Concepts familiar from grade-school algebra have broad ramifications in computer science.
Dr. M.S. Vijay Kumar, director of academic computing, has been appointed assistant provost and director of academic computing. The appointment was announced by Provost Robert A. Brown and Vice President for Information Systems James D. Bruce.
"Vijay's new title speaks to the scope and Institute-wide importance of the duties that he has assumed over the past three years," Professor Brown said. "In addition to directing Information Systems' Academic Computing Practice, which promotes and enables the use of information technology in the Institute's educational programs, Vijay has become a key participant in providing strategic guidance in the development of our infrastructure and initiatives for the application of technology to education. This appointment formalizes his broader role."
In his new position, Dr. Kumar will continue to direct the Information Systems' Academic Computing Practice and serve as a member of its leadership team. In addition, he will serve as co-director of the Educational Media Creation Center (EMCC), as a member of the Council on Educational Technology (MITCET), and as a member of the steering committee of the MIT-Microsoft Alliance's Project I-Campus.
Through these roles, Dr. Kumar will continue to coordinate and direct academic computing activities and services for the effective use of information technology in MIT's educational programs. In addition, he also influences the Institute's strategic focus on educational technology and promotes the effective integration of information technology in MIT education through his work.
Before coming to MIT as director of academic computing in June 1996, he served as the associate director for computing and information systems and director of academic computing at Mt. Holyoke College.
Dr. Kumar's experience includes a project for the scalable deployment and management of workstations using Microsoft's NT operating system, advanced visualization initiatives, an on-line curriculum development effort for international relations faculty, a technology seminar series for faculty to explore the transformations in pedagogy and scholarship through the use of information technology, and the development of Maine's Instructional Telecommunication Project. He has taught in the areas of future studies, instructional computing and data communications.
Dr. Kumar has served as chair of the governing boards of the Seminars on Academic Computing and the the New England Regional Computing Program, and as a member of the board of trustees of the Corporation for Research and Educational Networking. He has also served on advisory groups for Apple Computer and the National Institute for Information Technology, and has participated in the work of EDUCAUSE, the Common Solutions Group, and the American Association for Higher Education's Teaching, Learning and Technology Group. He has also consulted for universities and international agencies and made frequent presentations on the use of technology in education.
Dr. Kumar received the bachelor of technology degree in chemical engineering in 1975 and the MS in industrial management in 1978, both from the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras, India. The University of Massachusetts at Amherst awarded him the EdD in 1986 for research work in introducing innovations in education.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on October 27, 1999.