News Release 

UVA engineering professor Jack W. Davidson named an IEEE fellow

Davidson was selected for his contributions to compilers, computer security, and computer science education

University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - UVA Engineering computer science professor Jack W. Davidson has been named an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Fellow in recognition of his contributions to compilers, computer security and computer science education.

The institute's board of directors annually awards the designation to those who have contributed to the advancement or application of engineering, bringing significant value to society. Fellow is the highest level of membership and is recognized by the technical community as an important career achievement. The award is received by less than 1% of the total voting membership.

Davidson received his Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Arizona in 1981. The same year, he joined UVA Engineering as a professor in the Department of Computer Science. During his 38-year career at UVA, he has been the principal investigator on numerous high-profile grants to develop comprehensive methods for protecting software from malicious attacks.

His research accomplishments have made him internationally recognized in cybersecurity. Davidson leads the University's Cyber Innovation and Society Institute, launched in 2018.

The Cyber Innovation and Society Institute brings faculty together from technical and humanities fields across the University to understand the impact of cyber systems on society, especially how they affect human values such as privacy, freedom, democracy and individual autonomy; to understand the risks and consequences of attacks on cyber systems and strategies to respond to attacks; to ensure that these systems operate securely and dependably as intended; and the data they collect and process is secure from improper use.

This year, Davidson and the Cyber Innovation and Society Institute were awarded a national grant from The Public Interest Technology University Network to establish a course aimed at teaching graduate students to deeply examine the complex ethical, legal and policy implications of new technologies. The graduate course, Innovation in the Public Interest, will be offered for the first time in the spring of 2020.

Davidson is a former recipient of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Taylor L. Booth Education Award for outstanding achievement in computer science and engineering education. He has also been active in the Association for Computing Machinery, making many contributions leading to his current tenure on the association's executive council. Davidson was associate editor on two separate association publications: ACM Transactions on Programming Languages and Systems and ACM Transactions on Architecture and Code Optimization. He also served as chair of the Special Interest Group on Programming Languages. In his role as part of the executive council, he serves as co-chair of the association's Publications Board.

"It is a great honor to be selected for recognition as IEEE Fellow. It is also a reflection of the supportive environment provided by UVA Engineering that enables faculty to achieve their scientific and professional goals," Davidson said.


About UVA Engineering: As part of the top-ranked, comprehensive University of Virginia, UVA Engineering is one of the nation's oldest and most respected engineering schools. Our mission is to make the world a better place by creating and disseminating knowledge and by preparing future engineering leaders. Outstanding students and faculty from around the world choose UVA Engineering because of our growing and internationally recognized education and research programs. UVA is the No. 1 public engineering school in the country for the percentage of women graduates, among schools with at least 75 degree earners; the No. 1 public engineering school in the United States for the four-year graduation rate of undergraduate students; and the top engineering school in the country for the rate of Ph.D. enrollment growth. Learn more at

About the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers: The IEEE is the world's leading professional association for advancing technology for humanity. Through its 400,000 plus members in 160 countries, the association is a leading authority on a wide variety of areas ranging from aerospace systems, computers and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electric power and consumer electronics. Dedicated to the advancement of technology, the IEEE publishes 30 percent of the world's literature in the electrical and electronics engineering and computer science fields, and has developed more than 1300 active industry standards. The association also sponsors or co-sponsors nearly 1700 international technical conferences each year. If you would like to learn more about IEEE or the IEEE Fellow Program, please visit

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