New leadership for computer science research at 4C in Cork

29 Jul 2011

Prof Gene Freuder is retiring from University College Cork’s (UCC) Cork Constraint Computation Centre (4C) to be replaced by Prof Barry O’Sullivan.

Having initially come to Ireland in 2001 as a recipient of one of the first Science Foundation Ireland Fellow Awards, Freuder has been appointed emeritus professor at UCC and will become chair of the 4C Advisory Board. He was recruited by Prof James Bowen of UCC, building upon his successful UCC Constraint Processing Group.

4C is a computer science research laboratory whose mission is to help computers help people make better decisions for more effective use of individual, industry and government resources. It houses around 50 academics, staff and students in the new UCC Western Gateway Building.

Having clocked up close to €30m in research funding, 4C has received numerous awards for its academic achievements. It has worked with local industry, receiving two it@cork awards for collaborative projects (with Abtran and TreeMetrics).

It has worked with multinational industry, helping to attract three research labs to Ireland (Bell Labs, EMC and UTRC), and has spun off two companies (Keelvar and ThinkSmart).

Who is Prof Barry O’Sullivan?

Associate director of 4C for several years, O’Sullivan was recently appointed UCC professor of constraint programming. He is president of the international Association for Constraint Programming, co-ordinator of the European ERCIM Working Group on Constraints, and chairman of the Artificial Intelligence Association of Ireland.

He is the principal investigator of an SFI project entitled ‘New Paradigms in Constraint Programming: Applications in Data Centres’, with supplementary funding for collaboration with the Health Service Executive, and the UCC principal investigator of a recently approved European FP7 project on ‘Engineering the Policy-Making Life Cycle’.

O’Sullivan established the George Boole School Computer Laboratories project, which won an it@cork Excellence in Education Leaders Award for Scoil Chlochair Mhuire.

He said: “4C is extremely grateful to Prof Gene Freuder, who has helped it achieve so much as its founding director. It will be a challenge to live up to his legacy, but I’m looking forward to it. I’ll also enjoy working on the next phase of 4C’s evolution with the wonderful team of academics, principal investigators, support staff, researchers and students at the centre.”

Photo: Prof Barry O’Sullivan

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