Consulting and Professional Activities
Conference and Related Professional Activities
Honors & Awards

Ronald L. Larsen
Dean & Professor

Contact Information:

512 IS Building
135 North Bellefield Avenue
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
Phone: 412-624-5139
Fax: 412-624-5231


B.S. (Engineering Sciences) Purdue University 1968
M.S. (Applied Physics) The Catholic University of America 1971
Ph.D. (Computer Science) University of Maryland College Park 1981


Professional Experience:

7/2002 Present

Dean and Professor, School of Information Sciences
University of Pittsburgh


The Dean is responsible for providing academic and administrative leadership and for articulating a compelling vision of the School's role in information science education and research. The Dean is expected to have a thorough understanding of national trends and issues in information sciences, significant administrative experience, a commitment to fund raising, and experience in developing partnerships both internal and external to the University. The Dean reports directly to the Provost of the University.

4/1999 7/2002
Executive Director
Maryland Applied Information Technology Initiative
  • Statewide initiative to double the enrollments and graduates in core disciplines of information technology (computer science, computer engineering, and electrical engineering) by 2004.

  • A consortium of nine universities, collaborating with Maryland 's community colleges and reaching out to the K-12 sector

    •  University of Maryland College Park
    •  Johns Hopkins University
    •  University of Maryland Baltimore County
    •  University of Maryland Baltimore
    •  University of Maryland University College
    •  Morgan State University
    •  Towson University
    •  Bowie State University
    •  Frostburg State University
    •  University of Baltimore

  • Sponsored by a grant from the Maryland Higher Education Commission ($12.6M awarded since FY 1999), with substantial contributions from Maryland industry (>$3M since FY 1999) and related federal government support (>$10M since FY 1999).

  • Chair, D-Lib Forum Advisory Board ( ), supporting the advancement of technology and information infrastructure for networked digital libraries.
4/2001 7/2002

Deputy Director
Maryland Information and Network Dynamics (MIND) Lab, a component laboratory of the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS)


  • Co-Principal Investigator, DARPA research contract on Information Dynamics (2000-03)

  • Co-Principal Investigator, DARPA research contract on localization technology for mobile ad hoc networks (2001-02)

  • Fundamental and applied research in information architecture and infrastructure supporting information acquisition and dissemination for military intelligence and crisis intervention
4/1996 9/1999

Assistant Director
Information Technology Office
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency  

  • Assistant Director, ITO: head of Intelligent Software Division
  • Approximate budget: $80M/yr
  • Research in human computer interaction, human language systems, distributed collaboration, visualization, software engineering, information management, and digital libraries
  • Program Manager: Translingual Information Detection, Extraction, and Summarization (TIDES)
  • Defined and developed new program approved in February 1999 with 5-year budget over $80M
  • Largest technology development program at DARPA at the time of my departure
  • Research in machine translation, cross-lingual information retrieval, extraction, and summarization
  • Program Manager: Information Management
  • Defined and developed new 5-year program, approved in September 1996, with a budget of approximately $14M/yr at its peak
  • National Digital Library Initiative (DLI and DLI-2, with NSF, NASA, NLM, Library of Congress and several other federal agencies)
  • Research in high performance networked information analysis environments and interoperable repositories
  • Research interests: semantic interoperability among heterogeneous, distributed information systems; information visualization and filtering; translingual information retrieval; registration and security; classification and federation; and distributed service assurance
  • Federal research coordination
  • Executive Director, Tipster Text Processing Program (DARPA, CIA, NSA, NIST)
  • Human Centered Systems (HuCS) working group, National Coordination Office, Committee on Computing, Information and Communications (CIC)
11/1988 4/1996

Associate Director for Information Technology
University of Maryland Libraries

  • Program Director, University-wide Library Information Management System (LIMS), known as Victor
  • Managed the development and operation of fully integrated library automation services to 13 university libraries, statewide
  • Deployed the first university library automation system in the US to fully integrate services across multiple campuses
  • National leadership
  • EDUCOM (chaired Network Resources Committee)
  • Coalition for Networked Information (CNI), founding steering committee member
  • Library of Congress Network Advisory Committe
  • State leadership
  • University leadership
  • University Telecommunications Council
  • University Information Technology Advisory Committee
  • Committee on Academic Computing Policy
  • Campus strategic planning committees on computing
  • University Library Council
9/1985 - Present

Affiliate Associate Professor, Computer Science Department
University of Maryland , College Park

  • Systems Design and Analysis Group
  • Co-Principal Investigator, NASA research grant on autonomous systems (1986-87)
  • Collaboration with Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory on hypertext applications in libraries (1989)
  • Collaboration with SURA on the development of digital library infrastructure among SURA institutions (1991-93)
5/1985 - 11/1988

Assistant Vice Chancellor for Computing
University of Maryland System Administration

  • Provided administrative computing support to UMSA and for University System-wide information integration (staff of 25)
  • Responsible for University-wide planning effort to establish long-term goals and objectives for institutional computing and telecommunications infrastructure
  • Chaired University Telecommunications Committee
      • Established the requirements, specifications, and implementation plan for microwave transmission facilities to western Maryland for distance education
      • Conceived and defined the University of Maryland Intercampus Telecommunications System (UMITS), which later evolved into the current University of Maryland Academic Telecommunications System (UMATS)
  • Chaired University Computing Center Directors coordinating committee (administrative and academic)
10/1980 - 5/1985

Program Manager, Computer Science and Automation
Information Sciences and Human Factors Division
Office of Aeronautics and Space Technology
NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC

  • Program manager for basic and applied research
      • initiated and managed NASA research program in aerospace computer science
      • managed and expanded NASA research programs in artificial intelligence and robotics
      • developed, budgeted, planned, directed, advocated, implemented, and evaluated research and technology program
  • Served on a variety of interagency panels for coordination of government research
      • Research and Development Coordination Panel of the OSTP Federal Coordinating Council for Science, Engineering, and Technology (FCCSET)
      • Rapporteur for the Computer and Information Technology Panel of the Aeronautics/2000 study conducted by the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board (ASEB) of the National Research Council (NRC) (1983-84)
1/1973 - 10/1981

Mathematician, Aerospace Technologist
Operations Support Computing Division
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

  • Advanced systems planning, design, and analysis
      • developed statistical models to analyze and project orbital computation requirements over a 10-year period as a function of the NASA mission model
      • conducted research on computing technology trends, proposed mission support system alternatives constructed optimum overall ground system development strategy for the 1980's
      • consulted to the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS) project to evaluate proposed ground computing system designs
6/1968 - 1/1973

Mathematician / Aerospace Technologist
Network Computing & Analysis Division
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

  • Collected and analyzed requirements for a data base management system for orbital computation and tracking/communications network operations
  • Performed a study of data base management systems for real-time and production-oriented mission operations
  • Designed a real-time mission support system to broadcast orbital information on Goddard closed circuit television
  • Developed intersystem communication standards for orbital ephemeris
  • Worked as a mission computer controller supporting Apollo, Skylab, and many scientific missions

Research Interests:

Digital libraries, interoperability, scalability, cross-lingual information retrieval, location-aware computing, mobile computing, computer and network performance analysis, performance metrics for distributed digital libraries.