Shih-Fu Chang, Donald Goldfarb, and Christopher Scholz Elected to National Academy of Engineering
Shih-Fu Chang, Dean of Columbia Engineering and Morris A. and Alma Schapiro Professor of Engineering, and Donald Goldfarb, Alexander and Hermine Avanessians Professor of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research (IEOR), have been elected to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering (NAE).
The NAE also elected Christopher H. Scholz, Professor Emeritus of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics, and PhD alumna Regina Barzilay, who graduated from Columbia Engineering with a PhD in computer science and is now a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT.
“I extend my congratulations to Dean Chang, Professor Goldfarb and Professor Scholz on their election to the National Academy of Engineering,” said Mary C. Boyce, Provost of Columbia University, who served as dean of Columbia Engineering from 2013 to 2021. “This recognition reflects the significant foundational contributions each has made to their respective field. We also congratulate our PhD alumna Professor Barzilay of MIT who was elected this year as well, further showcasing the deep and wide-ranging scholarly excellence of Columbia Engineering.”
Chang was named dean of the engineering school in 2022 after serving as interim dean. At Columbia Engineering, he leads the School’s education, research, and innovation mission, and directs the development of cross-disciplinary initiatives and research collaborations. He has greatly contributed to the growth and advancement of the School, propelling it to be one of the top engineering programs in the nation and has played a key role in developing the School’s guiding vision, Columbia Engineering for Humanity.
A highly influential expert in multimedia, computer vision and artificial intelligence, his research has led to a number of spinoff companies and licensed technology in multimedia search. The image search tools developed by his group have been used by law enforcement agencies in fighting online human trafficking crimes. He has also developed AI tools for online disinformation detection and attribution.
In addition to his election to the NAE, Chang is a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Association for Computing Machinery, and IEEE, and an elected member of Academia Sinica. He received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Amsterdam and the Great Teacher Award from the Society of Columbia Graduates. He is the inaugural director for Columbia Center of AI Technology in collaboration with Amazon. He received his BS from National Taiwan University in 1985 and his PhD from the University of California-Berkeley in 1993.
Goldfarb, the Alexander and Hermine Avanessians Professor of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, has served as acting dean of Columbia Engineering from 1994 to 1995, executive vice dean from 2011 to 2012, and interim dean from 2012 to 2013. He has been a faculty member since 1982, and was chair of the IEOR department from 1984 to 2002.
His teaching and research interests include algorithms for linear, quadratic, semidefinite, convex and general nonlinear programming, network flows, large sparse systems, and applications in robust optimization, imaging, machine learning, and finance. He won the John von Neumann Theory Prize of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) in 2017 for his contributions to the field that are “exceptionally broad, very influential, and long-lasting.”
His many other honors include the Institute for Operations Research and Management Sciences Prize for Research Excellence in the interface between operations research and computer science, and the 1999 Great Teachers Award from the Society of Columbia Graduates. In 2014, Thomson Reuters named him one of the World's Most Influential Scientific Minds as one of the 99 most highly cited researchers in mathematics between 2002 and 2012. Goldfarb, who has published more than 100 technical papers and served on the editorial boards of several journals, earned a BChE from Cornell in 1963 and MA and PhD from Princeton in 1965 and 1966, respectively.
Christopher H. Scholz
Also among the new NAE cohort is Christopher H. Scholz, Professor Emeritus of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics, an expert on earthquakes who was among the first to combine geological engineering and physics to understand the processes behind tectonic plates and the formation of earthquakes. He is author of the authoritative text, “The Mechanics of Earthquakes and Faulting” (2002), as well as more than 250 papers. He received the Murchison Medal from the Geological Society of London in 2005 and the Harry Fielding Reid Medal from the Seismological Society of America in 2016. Sholz earned a BS in Geological Engineering from the University of Nevada in 1964 and a PhD in Rock Mechanics from MIT in 1967.
Regina Barzilay was also honored with election to the NAE. She is the Distinguished Professor for AI and Health in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, and a member of the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab. She is also AI Faculty Lead at MIT’s Jameel Clinic, a center focused on machine learning and health. Her research focuses on machine learning models for molecular modeling with applications in drug discovery and clinical AI, as well as natural language processing. In 2017, she received a MacArthur fellowship, an ACL fellowship, and an AAAI fellowship. She received her undergraduate degree from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel, and her PhD in Computer Science from Columbia University.
The NAE is part of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, dedicated to advancing the technological welfare of the nation through education, research, and recognizing the superior contributions made by engineers. This year, the NAE elected 106 members and 18 international members.