Computer Scientist at UMass Amherst Named Distinguished Professor by Trustees

AMHERST, Mass. - Donald Towsley, a member of the computer science faculty at the University of Massachusetts, has been appointed Distinguished Professor by University President William Bulger. The appointment was made following a vote of approval by the University’s Board of Trustees at its meeting today in Boston. The honor recognizes Towsley for outstanding academic distinction.

Towsley joins 24 others who are Distinguished Professors or hold named chairs at the Amherst campus. He was recommended for the honor by Chancellor David K. Scott, Provost Cora B. Marrett, and Dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Linda Slakey.

"Professor Towsley’s research has resulted not only in a deeper understanding of networking and computing mechanisms, but also in advances within the mathematical disciplines themselves," said Slakey. "An important feature of his research is the intellectual rigor and high standard of quality that infuse his work."

Towsley is considered a pioneer and a leading scholar in the areas of computer systems and networking. Throughout his career, he has focused on two specific areas: the development of mathematical techniques for analyzing the performance of complex systems, including networking; and the development of control mechanisms for these complex systems.

He is the author of six book chapters, almost 100 journal publications, and an even larger number of conference papers. He has been elected a fellow of both the Association of Computing Machinery and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, two major technical societies in the field of computer science and engineering. He has also held editorial board positions for the top journals in his field.

Towsley was born in Ontario, Canada, and lived in Bolivia and Peru before moving to the U.S. at the age of 13. He did his undergraduate work in physics at the University of Texas. He received his Ph.D. in computer sciences from the University of Texas before joining the UMass faculty in the department of electrical and computer engineering in 1976. He attained the rank of full professor in the department of computer science in 1988.