Dean's Message

For the public good

June 2022

Albert P. Pisano

In everything I do as Dean of the Jacobs School of Engineering, I ask: How does this decision or opportunity improve our ability to leverage engineering and computer science for the public good?

Every year about this time, the Jacobs School conducts our Ring Ceremony, in which graduating engineering and computer science students affirm an oath of integrity and professional responsibility. Every year, I renew the oath for myself. 

This year's Ring Ceremony keynote speaker, Kylie Taitano (BS CSE '14), shared a term from the indgeneous language Chamorro that inspires and motivates her. The term is inafa'maolek. She explained that it literally translates as "to make good." It connotes a spirit of interdependence and cooperation, and it drives her professional and personal contributions to society. Taitano is a Senior Software Engineer here in San Diego and is also a Co-Founder and CEO of the nonprofit Code with Her. 

Returning to inafa'maolek, Taitano reminded our students that engineers and computer scientists are literal makers who have unique and substantial responsibilities "to make good." 

That is so true, and it gets more true every day. With technologies coalescing and integrating ever more deeply into our individual and collective lives, engineers and computer scientists have incredible responsibility, influence, and capacity for good. 

As I'm writing this, I am also contemplating the advice that I regularly share with engineering and computer science students. The advice is a set of interrelated lessons that I have learned throughout my life as an engineer. I encourage students to dig in and learn the math that matters. I challenge them to practice the math and its implementation. After all, engineering and computer science excellence is acquired through practice. Finally, I challenge students to "find your why." This is about challenging students to take the time to explore and identify what will motivate them to put in the hard work necessary to persevere. 

Ring Ceremony is an important reminder that "finding your why" is about integrity and professional responsibility. "Finding your why" is about leveraging engineering and computer science for the public good in ways that resonate personally. 

Ring Ceremony comes once per year, but the commitment to integrity and professional responsibility is 24-7. This is the ground truth for the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering, and this is why I feel privileged and lucky to serve this community as its dean of engineering.

Read the full June 2022 Jacobs School of Engineering news email online.

As always, I can be reached at

Albert ("Al") P. Pisano, Dean
UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering