Yan Huang stands in front of a desk

The UNT College of Engineering has named Yan Huang chair of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering following a national search. Her appointment begins Sept. 1, 2021.

Huang has been with UNT since 2003 and is currently serving as interim chair of the department. Prior to serving in this capacity, she served the College of Engineering for five years as the associate dean for research and graduate studies, senior associate dean, and interim dean. During her tenure at the college, she launched multiple initiatives focused on filling degree gaps, cultivating a strong research culture, mentoring junior faculty, and increasing graduate recruitment. In particular, she developed a junior faculty mentoring program that was instrumental to the success of the college's young faculty and led the development and approval of four new market-driven M.S. degrees.

"I am honored to be selected as the chair of a department I care deeply about, and I am looking forward to working with the faculty, staff, and college leadership team to elevate the department to the next level," said Huang.

Huang's research focuses on understanding the structure of and designing efficient algorithms for large geospatial computations and developing better machine learning/data mining algorithms for geospatial data in many application domains. She has received the Decker Scholar Award and the Regents Professorship from UNT. She also received the ACM SIGSPATIAL 10-year Impact Award for her research on map-matching for low-sampling-rate GPS trajectories as well as the ACM Distinguished Scientist Award in 2019.

Huang's sponsored research projects total $4 million, including funding from the National Science Foundation, Texas Department of Transportation, Office of Naval Research, National Geo-spatial Intelligence Agency, Texas Advanced Research Program and the Oakridge National Laboratory. She has served in a variety of leadership roles, including as a board member, general chair, and program committee chair, for ACM SIGSPATIAL and SSTD Endowment.

"Dr. Huang has succeeded in many ways as an academic leader and has potential for even greater successes," said College of Engineering Dean Hanchen Huang. "I am excited to work with her to further advance our Department of Computer Science and Engineering."

Huang received her Ph.D. of Computer Science from the University of Minnesota in 2003 and her B.S. in Computer Science from Peking University in Beijing, China, in 1997. She has published roughly 120 papers with more than 5,700 citations.