On Tuesday, August 13, the University of California, Berkeley, announced that Jennifer Tour Chayes, Microsoft technical fellow and managing director for Microsoft Research in New England, New York, and Montreal, will become the university’s new Associate Provost for the Division of Data Science and Information and Dean of the School of Information.
She will be the first permanent leader of the Division of Data Science and Information since it was established last fall and will begin her term on January 1, 2020. Dean of Undergraduate Studies Bob Jacobsen will serve as the current division’s interim dean and Head of School, Associate Dean, and Professor John Chuang will continue to lead the I School for the fall semester.
“Berkeley has the best faculty in the world, both in the core disciplines of data science, and also the best faculty in all of the disciplines with which data science will interact, and where I believe data science can have a profound effect,” Chayes said. “I’ve been building multidisciplinary groups my entire career, but I’ve never been able to do it at the scale that we will be able to do it together at Berkeley. I would love to seed and foster research, teaching, and service at Berkeley in areas that bring people across the campus together.”
“Chayes is ideally suited to provide leadership of the division,” wrote Chancellor Carol Christ and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost A. Paul Alivisatos in a message to the UC Berkeley community. “A renowned researcher in the field of network science, she is celebrated for her work on models and algorithms that help explain the structure of the Internet, social and economic networks, and networks in computational biology.”
The School of Information is looking forward to new opportunities under Chayes’ leadership of the new Division of Data Science and Information. The novel, dynamic, and adaptable structure of the division will enable Berkeley faculty and students to work together across boundaries and to explore the foundations, applications, and implications of data science, information, and computation in a way that serves the interests of the public, the campus, and its academic community through a new teaching and discovery environment.