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Jan E. Odegard, Executive Director


Odegard joined Rice University in 2002 as the Executive Director of the Ken Kennedy Institute for Information Technology (K2I).

In that role, Odegard helps support more than 145 faculty members representing many academic departments at Rice and a growing number of adjunct members from the Texas Medical Center in Houston. Odegard’s focus is strategic community building. His goal is to transform K2I into a catalyst for incubating cross-disciplinary research projects.

Odegard seeks to continue Rice’s tradition of high-performance computing, storage and visualization research, foster partnerships in information technology, and computational science and engineering into non-traditional fields across the social sciences and humanities, including projects in music, architecture and art.

Odegard co-edited Rice's roadmap for information technology, “Information Science and Technology as a Universal Enabler.” As the university’s representative to the Coalition for Academic Scientific Computation and a member of the EDUCAUSE Campus Cyberinfrastructure steering committee, Odegard helped organize the CASC/CCI joint workshop and coauthored its report, “Developing a Coherent Cyberinfrastructure from Local Campus to National Facilities: Challenges and Strategies.”

He served as a member of the NSF-wide Advisory Committee for Cyberinfrastructure (ACCI) Campus Bridging Task Force and is a co-author of the ACCI Campus Bridging report. Odegard launched the Open Education Cup, focused on stimulating creation of educational and training material in high-performance computing, which were published in the open educational repository Connexions.

Odegard represents Rice with the Cray User Group and the IBM SPXXL User Group. He is a member of the executive committee for High Performance Computing Across Texas (HiPCAT), coordinated Rice’s exhibit at the annual SC Conference from 2002 to 2008, and served as host and chair for the annual Oil and Gas HPC Workshops (2008-2012). From 2002 to 2004 Odegard served on the board of the Texas GigaPOP, participating in the creation and transition from Texas GigaPOP to the Lonestar Education And Research Network (LEARN).

Before joining Rice he was an associate professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Stavanger, Norway, and served as department chair in 2000-2001. In 1996-1997, he was executive director of the Computational Mathematics Laboratory and research associate in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rice, and from 1997 to 1999 served as the founding executive director of the Rice Center for Multimedia Communication.

Odegard received his Ph.D. (1996) in electrical and computer engineering from Rice University, and his MSc (1990) and B.S. (1987) in electrical engineering from Texas A&M University. In 1986, he received a degree in electrical engineering from Telemark College of Engineering, Porsgrunn, Norway.