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DARPA specialist to lead Pitt's School of Computing and Information

| Monday, May 8, 2017, 11:57 a.m.
University of Pittsburgh has hired Paul R. Cohen to head its new School of Information and Computing. Cohen is a program manager in the Information Innovation Office at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. He starts Aug. 1.

A program manager specializing in artificial intelligence with DARPA will lead Pitt's investment in big data and the computing requirements to analyze it.

Paul R. Cohen was named the founding dean of University of Pittsburgh's new School of Computing and Information , Pitt announced Monday.

Cohen is a program manager in the Information Innovation Office at the military Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

“Paul is a visionary leader who will quickly drive our School of Computing and Information to the forefront of academic excellence,” Pitt Chancellor Patrick Gallagher said in a statement. “He is also an expert collaborator and a leading authority on utilizing data, technology and information in new ways to solve some of the most challenging and complex issues facing society today.”

At DARPA, Cohen worked on projects to help computers better communicate with humans and to collect, analyze and use information to assist with national and global security and to learn more about cancer.

Read Cohen's DARPA profile here .

Cohen's research focuses on artificial intelligence and its uses for language, including how robots and computers learn the meanings of words and phrases.

Cohen was a professor and founding director of the School of Information at the University of Arizona, where he taught from 2008 until he joined DARPA in 2013. He has worked at the University of Southern California and the University of Massachusetts.

Pitt established the School of Computing and Information in October. It opens July 1. Cohen starts Aug. 1. The first students will enroll this fall.

RELATED: Aiming for funding boost, Pitt hires senior vice chancellor for research

Aaron Aupperlee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at, 412-336-8448 or via Twitter @tinynotebook.

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