Rance Cleaveland Named Associate Dean for Research for UMD’s College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences

This article is republished from CMNS website.

University of Maryland Department of Computer Science Professor Rance Cleaveland has been named associate dean for research in the University of Maryland’s College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences (CMNS), effective immediately.

Cleaveland, who also has joint appointments in the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies and the Institute for Systems Research, joined UMD in 2005 and served as executive and scientific director of the Fraunhofer Center for Experimental Software Engineering from 2005 to 2014. From 2018 to 2022, he worked as director of the Division of Computing and Communication Foundations (CCF) at the National Science Foundation (NSF).

“Rance has always excelled at bringing together teams of outstanding researchers for high-impact projects and he will be a true asset to the CMNS leadership team,” said CMNS Dean Amitabh Varshney. “His recent role as NSF division director further expanded his view of the broad science funding landscape and his ability to help us identify new and important research directions for the college.”

As associate dean for research, Cleaveland will help grow the college’s annual sponsored research funding, which currently exceeds $200 million. He will also lead the college to higher levels of research excellence and national prominence and launch new initiatives. He will work closely with the college’s leadership team, as well as department chairs and research institute and center directors, to enhance all academic, research, entrepreneurial and service activities.

“I am honored to be able to serve the college in this position,” Cleaveland said. “I look forward to working with Dean Varshney, with the CMNS units and researchers, and with other stakeholders across campus to further enhance our college’s already outstanding record of impactful and influential research.”

Cleaveland’s personal research focuses on developing theoretical and applied methods for validating and verifying computer code, software packages and computing devices. He is a leading scholar in software systems, having published more than 150 papers in this area. He also serves on several journal editorial boards and is co-founder and steering committee member of the International Conference on Tools and Algorithms for the Construction and Analysis of Systems, a leading conference in his research area.

Cleaveland received his M.S. and Ph.D. in computer science from Cornell University in 1985 and 1987, respectively, and his B.S. in mathematics and computer science from Duke University in 1982. Before arriving at UMD, Cleaveland held faculty positions at Stony Brook University and North Carolina State University.

Cleaveland assumes the role previously held by Wolfgang Losert from 2014 to 2022. During this time, Losert helped grow the CMNS research enterprise to over $200 million in annual sponsored research funding. He also led efforts to launch the Science Academy and its first two professional master’s programs in data science and machine learning, worked to establish a professional-track faculty promotion policy, and helped develop a graduate student program with the Max Planck Institute.


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