New Computing Professor comes from Australia

Richard Brent, currently Professor of Computing Sciences in the Research School of Information Sciences and Engineering at the Australian National University, has been appointed to the Professorship of Computing Science from 1 March 1998. He will be a Fellow of St Hugh's College. He succeeds Professor Joseph Goguen, who returned to the US last year.

Professor Brent (pictured left) gained a B.Sc. in Mathematics at Monash University, Australia, in 1968, followed by a Ph.D. in Computer Science at Stanford University in the United States in 1971. Monash University awarded him a D.Sc. in Computer Science in 1981.

After postdoctoral research in the Mathematical Sciences Department at the IBM Research Centre in Yorktown Heights, New York, he returned to Australia in 1972 to take up a Research Fellowship in the Computer Centre at the Australian National University. In 1978 he was appointed Foundation Professor of Computer Science in the Faculty of Science at ANU. Then, in 1985, he became the first Professor of Computer Sciences and Head of the Computer Sciences Laboratory in the Institute of Advanced Studies at ANU.

In his current position, he is joint leader of two Fujitsu-ANU Parallel Software projects and a Research Affiliate in the School of Mathematical Studies. He has held visiting professorships at Stanford University, Carnegie-Mellon University, Australia, and at the University of California, Berkeley. During October-November 1997 he will be visiting the Department of Mathematics at Harvard.

His research interests span several areas of computer science and its interplay with mathematics. They include analysis of algorithms, computational complexity, computational number theory, computer architecture, cryptography, numerical analysis, parallel and distributed computing, and randomised algorithms. He has published widely, as well as producing several publicly available software packages. He recently used an algorithm based on elliptic curves to factorise the tenth Fermat number, which contains more than 300 decimal digits.

Professor Brent has been an editor of the Journal of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), Numerische Mathematik, the SIAM (Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics), Journal on Matrix Analysis and Applications, the International Journal on High Speed Computing, and Parellel Processing Letters. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, the Australian Mathematical Society, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and the Association for Computing Machinery.

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