Cambridge, Mass. – Aug. 28, 2015 - Margo Seltzer, Herschel Smith Professor of Computer Science at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), has been named director of the Center for Research on Computation and Society (CRCS).

CRCS was established in 2005 to bring together an interdisciplinary team of researchers to conduct cutting-edge computer science research that serves the pubic interest. The center began by addressing issues in security and privacy, but its mission has broadened in recent years to address areas such as health care informatics, technology and accessibility, automated and reproducible data analysis, and computational game theory.

Seltzer is excited to assume the role of faculty director of CRCS, which embodies the outward-facing nature of computer science at Harvard. “Computing has changed how we live, but it has done so at a breakneck pace,” Seltzer said. “CRCS gives us the opportunity to ask important questions about the role of technology in our society and how, as researchers, we can tackle technically challenging problems whose solutions can make the world a better place.”

As director, she plans to continue enhancing the international reputation of the center’s postdoctoral and visiting fellowship programs. She also intends to pursue new academic initiatives that will involve more undergraduate students in CRCS research projects. In the longer term, Seltzer hopes to establish an interdisciplinary master’s program centered on computer science and public policy.

She is currently preparing for the inaugural CRCS Symposium, “Societal Impact through Computing Research,” which will be held on Sept. 25. The event, which celebrates the center’s 10-year anniversary, features past CRCS fellows, former students of Harvard College, colleagues from around the University, and distinguished guests from outside Harvard who will speak on computing’s role in health care, education, government, and security. Interactive breakout sessions will enable attendees to delve deeper into specific topics of interest.

“We want the symposium to produce tangible outcomes,” Seltzer said. “It would be wonderful if these conversations lead to new projects, new directions, or new collaborations.”

Online registration for the symposium is available through the CRCS website.