By Cecelia Fielding
President Merrill J. Bateman has announced the appointment of two new department chairs. William A. Barrett will replace Dan Reed Olsen Jr. as chair of the Department of Computer Science, while Bart J. Kowallis will replace Dana Thomas Griffen as chair of the Department of Geology. Both Olsen and Griffen will return to full-time teaching and research in their departments.
Barrett received a BA in mathematics and a PhD in medical biophysics and computing from the University of Utah before joining the BYU computer science faculty in 1986. He also served as director of medical image processing at HealthCare Affiliates, as a senior engineer at ADAC Laboratories, and as a post-doctoral fellow at the National Institutes of Health.
He served as associate chair of the BYU Computer Science Department from 1995 to 1996 and is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the Association for Computing Machinery.
During 1996, Barrett was awarded more than $1 million in industrial research agreements and contracts in such areas as digital libraries, intelligent image composition, and scanning and enhancing genealogical microfilm.
Kowallis, a BYU alumnus, received MS and PhD degrees in geology from the University of Wisconsin–Madison before joining the BYU faculty in 1982.
He is a member of Phi Kappa Phi, the National Association of Geology Teachers, the Geographical Society of America, the American Geophysical Union, and the Utah Geological Association.
Kowallis has published widely in national and international science
journals, and his awards include the 1977 W.A. Tarr Award from Sigma Gamma and a BYU Alcuin General Education Teaching Award in 1986. He is the editor of BYU Geology Studies and a member of the editorial board of the James E. Talmage Society.