Viterbi School Dean Yannis C. Yortsos has announced the appointment of James Baker, chairman and chief executive officer of Fuji Xerox’s Palo Alto Laboratory (FXPAL), as new director of USC’s Integrated Media Systems Center (IMSC), beginning June 1, 2007.
Baker succeeds Adam Clayton Powell III, who has been named USC vice provost for globalization.
Baker was founding president of FXPAL. He became chief executive officer in 1997 and, in 2005, became chairman of
Prior to joining FXPAL, Baker was the director in charge of the three information and computing sciences research laboratories at Lockheed Martin. Before that, he was director of computer sciences research at Schlumberger in Ridgefield, Connecticut, and head of its computer-based engineering center in Austin, Texas.
Baker’s early industrial experience was in operations research. He received the H.W. Sweatt Award for outstanding achievement in research and engineering. He was educated in mathematics at the University of Texas at Austin and Iowa State University, where he received his Ph.D. in two years. He served on various university advisory boards and was the chairman of the Industrial Advisory Board of IMSC.
Baker replaces Adam Powell, who has directed IMSC since 2004. As center director, Powell helped expand IMSC research in new directions. The center’s program in immersive environments and immersive performance research was extended to create permanent installations in Disney Hall’s "Redcat" performance space, which will serve as a venue for public demonstrations of remote performance technologies. Innovations in IMSC visualization research included a prototype originally requested by the Los Angeles Times to demonstrate interactive tools for architecture and urban planning.
In the area of serious games, IMSC launched new research endeavors thanks to Powell with partners ranging from the Los Angeles County Fire Department to public television’s MacNeil-Lehrer Productions.
Under Powell’s leadership, IMSC also formed relationships with the University of Maryland in Baltimore County and Norfolk State University, both of which are represented in this year’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates summer program.
In his new role as vice provost for globalization, Powell, a senior fellow at the USC Center for Multimedia Research and a senior fellow at the USC Center on Public Diplomacy, will work closely with faculty and deans to advance the university’s globalization initiative. He will continue to expand USC’s international presence, increase its leadership role in the Association of Pacific Rim Universities, and promote the university throughout the world.