Turk, an expert on computer vision and human-computer interaction, will join TTIC on July 1, 2019, succeeding current president Sadaoki Furui. TTIC is a philanthropically endowed academic computer science institute located in Hyde Park on the University of Chicago campus and closely affiliated with the University of Chicago Department of Computer Science.
“I am deeply honored and thrilled to have the opportunity to serve as the next president of the Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago, and I am grateful to the TTIC Board of Trustees for giving me the chance to serve in this capacity," Turk said.
"In its short history, TTIC has become a world-class computer science institute with a distinctive research profile and a dynamic and collaborative culture," Turk said. "The Institute is well-positioned to accelerate its momentum and surpass the impressive strides it has already achieved in its mission of international impact through research and education. I look forward to working closely with the Board and the entire TTIC community – faculty, students, staff, and partners – to further the mission, explore new opportunities for excellence and impact, and support TTIC’s unique scholarly community. I am particularly excited to get to know the people of TTIC, learn more about their recent and planned research, and to explore the wonderful city of Chicago.”
Turk is a full professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, with a primary appointment in the Department of Computer Science, where he serves as department chair, and a secondary appointment in Media Arts and Technology. He brings a dynamic background of academic, industry, and entrepreneurial experience to the role of president. In 2000, Turk founded the Vision Technology Group at Microsoft Research, and he brings additional industry experience gained in working with a small Silicon Valley company and a large aerospace company. In 2014, he co-founded a startup company that spun out from NSF-funded research in his lab and was acquired in 2016. His background of industry and entrepreneurial experience is unique, complementing his twenty years in academia.
Turk earned a PhD in 1991 from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with his dissertation, “Interactive-Time Vision: Face Recognition as a Visual Behavior,” leading to an “Outstanding Paper” award (1991) and a “Most Influential Paper of the Decade” award (2000). Turk’s MS is from Carnegie Mellon University in Electrical and Computer Engineering (1984), and his BS is from Virginia Tech in Electrical Engineering.
For more on Turk's appointment and TTIC, visit their website.