I'm very, very pleased to announce that Matt Welsh's Harvard tenure case has been successful.
There's a number of wonderful things I could say about Matt and his work, but I'll limit myself to two highlights. Matt is well known to be a leader in the field of sensor networks/distributed systems, but his work particularly stands out for his ability to look at how these technologies might be used outside of computer science. In particular, he's worked on sensors for medical care (the CodeBlue project and the Mercury project) and for "big science" (monitoring volcanoes and monitoring weather/pollution). At Harvard, because CS is smaller than at some of competing institutions, we want professors who are not only leaders in their area, but who can also take advantage of Harvard's breadth and other strengths, with an eye toward showing the world just what CS can do. Matt is an excellent example of the type of scientist we're looking for.
Outside of his science, Matt is a great colleague. When I think of a word to describe Matt, "leader" comes right to mind. When Matt sees something he wants to improve in our program or how we run things, he studies it, presents his opinions, garners support, and finds a way to make the change happen -- often taking on much of the required work himself. He has both incredible energy, and the ability to persuade people to follow where he wants them to go, two qualities I associate with leadership. Because of this, I know his presence will benefit CS at Harvard in countless ways in years to come.
Congrats to Matt! (Now go read his blog...)