Rankin appointed director
of information-tech programs
By Carolyn Fray
Spectrum Volume 20 Issue 24 - March 19, 1998
Virginia Tech Provost Peggy S. Meszaros has announced the appointment of Samuel M. Rankin III as the first director of information-technology programs at the Virginia Tech/UVa Northern Virginia Center (NVC). Rankin will join Virginia Tech July 1. He currently is associate executive director of the American Mathematical Society and director of its Washington, D.C. office.
Rankin will coordinate Virginia Tech's information-technology offerings at the NVC, which include computer science and applications, information systems, electrical and computer engineering, information decision and support systems, interdisciplinary applied mathematics, applied physics, and civil and environmental engineering.
"The appointment signifies Virginia Tech's ongoing commitment to the Greater Washington technology community at a time when 20,000 area technology positions are unfilled," Meszaros said. "Sam Rankin will be charged with streamlining our technology offerings in Northern Virginia, and thus, enable us to better meet the needs of the region's dynamic technology firms."
Rankin is a professor of mathematical sciences, and a former department head of mathematical sciences at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Massachusetts. During his tenure as department head, research and grant support activity significantly increased in the mathematical-sciences department.
"The location of the Virginia Tech Northern Virginia Center within the high-tech corridor of the Washington Metro area provides a significant opportunity for the development of innovative technology programs which will serve the region's citizens and businesses," Rankin said. "I look forward to building and broadening connections with the area's information-technology companies so that Virginia Tech can provide programs which will be supportive of their needs."
Rankin received his A.B. from Elon College and his Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University. During his career, he has been a professor of mathematics at West Virginia University, and has had leaves as a visiting researcher at Carnegie Mellon University, Virginia Tech, and the Mathematics Research Center of the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
The Virginia Tech Northern Virginia Center is at the forefront of serving the region's technology community. In 1996, more than one-fourth of the 405 engineering master's degrees conveyed by Virginia Tech--the most by a university in the state--were earned at the Northern Virginia Center. In addition, more than one-half of all master's degrees in computer science conveyed by Virginia Tech last year were earned at the Northern Virginia Center.
Virginia Tech offers 29 graduate programs at the Virginia Tech/University of Virginia Northern Virginia Center in Falls Church. The 105,000-square-foot facility is located adjacent to the West Falls Church Metro station, just off of Interstate 66 (exit 66) at the intersection of Route 7 and Haycock Road. More than 50 full-time Virginia Tech faculty members serve nearly 2,000 students each semester.