Takis Metaxas
Faculty Director; Professor of Computer Science

Takis Metaxas
My research interests are currently in Web Science, Web spam and information retrieval and cognitive hacking. In particular, I am interested in how the Web is changing the way we think, decide and act as individuals and members of social communities.

Web Science, as this new and exciting area is currently known, is interdisciplinary, connecting Computer Science to Social Sciences (esp. Sociology, Political Science, Psychology, Economics) and Natural Sciences (esp. Biology). My recent work on evaluating the quality of web search results and the relationship between web spam and social propaganda has been recognized with three Best Paper Awards (2008, 2009, 2010). I have also published extensively in the areas of parallel computing, multimedia, algorithm visualization, and computer science education. I hold a U.S. patent on parallel dithering (halftoning) techniques that can lead to faster printers and large screen monitors.

Teaching has always been a passion of my life. I have taught and developed courses for all curricular levels. In particular, I have developed an award-winning intermediate course entitled "Multimedia Design and Programming" that became the core of the Media Arts and Science Program, supported through the collaboration of the CS and Art Departments. I have also developed two advanced courses; "Parallel Machines and their Algorithms" and "Web Search and Mining". More recently, I developed an award-winning introductory course entitled "The Socio-Techno Web: Technologies for Communication" about the perils and opportunities in Cyberspace. In all of my courses I bring the experience from my academic and professional life and apply pedagogical techniques that help students monitor their learning progress. One of the teaching aspects that I enjoy most is helping my honors thesis students do research and write strong theses that will prepare them in their academic and professional careers.

I am a Senior Member of the ACM, the primary professional organization of Computer Scientists, and a Member of Liberal Arts Computer Science (LACS) Consortium, IEEE Computer Society, SIGWEB, SIGCSE and SIGACT's electronic publication board. I serve on several conference Program Committees and am the representative of the Computing Research Association (CRA). In the past I have been a visiting scientist at MIT and at the Sydney University, Australia. Being interested in the applications of Computing, I worked as the Chief Technology Officer of a biotech company specializing in computerized tests for measuring the symptoms of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD). Currently, I am a Research Associate at the Developmental Biopsychiatry Research Program at McLean Hospital.

In my free time I like to "do" soccer: play, coach my daughters' teams, referee games. I also enjoy reading French comics, especially of my alter ego, Corto Maltese. And some friends have figured out that one of the reasons I am in Academia is so that I have lots of opportunities to travel.