Dean was named a fellow of AAAI in 1994 and an ACM fellow in 2009. He served as the Deputy Provost of Brown University from 2003 to 2005, as the chair of Brown's Computer Science Department from 1997 until 2002, and as the Acting Vice President for Computing and Information Services from 2001 until 2002. He was a founding member of the Academic Alliance of the National Center for Women and Information Technology and a former member of the IJCAI Inc. Board of Trustees. He has served on the Executive Council of AAAI and the Computing Research Association Board of Directors. He was a recipient of an NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award in 1989. He served as program co-chair for the 1991 National Conference on Artificial Intelligence and the program chair for the 1999 International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence held in Stockholm.
Dean is co-author with Mike Wellman of the Morgan-Kaufmann text entitled Planning and Control which ties together techniques from artificial intelligence, operations research, control theory, and the decision sciences. He is co-author with James Allen and John Aloimonos of Artificial Intelligence: Theory and Practice, an introductory text in Artificial Intelligence. His latest book Talking With Computers is published by Cambridge University Press and examines a wide range of topics from digital logic and machine language to artificial intelligence and searching the web.