Central to the UB 2020 vision to transform the University at Buffalo into a model 21st-century public university is the hiring of faculty to bolster the eight strategic strengths identified in the strategic plan.
More than one-third of new faculty hires in recent years have been “strategic strength” hires.
Among them is Jason Corso, assistant professor of computer science and engineering who joined UB in 2007, hired in conjunction with the Information and Computing Technology (ICT) strategic strength.
Just two years later, Corso received a prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the foundation’s most prestigious award for junior investigators that recognizes and supports the early career-development activities of teacher-scholars "who are most likely to become the academic leaders of the 21st century."
In addition to teaching, Corso has been involved in the Smart Environments Initiative that facilitates accelerated research in interactive computing. Through high-level imaging science, he is developing better mathematical models and computational methods of representing and searching content in images and videos. One goal is to turn the phrases that people use to describe images into codes that computers can comprehend—applications that could have a significant impact on areas from health care to military intelligence to advanced emergency response systems.
“The Smart Environments research application area levels the playing field in the sense that it brings faculty in traditionally disparate fields into the same room and lets us talk about something more quickly,” he explains.
“The faculty—especially those in ICT—are really doing excellent work to fulfill and realize the vision that is UB 2020. It’s quite conducive to doing things, giving people like me a common fabric to weave our individual thread of research.”