professor of Computer Science. He was department chair from 1993 to 2001 and co-director and a founding member of the Center for Geometric and Biological Computing from 1997 to 2002. From 1980 to 1992, he progressed through the faculty ranks at Brown University.

His educational degrees include a BS with highest honors in mathematics from the University of Notre Dame in 1977, a doctorate in computer science under Don Knuth from Stanford University in 1980, and an MBA from Duke in 2002. He was born and raised in New Orleans.

Vitter is a Guggenheim Fellow, an ACM Fellow, an IEEE Fellow, an AAAS Fellow, an NSF Presidential Young Investigator, and a Fulbright Scholar. He has over 280 book, journal, conference, and patent publications, primarily on how to process massive amounts of information. His Google Scholar h-index is 57. His most recent book examines external memory algorithms, a field he helped found. He is co-holder of patents in the areas of external sorting, parallel I/O, prediction, and approximate data structures. He proposed the concept and participated in the design of the Indiana Database for University Research Expertise, www.indure.org.

Vitter serves on the Board of Advisors for the School of Science and Engineering at Tulane University, and from 2000 to 2009 he served on the Board of Directors of the Computing Research Association, where he continues to co-chair the Government Affairs Committee. He has served as chair of ACM SIGACT and on the executive council of the EATCS, as well as on numerous review committees. Sabbatical sites have included MSRI, INRIA (Rocquencourt, France), Ecole Normale Supérieure (Paris), Bell Labs, and INRIA (Sophia Antipolis, France).


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