Jeffrey S. Vitter

Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Computer & Information Science

The University of Mississippi
201 Weir Hall
P.O. Box 1848
University, MS 38677-1848 USA
+1 (662) 915-2649

Jeffrey S. Vitter is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Computer and Information Science at the University of Mississippi, adjunct professor of computer science at Tulane University, and frequent consulant. He is an internationally known computer scientist with research expertise in big data and data science, especially the algorithmic aspects of processing, compressing, and communicating massive amounts of information. He has 40 years of experience as a passionate advocate for higher education and a widely-sought consultant. He served on the faculty and in leadership roles at noted AAU universities Brown, Duke, Purdue, Texas A&M, and Kansas, before leading Ole Miss as its 17th chancellor from January 2016–January 2019.

The University of Mississippi (a.k.a. UM and Ole Miss) is the flagship and largest university in Mississippi, with about 2,200 faculty members, 10,600 staff, 23,250 FTE students, and an annual budget of $2.5 billion. UM is a comprehensive institution of 17 colleges and schools across the main campus in Oxford, UM Medical Center in Jackson, and four satellite campuses. Under Dr. Vitter's watch, it achieved and re-achieved the top research ranking given by the Carnegie Foundation, R1: Doctoral Universities — Very high research activity, representing the top 2 1/2% of colleges and universities nationally.

Fueled by his belief in the power of higher education to transform lives, communities, and the world, Dr. Vitter has charted the university’s momentum through a dynamic strategic plan to achieve ever greater heights. Ole Miss is continuing its legacy of leadership in academic excellence with a $1 billion building program and capital planning, creation of superlative networks of faculty called Flagship Constellations, major engagement with communities through the M Partner initiative and the McLean Institute, and annual Technology Summits. Dr. Vitter has provided leadership to achieve a healthier Mississippi by reaffirming the importance of diversity and inclusion, commissioning a forthright contextualization of southern symbols on campus, and extending the capacity and reach of the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

Dr. Vitter has relished his role as leader and voice of the university. He greatly expanded communication and connectivity via town halls, informational blogs, and robust use of social media. He and his wife Sharon were often seen around campus, in the Grove, at athletic events, in the State Capitol, and at restaurant counters throughout Mississippi, getting to know people the old-fashioned way.

Dr. Vitter is an internationally known computer scientist with research expertise in big data and data science, especially the algorithmic aspects of processing, compressing, and communicating massive amounts of information. He has been elected a Fellow of the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Academy of Inventors, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Association for Computing Machinery, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and he serves on several boards. He is a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator, and a Fulbright Scholar, and he has been awarded an IBM Faculty Development Award, the CEO Award of Mississippi, and the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award.

A native of New Orleans, Vitter graduated in mathematics with highest honors from the University of Notre Dame in 1977 and earned a Ph.D. under Don Knuth in computer science at Stanford University in 1980. He also holds an MBA in 2002 from Duke University.


As detailed on his research webpage, Jeff Vitter seeks to exploit the rich interdependence between computing theory and practice, primarily in four key subfields dealing with big data. Dr. Vitter has authored over 350 book, journal, conference, and patent publications and is widely sought as a consultant. His Google Scholar h-index is in the 70s, and he has been an ISI highly cited researcher. On a personal side, he and his wife Sharon are the family genealogists; their online family tree includes 45K individuals and can be accessed at

Online Publication Library

You can electronically download several of Dr. Vitter’s more recent publications via his online publication library.

Curriculum Vitæ

See Dr. Vitter’s curriculum vitæ for more complete information, including a biography and a full list of publications and funding.


Dr. Vitter communicates often in a variety of settings — letters, blogs, speeches, articles, interviews, and social media. He is also a genealogist by hobby, and he and his wife Sharon maintain their family tree on the web. You can see all that on his communications webpage.

Selected Publications