Dr. Jeffrey S. Vitter, professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University, has been awarded the distinction of Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Election as a Fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers. This year 531 members have been awarded this honor by AAAS because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. New Fellows will be recognized in February at the AAAS Fellows Forum during the 2010 AAAS Annual Meeting in San Diego.

Vitter was elected as an AAAS Fellow for his distinguished contributions to the design and analysis of efficient computer algorithms and data structures, particularly those involving massive amounts of data.

Vitter joined the Texas A&M faculty in 2008 as a professor in the computer science and engineering department and provost and executive vice president for academics. He previously was the Frederick L. Hovde Dean of the College of Science and a professor of computer science at Purdue University from 2002 to 2008. From 1993 to 2002, Vitter held a distinguished professorship at Duke University where he was the Gilbert, Louis, and Edward Lehrman Professor of Computer Science. He served at Duke as chair of the Department of Computer Science from 1993 to 2001 and as co-director and a founding member of Duke’s Center for Geometric and Biological Computing from 1997 to 2002. From 1980 to 1993, Vitter progressed through the faculty ranks and served in various leadership roles at Brown University.

Vitter earned a B.S. with highest honors in mathematics from the University of Notre Dame in 1977; a Ph.D. in computer science under Don Knuth from Stanford University in 1980; and an M.B.A. in 2002 from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.

Vitter serves on the Board of Advisors for the School of Science and Engineering at Tulane University in New Orleans and the Visiting Committee of the Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en Automatique (INRIA) in Rocquencourt, France. He has previously served on the Board of Directors of the Computing Research Association (CRA), where he continues to co-chair the Government Affairs Committee. He has served as chair of ACM SIGACT, the Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group on Algorithms and Computation Theory. He has served on the executive council of the EATCS (European Association for Theoretical Computer Science), as well as on various review committees.

Vitter has been named a Guggenheim Foundation Fellow, a Fellow of the ACM, a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator, a Fulbright Scholar, and an IBM Faculty Development Awardee.

He has more than 280 book, journal, conference and patent publications. His Google Scholar h-index is 55. His book Algorithms and Data Structures for External Memory (now Publishers, 2008) covers the I/O field he helped found. He coauthored the books Efficient Algorithms for MPEG Video Compression (Wiley & Sons, 2002) and Design and Analysis of Coalesced Hashing (Oxford University Press, 1987). For his work on wavelets for approximating database content, he and a former student were the recipients of the 2009 ACM SIGMOD Test of Time award; SIGMOD is the leading database conference, and the award recognizes the SIGMOD paper from 10 years earlier that has had the most impact in the following decade in terms of research, products, and methodology. He is coeditor of the collections External Memory Algorithms and Algorithm Engineering. His editorial board memberships have included Algorithmica, Communications of the ACM, IEEE Transactions on Computers, Theory of Computing Systems and SIAM Journal on Computing. In addition, Vitter has consulted widely and is co-holder of patents in the areas of external sorting, parallel I/O, prediction and approximate data structures.

Written by L. Kriewald