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Computer Science

New chair leading CWU Computer Science

With fall quarter classes to begin later this month, Central Washington University computer science is preparing for rapid growth and change, as Christos Graikos begins his tenure as the new department chair.

“This is a place of growth and I feel the university is moving forward,” Graikos said, pertaining to his interest in the post, which he assumed on September 1. “I like the curriculum, I like the research capacity, and I wanted to work in this part of the world because I received my bachelor’s degree in Montreal [Canada].”

Graikos, 46, arrived in Ellensburg after serving as dean of Computing and Information Technology at Sohar University in Oman. Before that, he spent 16 years in the United Kingdom studying and working.

“I wanted to see the [Persian] Gulf and Oman offered a wonderful opportunity,” Graikos explained. “I learned a lot, especially in terms of how business is conducted in that part of the world.”

As part of his new responsibilities, Graikos will oversee the computer science department’s move into new campus quarters while extending collaboration and partnerships with major Seattle-area high-tech industries, such as Google and Microsoft. Graikos has an established track record of success in outreach to community groups, other colleges and universities, elementary and high schools, government agencies, and industry.

“I have a pretty wide network on connections in Europe,” he acknowledges. “I’d like to utilize these collaborations to develop research and knowledge exchanges, along with teaching opportunities, for the department and university.”

Graikos also has thorough knowledge of exchange and internationalization strategies, including additional higher education experience in America, China, and Europe. Such wide-ranging background could prove important, especially in developing and expanding the CWU master’s program in Computational Science. The first of its kind in the Pacific Northwest, the program draws students from around the world through its focus on comprehensive research, interdisciplinary coursework, and a progressive teaching environment.

“I have set up programs like this before and this is a very important part of what we do,” he stated. “There have been some new developments, including rolling out our program in China. This will help us connect better with research opportunities around the world.”

His department is also exploring development of new higher education-related programs that could lead to additional K-12 teacher endorsements.

“This is a very good opportunity for Central and something we are committed to developing,” Graikos noted. “There are growing [computer science] opportunities here in Washington state. There’s currently three times the demand for the number of graduates that we’re producing.”

A native of Thessaloniki, Greece, Graikos is fluent in both Greek and English, along with a familiarity with French.

Media contact: Robert Lowery, director of radio services and integrated communications, 509-963-1487, Robert.Lowery@cwu.edu

September 9, 2016

Photo: Graikos in China, where he was working on a computer science exchange program involving the University of West Scotland and Nanjing University.


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