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Date: Thursday, March 15, 2018

From: Richard M. Locke, Provost <>

To: All

Members of the Brown Community,

I´m pleased to announce that Björn Sandstede, Professor of Applied Mathematics and Royce Family Professor of Teaching Excellence at Brown, will become director of Brown´s Data Science Initiative, effective July 1, 2018. He will succeed Professor Jeffrey Brock, who has accepted a position with his alma mater, Yale University.

Launched in fall 2016, the Data Science Initiative (DSI) builds on and leverages Brown's notable strengths in applied mathematics, biostatistics, computer science and mathematics, providing a hub for research and education in foundational methodologies of data science. DSI is central to Building on Distinction, the University´s strategic plan, and offers an integrated, data-driven approach to developing solutions to complex societal challenges. DSI faculty partner with departments across campus to encourage the incorporation of data science into teaching and research in novel and creative ways, and to promote data fluency in students studying in a variety of disciplines. DSI also encompasses a one-year master´s program in Data Science.

Björn Sandstede is well-positioned to take on the role and responsibilities of the director of DSI. In addition to being an exceptional scholar with deep knowledge of Brown, Björn was instrumental in the creation of DSI and is a founding member of its Executive Committee. As director, he will continue establishing DSI as a center for data science research at Brown, overseeing targeted faculty growth, developing robust educational programming, forging relationships with industry partners and ensuring a sustainable budget model.

Björn joined Brown as a professor in the Division of Applied Mathematics in 2008, having held faculty positions at The Ohio State University and the University of Surrey. His research focuses on dynamical systems and applications to biological systems, and has been supported continuously by the National Science Foundation (NSF). He was one of the founding principal investigators of the NSF grant that established Brown's Institute for Computational and Experimental Research in Mathematics (ICERM) for which he serves as associate director. He has published more than 100 papers in peer-reviewed journals, and has received numerous honors and awards, including an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, the SIAM J.D. Crawford Prize, a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award, and the Elsevier Jack Hale Award. He is also the recipient of Brown´s Philip Bray Award for Teaching Excellence and the Graduate School Faculty Award for Advising and Mentoring.

Björn has been highly engaged in University service, having served as department chair and vice chair of the Research Advisory Board. He is currently a member of the Tenure, Promotions and Appointments Committee and serves on the advisory board of the Sheridan Center.

I´m grateful for the exceptional leadership that Jeff Brock has provided since establishing DSI, and I am enthusiastic about working with Björn Sandstede to advance our momentum and progress.


Richard M. Locke
Schreiber Family Professor of Political Science
and International and Public Affairs

Published on Thursday, March 15, 2018 at 01:03:28 AM.