Dr. Randy Avent
President, Florida Polytechnic University
Dr. Randy K. Avent, president of Florida Polytechnic University, joined the institution as its founding president in 2014. Since then, he has worked tirelessly to guide the development and operation of the University and strategically cultivate it as a research-and-jobs university, an agent for growth, and an important economic engine for Central Florida and the state.
Avent, an accomplished academician, senior administrator, and research scientist, previously was associate vice chancellor of research and professor of computer science at North Carolina State University. He also served as chief scientist in the Defense Department’s Office of Basic Research, where he oversaw science programs, developed strategic plans for basic research investments, and led a national program on large-scale analytics for massive data sets. Avent also held several positions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Laboratory, including that of chief technology officer.
Avent has a Ph.D. in biomedical mathematics and engineering from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He has two master’s degrees, one in electrical engineering from North Carolina State University and the other in biomedical mathematics and engineering from the University of North Carolina. His bachelor’s degree is in zoology from the University of North Carolina. Avent also is a graduateof the Greater Boston Executive Program at MIT’s Sloan School of Management. With a broad range ofinterests, he has conducted research in numerous areas, including environmental studies,neurophysiology, and defense. Most of his work has centered on machine learning, signal processing and dynamic probabilistic systems analysis
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