Cornell Bowers College of Computing and Information Science
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Alvisi named chair of Department of Computer Science

May 14, 2024

Lorenzo Alvisi, M.S. ’94, Ph.D. ’96, the Tisch University Professor in Computer Science, will be the next chair of the Department of Computer Science in the Cornell Ann S. Bowers College of Computing and Information Science, effective July 1.

“I am delighted to welcome Lorenzo to the leadership team,” said Kavita Bala, dean of Cornell Bowers CIS. “His dedication to both research and teaching excellence makes him an ideal choice to lead this renowned department at this time.”

Alvisi holds a laurea in physics from the University of Bologna, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in computer science from Cornell. Prior to returning to Cornell full time in 2017, he held an Endowed Professorship in Computer Science at the University of Texas at Austin, where he was also a member of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers. 

“As a Cornell Ph.D. myself, I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to lead this vibrant community, where students, staff, and faculty come together every day, each committed, in their own way, to grow, serve, lead, and discover," said Alvisi. “Throughout its history, Cornell CS has redefined the scientific and societal reach of our discipline. As CS keeps challenging us to reimagine our world, Cornell CS is again poised to lead in shaping the future, fully aware of its responsibility to do the greatest good. I can’t think of a more exciting and consequential time in which to serve.”

Alvisi’s research focuses on both foundational and applied aspects of reliable distributed computing. He is well-known for his work on so-called Byzantine fault-tolerant systems. These systems, which lie at the foundation of most of today’s blockchain implementations, are designed to defy Murphy's Law: they must continue to operate correctly even when facing circumstances (whether accidental or coordinated by a malicious adversary) that can cause them to experience arbitrary failures. 

He is a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and was awarded the prestigious Sloan Research Fellowship from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the Humboldt Research Award from Germany’s Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung. In 2017, he co-founded the Cornell, Maryland, Max Planck Pre-doctoral Research Summer School where he continues to serve as co-director. 

Alvisi will succeed Éva Tardos, the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor of Computer Science, who has served as chair since August 2020. Tardos also served as department chair from 2006 to 2010.

“I extend my deepest gratitude to Éva for her outstanding service as chair,” said Bala. “Her unwavering commitment to academic excellence and to fostering an environment of belonging has been instrumental in shaping the department’s success.