Science has never been more important than it is now. In this issue of Science Connection, we are featuring the important work our community has done in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. From the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center providing resources and expertise to researchers nationwide who are searching for treatments and tests; to a student giving her time to help her community stay safe; to a professor developing innovative ways to teach remotely; to an alumnus who is accelerating treatments for a symptom of COVID-19, MCS is making an impact in these difficult times.
We also have strengthened our commitment to anti-racism, diversity, equity and inclusion within the college. While this has been among our core values for years, current events have made us closely examine the work we are doing in this space and emphasized that we need to do more and be better.
In times like the ones we are living in, it can be easy to overlook things that we normally celebrate, and I want to be sure that we don’t do that. In this issue you can read about the awards our faculty, students and alumni have received for their excellence in academics, outreach and research. Our students have been named Goldwater Scholars and won Fulbright awards; CMU Vice Provost for Education and MCS alumna Amy Burkert won the university’s Doherty Award; and Physics Teaching Professor Barry Luokkala received the university’s Ryan Award.
The 2020-21 academic year will continue to be full of uncertainty, but it will also be full of opportunity. I have no doubt that the members of the MCS community will rise to every challenge and will give us many things to celebrate.
I hope all of you are staying safe, and I encourage you to stay in touch with the college — virtually, for now. I look forward to hearing about everything that you have been doing over the last year.
Glen de Vries Dean, Mellon College of Science
Professor of Statistics and Data Science, Professor of Biological Sciences