Michael D. Smith (computer scientist)

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Mike Smith
Michael D. Smith
Alma materPrinceton University
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Stanford University
Scientific career
InstitutionsHarvard University
Doctoral studentsDavid J. Malan[1]

Michael D. Smith is the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University. He is also the John H. Finley Jr. Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. In addition to his academic position, Smith was the Chief Scientist and co-founder of Liquid Machines, Inc., a provider of enterprise rights management software.[2][3][4]


Smith received his bachelor of science in electrical engineering and computer science from Princeton University in 1983, his master of science degree from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1985, and his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Stanford University in 1993.

Response to Graduate Student Unionization[edit]

On November 16 and 17, 2016, teaching and research assistants at Harvard University voted in an election to decide whether they wanted to be represented by a labor union. One day prior to this vote, Smith voiced his opposition to the union in a lengthy email to all Graduate School of Arts and Sciences students, writing: “I think the right mental model for what takes place in the humanities and qualitative social sciences is an apprenticeship followed by mentorship. Mentorship begins when a student undertakes her own research questions under the guidance of a faculty mentor, and this mentorship seems no different than what takes place in the sciences. The initial apprenticeship in the humanities may look like an assistantship at a quick glance, but a simple employment relationship would not involve the goal of developing an independent scholar capable of asking her own research questions and producing her own monographs. . . . I hope you will also think about what kind of relationship you want with your faculty research mentor and the faculty instructor in the course you’re co-teaching. I think that the best of these relationships is rooted in trust that the faculty and the University have your best interests in mind from the moment you were accepted through the moment you receive your diploma.”


  1. ^ Malan, David J. (2007). Rapid detection of botnets through collaborative networks of peers (PDF). cs.harvard.edu (PhD thesis). Harvard University. ISBN 9780549042921. OCLC 232370471. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-08-17.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-10-15. Retrieved 2006-10-17.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Michael D. Smith | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences". Seas.harvard.edu. 1998-01-01. Retrieved 2017-04-02.
  4. ^ "Dean Michael D. Smith | Faculty of Arts & Sciences". Fas.harvard.edu. Retrieved 2017-04-02.