Yi Deng, PhD serves as dean and Isaac L. Auerbach Professor at the College of Computing & Informatics (CCI) at Drexel University. Deng came to Drexel in September 2016 after a seven-year tenure as dean of the College of Computing and Informatics at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where his leadership helped to transform the college leading to dramatic growth in academic programming, enrollment, and research funding. His leadership also helped to shape the university’s direction and priorities, and to establish the college as a powerhouse in the region’s economic development efforts. Prior to his post at UNC Charlotte, Deng served as professor and dean at the School of Computing and Information Sciences at Florida International University (FIU).
During his tenure at UNC Charlotte, the College of Computing and Informatics launched six new interdisciplinary bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs and established an international educational partnership with China. The College saw its undergraduate enrollment double to 1,480 and its graduate enrollment increase by 140 percent to 870 students — making UNC Charlotte one of the largest computing and informatics programs in the nation. Under Deng’s leadership, the College’s annual extramural research funding nearly tripled to $14.8 million. This was accompanied by improvements in research quality, productivity and a sustained increase in the doctoral graduation rate. He also led the development of overarching industry and community partnerships and established the College as a pillar in the region for talent, innovation and economic development.
Part of Deng’s success as a leader comes from his time as a researcher and teacher. He authored or co-authored more than 100 research papers in peer-reviewed journals and proceedings and was awarded more than $21 million in research funding as a principal or co-principal investigator. Deng has initiated, led and managed many research projects in areas of software engineering, modeling and design, as well as large scale interdisciplinary research & education projects and their applications in healthcare, cyberinfrastructure, disaster management, and other areas. Deng founded or directed several major research centers or partnerships, including the Latin American (LA Grid) Consortium, the Consortium of Partnership for International Research and Education (PIRE) — whose partners include leading institutions and research centers in the United States, Mexico, Argentina, Spain, France, China, India and Japan.
He is a leader in implementing large-scale diversity initiatives with sustained organizational changes. At FIU, he established the School of Computing and Information Sciences as a national leader for educating under-represented minorities in computing at all levels. He spearheaded and led an ambitious Women-in-Computing initiative at UNC Charlotte to improve gender balance in IT at the national scale.
Deng received his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Pittsburgh and a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Computer Science & Technology from the University of Science and Technology of China.