Lance Fortnow, Chair of Georgia Tech’s School of Computer Science, Selected to Lead Illinois Institute of Technology’s College of Science

Former Northwestern and University of Chicago Professor Returns to Chicago to Serve as Dean at Illinois Tech


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Chicago, IL — May 1, 2019 —

Illinois Institute of Technology today announced that Lance Fortnow, professor and chair of the School of Computer Science at Georgia Institute of Technology, has been named dean of the College of Science at Illinois Tech.

A world-renowned expert in computational complexity, the former Northwestern and University of Chicago professor will return to Chicago to begin his term as dean on August 15. Fortnow’s research revolves around the “P versus NP” problem, which explores what modern societal, economic and scientific challenges can and cannot be solved with algorithms, as outlined in his 2013 Best Science Books Award-winning “The Golden Ticket: P, NP and the Search for the Impossible.”

In 2007, Fortnow’s work on interactive proof systems and time-space lower bounds for satisfiability led to his election as an Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) fellow. After receiving his Ph.D. in applied mathematics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Fortnow served as a National Science Foundation Presidential Faculty Fellow from 1992–98 and as a Fulbright scholar to the Netherlands in 1996–97. Fortnow previously held an adjoint professorship at the Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago.

“Through his years as a researcher and educator, Professor Fortnow has developed an outstanding reputation for innovation in the field of computational science on a regional, national, and international scale,” said Peter Kilpatrick, Ph.D., Illinois Tech’s provost and senior vice president of academic affairs. “As the College of Science is the second-largest college at Illinois Institute of Technology, the future success of the university will go hand in hand with the future success of the college, and I can’t think of a dean better suited to help take us to where we want to be as an institution.”

Fortnow has served as chair of the ACM Special Interest Group on Algorithms and Computation Theory, chair of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Conference on Computational Complexity, and a member of the Computing Research Association board of directors. Additionally, he was the founding editor-in-chief of ACM Transactions on Computation Theory, and his survey “The Status of the P versus NP Problem” is one of the Communications of the ACM's most downloaded articles.

“I’m excited to return to the city of Chicago to lead sciences and computing at Illinois Institute of Technology,” said Fortnow. “I look forward to working with the faculty, staff, students, and administration to further Illinois Tech’s reputation as a true leader in science and technology education and research in Chicago and beyond.”

For more information regarding Illinois Tech’s College of Science, please visit

About Illinois Institute of Technology

Illinois Institute of Technology, also known as Illinois Tech, is a private, technology-focused research university. Illinois Tech is the only university of its kind in Chicago, and its Chicago location offers students access to the world-class resources of a great global metropolis. It offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering, science, architecture, business, design, human sciences, applied technology, and law. One of 21 institutions that comprise the Association of Independent Technological Universities (AITU), Illinois Tech provides an exceptional education centered on active learning, and its graduates lead the state and much of the nation in economic prosperity. Illinois Tech uniquely prepares students to succeed in professions that require technological sophistication, an innovative mindset, and an entrepreneurial spirit. Visit