UMass Amherst Computer Scientist James Kurose Named to National Academy of Engineering

Recognizing a career of achievement in computer networking research
James Kurose
James Kurose

AMHERST, Mass. – The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) today announced that it has elected 87 new members and 18 international members including University of Massachusetts Amherst Distinguished Professor James Kurose of the College of Information and Computer Sciences (CICS).

Kurose was specifically cited for “contributions to the design and analysis of network protocols for multimedia communication.” NAE President John L. Anderson says the new class named today brings the total U.S. membership to 2,309 and the number of international members to 281.

Election to the academy is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer, the organization points out. Academy membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to “engineering research, practice, or education, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to the engineering literature” and to “the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to engineering education.”

Newly elected members will be formally inducted during a ceremony at the NAE's annual meeting in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 4.

Kurose says of the honor, “I’m incredibly honored to be elected to the NAE, and so pleased that it recognizes the research activities I’ve undertaken with so many fabulous students and colleagues throughout my career here at UMass Amherst.”

CICS Dean Laura Haas adds, “I am thrilled, but not surprised, by this well-deserved honor.  Jim is a pioneer in his field, with foundational results spanning all areas of data networking, but especially in network support for multimedia communication. Add to that his definitive textbook, his renown as a teacher, and his strong record of service, and he is the epitome of what we look for in NAE members.”

Kurose was most recently on leave from UMass, serving as assistant director at the National Science Foundation from 2015-2019, where he led the Directorate of Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE). With an annual budget of nearly $1 billion, CISE’s mission is to uphold the nation’s leadership in scientific discovery and engineering innovation through support of fundamental research in computer and information science, and engineering and transformative advances in cyberinfrastructure. He also served as the Assistant Director for Artificial Intelligence in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. He is looking forward to returning to campus full time in the Fall of 2020.

An award-winning teacher and co-author of the book “Computer Networking: A Top-Down Approach,” Kurose is also the author or co-author of nearly 300 refereed technical publications. In 2013, he received the Chancellor’s Medal, the highest recognition given for service to the campus.

Kurose completed his undergraduate degree in physics at Wesleyan University, and received his Ph.D. in computer science at Columbia. He joined the UMass Amherst computer science department in 1984 and has served as department chair and interim dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, plus many national and international science advisory boards and panels. He has held a number of visiting scientist positions in the U.S. and abroad, including at IBM Research, INRIA and the Sorbonne University in France, and has served on government and nonprofit advisory boards here and abroad.