CS Founding Chair Creates Blueprint for Department

Gerald M. Masson

Gerald M. Masson

In recognition of its 30th anniversary, the Department of Computer Science has established a lecture series in honor of founding chair, Dr. Gerald M. Masson. It was his tenacity and visionary leadership which paved the way for the department’s current success and prominence.

“Throughout his career, Gerry Masson was a creator. His vision for our department serves as its cornerstone. Gerry  saw, long before many others, the key role computer science would play in people’s lives,” said Yair Amir, current chair of the department. “We continue to build on that vision and his contributions, as we work to develop an even deeper appreciation and understanding of the incredibly powerful impact computer science plays in nearly every aspect of human life.”

Gerald Masson

Gerald M. Masson

In the mid-1980s, Gerry spearheaded efforts to form a Department of Computer Science that was separate from the existing Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. His vision was realized and the Department of Computer Science was established on October 1, 1986. He served as chair of the new department for 15 years. In 2001, he brought to JHU a new field of study – information security – and founded the JHU Information Security Institute.

“Gerry has shaped the foundations of computer science and information security at Johns Hopkins, two fields which are exploding and will influence our world in new and unforeseen ways in years to come,” said Anton Dahbura, executive director at JHUISI. “The lecture series is just one way that we are honoring his legacy.”

The Gerald M. Masson Distinguished Lecture Series will bring four leading computer science researchers to Johns Hopkins’ Homewood campus throughout the academic year to talk about important topics in the field.

The inaugural series will kick off with Mark D. Hill, Gene M. Amdahl and John P. Morgridge Professor of Computer Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, on Tuesday, Nov. 8 at 10:30 a.m. in Hackerman Hall B-17. For more information on the lecture series and other events related to the 30th anniversary celebration, please see the anniversary website.