Chair's Welcome

Chunming Qiao, Professor and Chair

Welcome to the Computer Science and Engineering Department (CSE) at the University at Buffalo.  As Chair of CSE, I would like to share with you some highlights of our department: our world class faculty and research centers, flexible degree program options, successful alumni, and great job markets.

UB started offering computing as an academic discipline in 1967 and was one of the first universities to offer degree programs in this field anywhere in the world.  We just celebrated 40 years of excellence in research and education, with year-round talks by our distinguished alumni and a special two day event.  Information, computing and communication technologies pervade nearly all aspects of today’s digital society and will continue in the decades ahead to be of critical importance to the nation’s technological infrastructure.  We are proud of the accomplishments of our many alumni, including among them prize-winning researchers and CEOs of some of the fastest-growing information technology companies.

CSE faculty perform world-class research in basic theory, software and hardware, and are recipients of numerous national and international awards.  They serve on the editorial boards of over 30 prestigious journals, including Fellows of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), American Association for Artificial Intelligence, Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineering (IEEE), International Association for Pattern Recognition (IAPR), and American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS).   In a recent survey by the National Science Foundation, we were ranked 21st nationwide for funding in computer sciences. You can learn more about current CSE research activities by reviewing our newsletters.

CSE faculty have founded and presently direct major centers devoted to biomedical computing, biometric systems, cognitive science, document analysis and recognition, information assurance, and high performance computing.  Other major areas of research include optical and wireless networks, computer security, databases, algorithms, theory, and software and hardware systems.  I would like to highlight two major achievements of our faculty:

  • CSE professors Sargur Srihari and Venu Govindaraju are internationally renowned for their research in pattern recognition and document analysis.  Pioneers in the science and technology of automated handwriting recognition, they have developed software for machine reading of handwritten addresses that has saved the U.S. Postal Service over $1 billion in a span of a few years and sped the flow of mail.
  • CSE professor Russ Miller, along with the late Nobel Laureate Herbert Hauptman, developed an algorithm for crystal structure determination that is ranked by the leading professional organization IEEE as one of the top algorithms of the 20th century.  Miller helped establish at UB one of the leading academic supercomputing centers in the world.

The CSE department is deeply committed to providing the highest quality undergraduate and graduate education.  Many of our faculty have been recognized for outstanding teaching by the university, including the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence.  The CSE department offers three programs at the undergraduate level:  the BA and BS degree programs in Computer Science and the BS in Computer Engineering.  The design of these degree programs takes into account the highest national standards for computing curricula set by the ACM and IEEE Computer Societies and the international computer engineering/computer science education accreditation board, ABET.  We also offer PhD and MS programs. 

Outstanding computer scientists and engineers have graduated from our department:

  • Carl Kesselman (BA '82) is one of the co-inventors of ‘grid computing’, the most promising development in high-performance computing today.
  • Robin Li (MS '94) is the founder and CEO of, the leading search engine in China (the Chinese equivalent of Google).
  • Max Nikias (PhD '82) is the eleventh president of the University of Southern California.
  • Bruce Shriver (PhD '71) is a past president of the IEEE Computer Society.
  • Reid Simmons (BA '79) is a research professor at Carnegie-Mellon University working in the exciting field of social robotics.

The CSE department offers many opportunities to expand your intellectural horizons through out distinguished-lecture series, student clubs, and innovative projects in our advanced courses and at our research centers.  I would like to make a special mention of our unique software engineering and engineering design courses, where students develop software and hardware tools for building experimental devices that are used by disabled individuals and their caregivers.  The department is thus a leader in bringing socially relevant projects into the CSE curriculum.

In closing, I hope you enjoy our website and welcome you to the Department of Computer Science and Engineering.

Sincerely, and with best wishes,

Chunming Qiao
Professor and Chair