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Georgia State University's computer science Ph.D. program is nationally competitive and ranks among the best in the Southeast, according to a report released by the National Research Council in September. The report contains assessments of more than 5,000 doctoral programs in 62 fields at 212 U.S. universities.
The NRC report provides two sets of overall rankings: survey-based and regression-based. Both rankings are based on a weighting of 20 factors, such as number of faculty publications, student GRE scores, and average time to complete a degree. However, the weighting of these factors is different for survey-based ranks (S-ranks) than for regression-based ranks (R-ranks). The weighting for S-ranks was determined by a survey of faculty evaluators; the weighting for R-ranks was based on which factors best correlated with high faculty rankings of departments.
The R-rank and S-rank for each program was reported as a range, reflecting the imprecision of such measurements. The R-rank for our department’s Ph.D. program ranged from 43 to 78, with a rank of 1 representing the top department in the country. Our S-rank ranged from 18 to 57. These ranks place our Ph.D. program among the best in the Southeast. The following chart shows the R-ranks for Ph.D.-granting computer science departments in the Southeast:
A similar chart shows the S-ranks for the same set of departments:
In addition to R-ranks and S-ranks, the NRC report includes rankings of programs by specific aspects of faculty, students, and program traits. Our department fared particularly well in several of these rankings:
The previous NRC ranking of doctoral programs (released in 1995) did not include our department, which was created in 1999 and began admitting Ph.D. students in 2001. Data was collected for the new NRC study during 2005–2006. Our Ph.D. program would likely have a higher ranking if the NRC data were more recent. Since August 2006, the department has produced an additional 44 Ph.D. graduates. Moreover, the faculty has improved since 2006. At the time of the study, only one faculty member (Dr. Yingshu Li) held a National Science Foundation CAREER award. Since then, two more faculty members (Dr. Raheem Beyah and Dr. Xiaolin Hu) have won CAREER awards, and two new CAREER-award-winning faculty (Dr. Xiaojun Cao and Dr. WenZhan Song) have joined GSU, giving the department five active CAREER awards. The CAREER award, which emphasizes high-quality research and novel education initiatives, is the most competitive and prestigious award from NSF to young faculty members in science and engineering fields.