Bethel named as recipient of Billie J. Ball Endowed Professorship

November 21, 2017

Cindy Bethel, an associate professor of computer science and engineering within Mississippi State University’s Bagley College of Engineering, has been named as the newest recipient of the Billie J. Ball Endowed Professorship in Engineering.

Cindy BethelThe endowed professorship was named to honor Billie J. Ball, former professor and head emeritus of Bagley’s electrical and computer engineering department. It was established in 2005 by Jean and Jim Bagley to acknowledge the impact Ball had on both the college of engineering and Mississippi State, and to perpetuate excellence in research and teaching. A native of Louin and Laurel, Ball served on the MSU faculty from 1964 until his retirement in 1992.

“Having spent some time talking with Dr. Ball the past couple of years, this recognition is such an honor,” said Bethel. “I am so thankful to have been selected to receive this professorship and especially one that is in Dr. Ball’s honor. He is an inspiration to me and an example of the qualities necessary to achieve success and to make positive contributions to society, the university, college, and my department.”

In addition to her work in the computer science and engineering department, Bethel is the director of the Social, Therapeutic and Robotic Systems Lab where she leads a multidisciplinary team that researches the interaction between robots and humans.

Bethel earned both her bachelor’s and Ph.D. degrees from the University of South Florida and spent two years as a NSF Computing Innovation Fellow and postdoctoral associate at Yale University. Her research interests focus on: human centered computing, HCI and robotics, artificial intelligence, computer science education & broadening participation in computing.

Bethel joined the Mississippi State faculty in 2011.

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By: Philip Allison