Mason announces College of Engineering and Computing

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Mason has nearly 5,000 undergraduate students majoring in computer science, computer engineering, information technology, information systems and operations management, cybersecurity and systems engineering—substantially more than Virginia’s other public universities. Mason also leads in master’s students with more than 1,100 enrolled in those disciplines. Including other computing-intensive fields, such as data sciences and game design, pushes the number up even higher.

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The George Mason University Board of Visitors voted Thursday, Oct. 1, to house the new School of Computing and the existing Volgenau School of Engineering in a newly formed College of Engineering and Computing led by Ken Ball, the current dean of the Volgenau School of Engineering.

These organizational changes next need to be reviewed by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. The School of Computing and the Volgenau School will be led by two interim divisional deans until the search for permanent divisional deans is completed.

The School of Computing will provide a wide array of computing and related courses to students from all backgrounds and at all levels. Beginning with Computer Science, Information Sciences and Technology, and Statistics, the school will eventually include multidisciplinary programs created in collaboration with faculty in Mason’s other colleges who have an interest in teaching and conducting research related to computing.

“The Volgenau School of Engineering has greatly benefited over its history from its strong ties to computing,” said Dean Ken Ball. “The visionaries who founded the engineering school at Mason grounded in computing and information technology would be proud of its evolution and growth as it becomes the new College of Engineering and Computing.”

Many see computing and digital fluency as central to every other discipline and every aspect of business and society, and envision endless opportunities for collaboration with experts in the humanities, health care and business.  

The launch of the School of Computing leverages investments from the Commonwealth of Virginia that were driven by Amazon’s decision to locate its East Coast headquarters in nearby Crystal City. With these investments, the university has an unprecedented opportunity to play a leadership role in shaping the future of computing regionally, nationally, and globally while also enhancing economic prosperity and the quality of life for residents in the region and beyond.

“Interdisciplinary collaboration in research and education is a key component of our vision and strategic plan for the future,” said Sanjeev Setia, professor and associate dean for computing programs and initiatives in the Volgenau School of Engineering. “The creation of the School of Computing will elevate the profile of computing both within Mason as well as externally. The School of Computing provides an opportunity to strengthen our rich portfolio of computing programs.”