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Queens College Names Larry Liebovitch New Dean of Math and Natural Sciences

--NY Native Attended City College and Harvard;
His Interdisciplinary Research Ranges from Astronomy to Ophthalmology and Genetics--

FLUSHING, NY., June 14, 2010--After a national search, Queens College of the City University of New York (CUNY) has appointed a new dean for the Division of Math and Natural Sciences: Larry Liebovitch, an alumnus of the Bronx High School of Science and City College (CUNY). Currently associate dean for graduate studies and programs at the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science at Florida Atlantic University, he will succeed Thomas Strekas, who began teaching at Queens in 1978 and served as the dean of math and natural sciences from 2003 to 2009.

Liebovitch holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from City College and a master’s and doctorate in astronomy from Harvard. He returned to the city for post-doctoral fellowships in ophthalmology, first at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and then at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, eventually joining its faculty. Living in Astoria, he commuted to Manhattan by bicycle. In 1993 he accepted a job at the interdisciplinary Center for Complex Systems and Brain Sciences at Florida Atlantic University, where he rose through the academic ranks—becoming associate dean in 2008—and pursued research in topics ranging from genetics to archaeology and psychology.

Larry Liebovitch

“My path in research is a single line, just bent in places,” says Liebovitch, explaining that the mathematical models he used in astronomy and ophthalmology have applications in other fields. “I particularly enjoy discovering how what we know in one area of science can give us new insights into other areas of science.”

“The newness of science lies in the complexity of research,” observes Queens College Provost James Stellar. “Larry’s work has moved from the study of galaxies to the study of fluid flow in the eye and analysis of human conflict. He will galvanize the sciences at Queens and get us better integrated with the sciences in CUNY and in the New York area.”

Liebovitch will assume his new responsibilities in August 2010. “I am deeply thankful for the intellectual and career opportunities that the City University of New York provided me,” he says. “I am honored to be able to serve that mission by working with the great students, great faculty, and great staff at Queens College.”

With this position, Liebovitch returns to his city roots. He spent his childhood in the Bronx and his wife, Rita, grew up in Flushing and earned a BA in sociology from Queens College.

Queens College of the City University of New York (CUNY), founded in 1937, is dedicated to the idea that a first-rate education should be accessible to talented individuals of all backgrounds and financial means. Its more than 20,000 students come from over 150 nations and represent over 90 native languages, creating an extraordinarily diverse and welcoming environment. Located on a beautiful, 77-acre campus in Flushing, Queens College enjoys a national reputation for its liberal arts and sciences and pre-professional programs. Each year Queens College has been cited by The Princeton Review as one of the nation’s 100 “Best Value” colleges, thanks to its outstanding academics, generous financial aid packages, and relatively low costs. In addition, U.S. News & World Report’s America’s Best Colleges (2010) ranks QC among the top 10 public universities in its category “Best Universities—Master’s (North).” The college opened its first residence hall, The Summit, in August 2009. More info on Queens College at


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