World’s first graduate-level AI university appoints world-renowned academic Eric Xing as President

His Excellency Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Chairman of the MBZUAI Board of Trustees, said: “We are excited to welcome Professor Dr. Xing as the president of MBZUAI. He is one of the world’s foremost academics in the field of AI, and an exceptional business leader who understands the practical application of artificial intelligence. We are confident that Professor Dr. Xing will bring immense expertise to MBZUAI and our ambitions in this industry.”

Ranked as one of the top computer science professors worldwide, Professor Dr. Xing joins MBZUAI from Carnegie Mellon University in the US, where he most recently served as Associate Department Head of Research at the Machine Learning Department, part of Carnegie Mellon’s School of Computer Science. Additionally, he is the Founding Director of the Center for Machine Learning and Health, Carnegie Mellon University and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Professor Dr. Xing has also spent time as Visiting Associate Professor at Stanford University, and as Visiting Research Professor at Facebook Inc.

A highly recognised and award-winning member of the AI community, the new MBZUAI President has authored or contributed to more than 370 research papers and reports. His research has been cited more than 35,000 times by leading academics and academic journals.

Professor Dr. Xing is also the Founder, Chairman, and Chief Scientist of Petuum, Inc, which has raised over $120 million funding since 2016 and was selected as a 2018 World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer.

Commenting on his appointment, Professor Dr. Xing said: “AI is one of the most transformational technologies of our time, with the potential to have an immeasurable positive impact on economies, industries, and society. As President of MBZUAI, my vision is to build and enable a generation of leaders who have the necessary understanding, expertise, and skills to unlock the full potential of AI through academic research and industry applications. It is a privilege to have this opportunity to lead such a ground-breaking establishment, and do so in the UAE, a country that has made AI a strategic national priority.” 

Since launching in October 2019, MBZUAI has achieved several important milestones, including the completion of its state-of-the-art campus in Masdar City and the successful completion of its first admissions cycle. The university recently extended admission offers to 101 students for the first academic year commencing in January 2021. Students accepted into the first cohort were selected from an elite group of 2,223 applicants of 97 different nationalities. Admitted students come from 31 countries.

SOURCE Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI)

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Xavier University of Louisiana appoints manager, and more metro college news | Crescent City community news

XAVIER UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA: Kimberly Reese has been promoted to the position of associate vice president for institutional advancement at her alma mater, Xavier University of Louisiana. Reese was previously Xavier’s associate vice president for institutional advancement. 

DELGADO COMMUNITY COLLEGE CYBERSECURITY TRAINING: A 4.5-month cybersecurity career training course begins Dec. 7 at Delgado Community College with support from the Capital One Foundation. Those who complete the program will receive credentials qualifying them for entry-level positions and can also receive up to nine credit hours in Delgado’s associate degree program in computer information technology. The cost  is $500; $300 will be due Dec. 4. For an application and payment information, contact Troy L. Baldwin at [email protected]

DELGADO COMMUNITY COLLEGE: Registration is open through Dec. 11 for the winter session at Delgado Community College, which begins Dec. 14 and ends four weeks later. Fast-paced courses are available in business, science and technology, arts and humanities, and other interests. Credits are transferrable to other colleges and universities. For details, visit

UNIVERSITY OF HOLY CROSS: Registration for the spring 2021 semester at University of Holy Cross is open. Housing applications for the university’s new residence hall are also available. To register or apply for housing, visit or call (504) 394-7744.

NUNEZ COMMUNITY COLLEGE: Registration is open for the winter intersession at Nunez Community College, which will run from Dec. 14-Jan. 8. The schedule currently includes 11 fully web-based courses; additional courses will likely be added. To see the schedule of classes, visit Registration assistance is available by calling (504) 278-6467. Registration for Nunez’s spring 2021 semester opened Oct. 26.


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Olmsted Falls Board of Education appoints Phil Eckenrode to vacant seat

OLMSTED FALLS, Ohio — The Olmsted Falls Board of Education last week appointed Phil Eckenrode to fill the vacant seat previously held by Joe Bertrand, who resigned his position effective Oct. 1.

“Phil brings many strengths we look for in a board member, including critical-thinking skills, problem-solving ability, questioning and collaboration,” said Olmsted Falls City Schools Board of Education President Holly Neumann in a press release.

“During his interview, Phil spoke about his passion for learning and his desire to embrace new learning opportunities. Our district mission statement centers on empowering our students to be lifelong learners. Phil exemplified that himself during our interview, making him a good fit for this appointment.”

One of seven applicants interviewed, Eckenrode, who will serve the rest of the term through the end of 2021, moved to Olmsted Township in 2016. This marks his first time serving the public in an elected position.

“It’s something I’ve been interested in since we moved to the district four years ago,” Eckenrode said. “One of the reasons why we chose to move there was because of the schools. I wanted to get involved and do my part. Then the appointment opportunity came up.

“The ability to get involved with the board right away without having to go through an election cycle was attractive, so I jumped on it. It was a no-brainer for me.”

Eckenrode’s family includes wife, Melissa, who is president of the Falls-Lenox & Early Childhood Center PTA (FLECCPTA), as well as children Joey (fifth grader) and Ben (second grader).

With a political science degree from Kent State University and a juris doctorate degree from Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law, Eckenrode currently serves as the general counsel of the Prince & Izant Company.

“As a lawyer I think I bring a lot to the table,” said Eckenrode, who plans on running for the board of education seat next year.

“Not so much on the side of ‘knowing the law,’ that’s a specific niche thing, but more kind of the natural curiosity of wanting to look at tough questions and problems from all sides and trying to come up with the best resolution. There’s a skill set that will translate nicely.”

Read more news from the Sun Post Herald here.

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Carfora Appoints New Board Of Education Member

EAST HAVEN, CT —Mayor Joseph A. Carfora appointed Tom Murtagh to the East Haven Board of Education. Carfora said he made his selection “after a great deal of reflection on the mission of the Board of Education, the future of our schools, and the ongoing challenge that COVID-19 has imposed on our education system.”

In September, board of education member Liz Esposito, a Democrat, left her post moving out of East Haven following the sale of her home, it was reported.

In a media release, Carfora said Murtagh brings “vast experience he has also faced the challenges of COVID through his experience in the medical field.”

Murtagh, a decades-long radiation therapist, works at the Yale Smilow Cancer Center.

“Tom also brings the special perspective of a parent whose children who went through theEast Haven School system,” Carfora said.

An adjunct professor at Gateway Community College, Murtagh met with schools superintendent Erica Forti and other current education board members, “as part of the decision-making process,” Carfora said.

“He’ll be a welcome addition to the BOE,” Carfora said.

Born and raised in Meriden, Murtagh and his wife of 21 years, Claudia, moved to East Haven in 2004. The couple’s twins received their K-12 education in the East Haven school system, Carfora said.

This article originally appeared on the East Haven Patch

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Berklee appoints first woman to lead music college

The Berklee College of Music has chosen Erica Muhl to serve as the school’s next president, making her the first woman to lead the institution in its 75-year history, officials at the Boston school announced this week.

Muhl, a composer and conductor, previously led music and arts schools at the University of Southern California, where she spent 30 years. She begins at Berklee in July, replacing Roger Brown, who is stepping down after 17 years as president.

Muhl in a statement gave thanks to Brown and Berklee’s trustees, saying “the institution you have all built has no equal.”

Trustee Marty Mannion, who led the presidential search, said Muhl’s “experience as a strong, seasoned leader who has innovated and managed in times of change uniquely places her to lead Berklee into a new era.”

At USC, Muhl served as dean of the university’s art and design school and as associate dean of its music school. In 2013, she became founding director of a USC school that combines art, technology and business.

Her musical works have been commissioned and performed by groups including Minnesota Opera and the New World Symphony, according to Berklee.

Muhl will be the fourth president of Berklee, which enrolls about 7,000 students.

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