Dr. Jeffrey S. Vitter
Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Computer & Information Science
and 17th Chancellor
201 Weir Hall
Jeffrey S. Vitter is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Computer and Information Science at the University of Mississippi, adjunct professor of computer science at Tulane University, and consultant. He is an internationally known computer scientist with research expertise in big data and data science, especially the algorithmic aspects of processing, compressing, and communicating massive amounts of information. He has over 40 years of experience as a passionate advocate for higher education and a widely-sought consultant. He served on the faculty and in leadership roles at noted AAU universities Brown, Duke, Purdue, Texas A&M, and Kansas, before leading Ole Miss as its 17th chancellor from January 2016–January 2019.
The University of Mississippi (a.k.a. UM and Ole Miss) is the flagship and largest university in Mississippi, with about 2,200 faculty members, 10,600 staff, 23,250 FTE students, and an annual budget of $2.5 billion. UM is a comprehensive institution of 17 colleges and schools across the main campus in Oxford, UM Medical Center in Jackson, and four satellite campuses. Under Dr. Vitter’s watch, it achieved and re-achieved the top research ranking given by the Carnegie Foundation, R1: Doctoral Universities — Very high research activity, representing the top 2 1/2% of colleges and universities nationally.
Fueled by his belief in the power of higher education to transform lives, communities, and the world, Dr. Vitter has charted the university’s momentum through a dynamic strategic plan Flagship Forward to achieve ever greater heights. With it, Ole Miss is enhancing academic excellence with a $1 billion building program and capital planning, creation of superlative networks of faculty called Flagship Constellations, major engagement with communities through the M Partner initiative and the McLean Institute, and annual Technology Summits. To achieve a healthier Mississippi, Dr. Vitter inaugurated the state’s first Department of Biomedical Engineering, extended the capacity and reach of the University of Mississippi Medical Center, reaffirmed the importance of diversity and inclusion, and commissioned a forthright contextualization of southern symbols on campus.
Dr. Vitter has relished his role as leader and voice of the university. He greatly expanded communication and connectivity via town halls, informational blogs, and robust use of social media. He and his wife Sharon were often seen around campus, in the Grove, at athletic events, in the State Capitol, and at restaurant counters throughout Mississippi, getting to know people the old-fashioned way.
Dr. Vitter is an internationally known computer scientist with research expertise in big data and data science, especially the algorithmic aspects of processing, compressing, and communicating massive amounts of information. He has been elected a Fellow of the Guggenheim Foundation, a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery, and a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and he serves on several boards. He is a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator and a Fulbright Scholar, and he has been awarded an IBM Faculty Development Award, the CEO Award of Mississippi, and the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award.
A native of New Orleans, Vitter graduated in mathematics with highest honors from the University of Notre Dame in 1977 and earned a Ph.D. under Don Knuth in computer science at Stanford University in 1980. He also holds an MBA in 2002 from Duke University.
As detailed on his research webpage, Jeff Vitter seeks to exploit the rich interdependence between computing theory and practice, primarily in four key subfields dealing with big data. Dr. Vitter has authored over 350 book, journal, conference, and patent publications and is widely sought as a consultant. You can access a list of selected publications or his entire curriculum vitæ. His Google Scholar h-index is in the 70s, and he has been an ISI highly cited researcher.
Online Publication Library
See Dr. Vitter’s curriculum vitæ for more complete information, including a biography and a full list of publications and funding.
Dr. Vitter communicates often in a variety of settings — letters, blogs, speeches, articles, interviews, videos, and social media. He is also a genealogist by hobby, and he and his wife Sharon maintain their family tree on the web. You can see all that on his communications webpage.
You can download a photograph of Dr. Vitter of publication quality.
- J. S. Vitter and W. C. Chen. Design and Analysis of Coalesced Hashing, Oxford University Press, New York, NY, 1987.
- J. S. Vitter. “Design and Analysis of Dynamic Huffman Codes,” Journal of the ACM, 34(4), October 1987, 825–845. Conference version in FOCS ’85.
- A. Aggarwal and J. S. Vitter. “The Input/Output Complexity of Sorting and Related Problems,” Communications of the ACM, 31(9), September 1988, 1116-1127. Conference version in ICALP ’87.
- J. S. Vitter and Ph. Flajolet. “Average-Case Analysis of Algorithms and Data Structures,” Chapter 9 in Handbook of Theoretical Computer Science, Volume A: Algorithms and Complexity (edited by J. van Leeuwen), Elsevier and M.I.T. Press, 1990, 431–524.
- J. S. Vitter and E. A. M. Shriver. “Algorithms for Parallel Memory I: Two-Level Memories,” and “Algorithms for Parallel Memory II: Hierarchical Multilevel Memories,” double special issue on Large-Scale Memories in Algorithmica, 12(2–3), 1994, 110–147 and 148–169. Conference version in STOC ’90.
- J. S. Vitter and P. Krishnan. “Optimal Prefetching via Data Compression,” Journal of the ACM, 43(5) September 1996, 771–793. Conference version in FOCS ’91.
- P. G. Howard and J. S. Vitter. “Arithmetic Coding for Data Compression,” invited paper in Proceedings of the IEEE, 82(6), June 1994, 857–865.
- Y.-J. Chiang, M. T. Goodrich, E. F. Grove, R. Tamassia, D. E. Vengroff, and J. S. Vitter. “External-Memory Graph Algorithms,” Proceedings of the 6th Annual SIAM/ACM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms (SODA ’95), San Francisco, CA, January 1995, 139–149.
- J. S. Vitter and M. Wang. “Approximate Computation of Multidimensional Aggregates of Sparse Data Using Wavelets,” Proceedings of the 1999 ACM SIGMOD International Conference on Management of Data (SIGMOD ’99), Philadelphia, PA, June 1999, 193–204. Recipient of the 2009 ACM SIGMOD Test of Time Award.
- R. Grossi and J. S. Vitter. “Compressed Suffix Arrays and Suffix Trees with Applications to Text Indexing and String Matching,” SIAM Journal on Computing, 35(2), 2005, 378–407. Conference version in STOC ’00.
- D. T. Hoang and J. S. Vitter. Efficient Algorithms for MPEG Video Compression, Wiley Series in Telecommunications and Signal Processing, John Wiley & Sons, New York, NY, 2002.
- R. Grossi, A. Gupta, and J. S. Vitter. “High-Order Entropy-Compressed Text Indexes,” Proceedings of the 14th Annual SIAM/ACM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms (SODA ’03), Baltimore, MD, January 2003, 841–850.
- J. S. Vitter. Algorithms and Data Structures for External Memory, Series on Foundations and Trends in Theoretical Computer Science, Now Publishers, Hanover, MA, 2008.
- W.-K. Hon, R. Shah, and J. S. Vitter. “Compression, Indexing, and Retrieval for Massive String Data,” keynote address by Dr. Vitter, invited paper in Proceedings of the 19th Annual Conference on Combinatorial Pattern Matching (CPM ’10), New York, NY, June 2010, published in Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Springer, Berlin, Germany.
- W.-K. Hon, R. Shah, and J. S. Vitter. “Space-Efficient Frameworks for Top-k String Retrieval,” Journal of the ACM, 61(2), April 2014, 9.1-9.36. Earlier conference version in FOCS ’09.
- R. J. Sternberg, E. Davis, A.C. Mason, R. V. Smith, J. S. Vitter, and M. Wheatly, editors. Academic Leadership in Higher Education: From the Top-down and the Bottom-up, Rowman-Littlefield, Lanham, MD, 2015.