A graphic of a compass pointing at the word leadership.

Leadership changes at the eScience Institute

Photos of Ed Lazowska, Madgalena Balazinska, Bill Howe, David Beck, Jake Vanderplas
From left, Ed Lazowska, Madgalena Balazinska, Bill Howe, David Beck, Jake Vanderplas

The eScience Institute is pleased to announce recent changes in leadership and institutional structure. We are extremely grateful to Ed Lazowska and Bill Howe for their inspiring leadership and look forward to their continued contributions to the eScience community.

Ed Lazowska, founding director of the eScience Institute, is stepping down from his directorial role at the Institute. Lazowska, who has been the acting director since the founding of the eScience Institute nine years ago, will continue to be very involved in Institute activities serving on the eScience Executive Committee and as a senior data science fellow.

Magdalena Balazinska has been named the new director and has already begun many of her new duties. Balazinska, has been on the Executive Committee and  chair of the Education Working Group for the last four years. Balazinska is a professor in the UW’s Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering. She’s also the director of the IGERT PhD Program in Big Data and Data Science and the director of the associated Advanced Data Science PhD Option.

Balazinska has received multiple career and paper awards, and her current research focuses on big data management, scientific data management, and cloud computing. “I’m very excited to work with everyone on the next steps of our wonderful institute,” said Balazinska in an email.

Bill Howe has stepped down as the associate director of the eScience Institute. Howe began an associate professorship in the UW Information School in fall 2016 and has recently launched a campus-wide effort in urban data science called UrbAnalytics that bridges expertise from the eScience Institute, the Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology (CSDE), and faculty from across the Urban@UW network. Howe will continue to serve on the eScience Executive Committee and as a senior data science fellow.

David Beck has been named the first director of research for the Institute. Beck has been with eScience since 2009, formerly serving as the director of research for the life sciences. He is a research associate professor in chemical engineering and brings experience in scientific data analytics and mining, parallel programming techniques for data intensive computing and high performance computing applications, and general software design and engineering support.

Jake VanderPlas has been named to the newly created position of director of open software. VanderPlas, an eScience data scientist and a senior data science fellow, has a background in machine learning and data-intensive astronomy and astrophysics. He is interested in encouraging open and reproducible research practices across scientific disciplines and has been very active in the world of open-source Python.