Zvi Galil

Georgia Tech Dean of the College of Computing

Lecture Information:
  • March 1, 2024
  • 4:00 AM
  • ECS: 241

Speaker Bio

“Zvi Galil was born in Tel-Aviv, Israel. He earned BS and MS degrees in Applied Mathematics from Tel Aviv University, both summa cum laude. He then obtained a PhD in Computer Science from Cornell University. After a post-doctorate in IBM’s Thomas J. Watson research center, he returned to Israel and joined the faculty of Tel-Aviv University. He served as the chair of the Computer Science department in 1979-1982.
In 1982 he joined the faculty of Columbia University. He served as the chair of the Computer Science Department in 1989-1994 and as dean of The Fu Foundation School of Engineering & Applied Science in 1995-2007. Galil was appointed Julian Clarence Levi Professor of Mathematical Methods and Computer Science in 1987, and Morris and Alma A. Schapiro Dean of Engineering in 1995. In 2007 Galil returned to Tel Aviv University and served as president. In 2009 he resigned as president and returned to the faculty as a professor of Computer Science. In July 2010 he became The John P. Imlay, Jr. Dean of Computing at Georgia Tech.
Dr. Galil’s research areas have been the design and analysis of algorithms, complexity, cryptography and experimental design. In 1983-1987 he served as chairman of ACM SIGACT, the Special Interest Group of Algorithms and Computation Theory. He has written over 200 scientific papers, edited 5 books, and has given more than 150 lectures in 20 countries. Galil has served as editor in chief of two journals and as the chief computer science adviser in the United States to the Oxford University Press. He is a fellow of the ACM and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. In 2008 Columbia University established the Zvi Galil Award for Improvement in Engineering Student Life. In 2009 the Columbia Society of Graduates awarded him the Great Teacher Award. In 2012 the University of Waterloo awarded him an honorary doctorate in mathematics. “


In May 2013, Georgia Tech together with its partners — Udacity and AT&T — announced a new Online Master degree in Computer Science based on massively open online courses (MOOCs). A complete degree will cost less than $7000 compared to over $40,000 in public universities and over $70,000 in private universities. The program was launched in January of 2014. It is the first of its kind. The reaction to this program has been unprecedented — there have been more than 600 distinct news articles about it. President Obama mentioned it twice. It was described to potentially be a “game changer” and “the first real step in the transformation of higher education in the US.” We intentionally started with small enrollment of about 400. There are currently about 1200 students in the program. This number is expected to exceed 2000 in the Spring. We are scaling the program gradually.The talk will describe the new program, how it came about, its first 3 semesters and what we’ve learned from them.