David Kotz | Studencki Festiwal Informatyczny

16th SFI Academic IT Festival

- 2020 |
16 edition 2020

David Kotz

Come from: Zürich, Switzerland/Vienna, Austria
SFI Edition: 16

About David

David Kotz is the International Paper Professor in the Department of Computer Science and, presently, Visiting Professor in the Center for Digital Health Interventions at ETH Zurich. He previously served as Interim Provost, as Associate Dean of the Faculty for the Sciences, as the Executive Director of the Institute for Security Technology Studies, and on the US Healthcare IT Policy Committee. His research interests include security and privacy, pervasive computing for healthcare, and wireless networks. He has published over 200 refereed papers, obtained over $67m in grant funding, and mentored nearly 100 research students. He is a Fellow of the IEEE, a Distinguished Member of the ACM, a 2008 Fulbright Fellow to India, and an elected member of Phi Beta Kappa.

After receiving his A.B. in Computer Science and Physics from Dartmouth in 1986, he completed his Ph.D in Computer Science from Duke University in 1991 and returned to Dartmouth to join the faculty.


How do you spend your free time?

I enjoy hiking, rowing, skiing, travel, and photography – often combined! This year I am on sabbatical at ETH Zurich, where I have the opportunity to travel to other parts of Switzerland and beyond, hike in beautiful mountains, ski incredible terrain, and capture photographs of the many interesting and beautiful places I visit. For me, being outdoors in nature is the primary goal – and photography is an exciting way to add to the experience and to share with others. See my blog and photo gallery at davidkotz.org

Why did you decide to work in IT?

I can’t really say that I “decided”. When I was in grade school I was given a chance to learn programming, on the computer. I say, “the computer” because there was only one computer in town at the time, a mainframe at the university, and I had a chance to write and run simple programs. I enjoyed programming – the sense that I could create new things, new behaviors, for the computer… the puzzle of figuring out how to express my intent to the computer. I later had the chance to work with interactive computers, with minicomputers, and (much later, when they were invented) with personal computers. I remain interested in work with IT because the field is always changing, there are always new opportunities and new challenges, and that allows me to re-invent my research direction every five or ten years. Always interesting!

Who is your role model?

I’ve had many role models over the years – the most persistent, in my mind, is my PhD advisor Carla Ellis. From her I learned how to do research, but more importantly, I learned the value of good mentoring, of collaboration, and of service to the broader community. As a woman, she was also a pioneer in computer science, whose quiet example has given me a lifelong commitment to broadening participation in computing.