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Neal G. Moore
IU School of Informatics

Last modified: Tuesday, July 10, 2007

New leadership begins at IU School of Informatics

July 10, 2007

Robert Schnabel

Robert Schnabel

Print-Quality Photo

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Robert B. Schnabel, an acclaimed computer scientist and researcher, assumed leadership of the Indiana University School of Informatics on July 1. Schnabel succeeds J. Michael Dunn, who retired June 30, but remains with the school as dean emeritus.

Schnabel comes to IU from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he served most recently as vice provost/associate vice chancellor for academic and campus technology, and professor of computer science. Schnabel also was the founding director of the Alliance for Technology, Learning and Society (ATLAS) Institute.

"The School of Informatics is at a very special time in its young life where it has great potential, and is unusually welcoming of new leadership that will help it prioritize, set and reach goals, attract resources, and ultimately excel in education and research," Schnabel said. "It is a wonderful opportunity to work with an excellent group of faculty and staff to move forward in these directions."

Schnabel assumes leadership of the university's newest school, which offers academic programs at IU campuses at Bloomington, Indianapolis, South Bend, Southeast (New Albany) and Kokomo. The informatics program also has been approved for IU campuses at Northwest (Gary) and East (Richmond).

Established in 2000, the School of Informatics, which includes the Department of Computer Science (Bloomington) and the New Media Program (IUPUI), has 1,500 undergraduate and graduate students and more than 1,100 alumni.

"The School of Informatics has a combination of size, breadth and quality in the broad areas of computing and information technology, applications and implications that is unparalleled in this country," Schnabel said.

As dean, Schnabel said he recognizes that informatics underlies most, if not all, of the most important areas to the economy of Indiana, as well as many of the academic priorities of IU.

"It plays a crucial role in the life science and health areas, as well as all other areas of science and business, and also in the arts, media and so many areas of everyday life," Schnabel said.

Schnabel lauded what he called an excellent base of faculty and staff in a multi-campus setup that facilitates opportunities in both Bloomington and Indianapolis.

"The school is uniquely positioned to provide national leadership in the broad area of informatics and computer science education, research and service," said Schnabel. "This is a critically important area to the state of Indiana, the nation and world. I look forward to working with the excellent multi-campus faculty, staff and students of the School, in strong partnership with the IU and Indiana communities."

Indiana University President Michael McRobbie offered these remarks at the time of Schnabel's appointment as dean.

"Professor Schnabel not only brings to IU an outstanding record of research and academic accomplishment in the field of informatics, but also a penetrating vision of how new technologies can accelerate the expansion of knowledge in virtually every discipline. He is ideally suited to provide the leadership we need in this vital arena. I am also personally pleased to welcome someone to IU with such a demonstrated commitment to diversity," McRobbie said.

Schnabel has held a number of positions at the University of Colorado prior to his current roles. He was the associate dean for academic affairs, College of Engineering and Applied Science, and chair of the Department of Computer Science. His research and teaching interests include numerical computation, parallel computation, applications to molecular chemistry, and diversifying participation in computing and information technology, both in the areas of education and workforce development.

A recipient of numerous teaching and professional awards, Schnabel has led three major campus-wide information technology strategic planning initiatives at the University of Colorado since 1998, leading to many significant administrative and academic innovations on the Boulder campus. As founding director of the ATLAS Institute, he has led the development of a campus-wide program providing multidisciplinary curriculum, research, and outreach programs that integrate information technology with a wide variety of disciplines and people, both inside and outside the university, including the recently opened $31 million ATLAS Building. Through ATLAS, he has been particularly active in programs aimed at broadening the participation of women and under-represented minorities in computing.

Schnabel has been principal investigator or co-principal investigator on research projects representing more than $30 million in research funding from the National Science Foundation, the Army Research Office, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and other organizations.

He has served as associate editor or co-editor of five journals and on many professional committees and boards. Currently he serves as editor-in-chief of SIAM Review, the flagship journal of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. Schnabel is on the board of directors of the Computing Research Association and serves as chair of the Information Technology Deans group of CRA and of the Education Policy Committee of the Association for Computing Machinery. He is co-founder and a member of the executive team of the National Center for Women & Information Technology, and is active in a number of committees and alliances involving minority-serving institutions.

Schnabel earned his doctorate and master's degrees in computer science from Cornell University and his undergraduate degree in mathematics from Dartmouth College.

For more information or to arrange an interview with Schnabel, contact Neal G. Moore at 317-278-9208 or