Professor Coutras Takes the Reins as New Computer Science Chair in New York City

In order for the reader to get to know Professor Coutras a little better, we asked him a few questions about his background, interests, goals for the school, and personal assessment about the direction of computer science.

Q:

How long have you been at Pace? What is your professional background? Which courses do you teach? And what are your past and current research interests?

A:

I have been at Pace for 10 years now, since September 2000. Before that I taught at DePaul University in Chicago as a visiting faculty member. And before joining academia, I worked for Motorola in Chicago as a senior software engineer.

I currently teach Computer Networking, Telecommunications and Computer and Network Security. In the past, I also taught Computer Architecture.

My research interest is in performance evaluation of communication protocols. I am also interested in cryptography and lately in complexity theory.

Q:

What motivated you to seek the position of chair?

A:

Mainly, it was my great desire to serve. After chairing the CS curriculum committee for a few years, I saw this as the next step in order to have a greater impact on the future of the department.

Q:

What in particular would you like to accomplish during your tenure as chair?

A:

I hope to facilitate the updating and strengthening of our existing programs, develop new interdisciplinary programs, and increase the enrollment in all of these programs. I would also like to promote a stronger sense of community within our school.

Q:

Where do you see the field of computer science/computing going? What, in your opinion, are the most exciting new areas and why?

A:

Computer science is a very dynamic field. It started out as a branch of mathematics, then focused heavily on computer programming (which has since become a new branch of its own, software engineering) and now appears to be heading towards informatics, the science of storing, retrieving, manipulating and presenting data. An example is bioinformatics, a new discipline in which traditional computer science meets biology. This has allowed for great advancements in the study of the genome. Computer science is also influenced by other sciences through informatics.