From the Dean: Exceeding expectations since our founding

"We will carry on the great legacy set forth by our founders"


Feature Image
Jonathan Cohen

Spending the past year celebrating 30 years of the Watson School has made us reflect on just how far we’ve come, and all I can say is, WOW! It is remarkable to think how the Watson School has grown, evolved and expanded since local business leaders initiated conversa- tions with the State University of New York and New York state about creating a comprehensive engineering and computer science school at Binghamton University. The effort would build on the foundations of the University’s School of Advanced Technology and the computer science and technology programs housed elsewhere on campus.

At the time, consultants predicted that when the Watson School reached full size, the program would have nearly 500 full-time-equivalent students. As one of our founders recently said to me, we have more than exceeded those expectations!

Today, with more than 2,700 students in five undergraduate programs and 21 graduate programs, including the Executive Master of Science in Health Systems in Manhattan program, we are surpassing what was expected of us and growing a vibrant academic institution with an active research program and a commitment to undergraduate and graduate education.

During its first decade, the school’s principal research focus was electronics packaging. While we continue to excel in this critical domain, our research expertise has grown in breadth and depth to include fields our founders may not have imag- ined — cyber security, energy-efficient data centers, health systems, renewable energy, materials engineering and biomedical devices, to name a few.

At present, the Watson School has more than 12,000 alumni who are employed by more than 3,000 organizations around the globe, including Fortune magazine’s “World’s Most Admired Companies,” the top IT companies based on revenue and MIT Technology Review’s most innovative companies. We continue to have strong ties to this community and remain an important and vital partner to many — from sponsored research with partners such as Innovation to our students working on projects at the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota. And yet, we have developed a strong reputation as a high-caliber school, both nationally and internationally. We have pushed past the boundaries originally set for us and continue to exceed expectations with the accomplishments of our students, faculty and staff.

This year, as we have reflected on the past and looked to the future, we are inspired both by those who founded the Watson School and those who shaped it during the past 30 years. The entre- preneurial and innovative spirit that spurred the school’s beginnings and enabled its success still informs our decisions and is very much a part of the Watson School.

We will carry on the great legacy set forth by our founders and continue to become the school that others will emulate, a school committed to excellence in education and cutting-edge research.

Krishnaswami “Hari” Srihari
Dean and Distinguished Professor,
Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science