I have never been so excited for the future.
This spring, I was reappointed as dean for a second five-year term. My last five years at the Mellon College of Science have been even better than I anticipated (pandemic excluded). We have welcomed many new, young faculty who are receiving national attention for their work; we continue to see an increase in the quality and quantity of our undergraduate applicants; and we have significantly increased and improved our connections with our alumni. We have embarked on diversity initiatives that will help our students, faculty and staff learn and grow. It will also make MCS a better, more inclusive place where everyone can thrive.
My first five years was capped off by the realization of my wildest dream — in May, Carnegie Mellon announced a $250 million future of science initiative that will greatly benefit MCS. Through this initiative we will build a new science building on the Oakland campus, open the world’s first academic cloud lab and support researchers working in critical fields. Key to this initiative is a $75 million grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation that serves as the lead gift for the new science building.
The focus on the future of science building will be automation and collaboration — with an emphasis on bringing together the foundational sciences with machine learning, artificial intelligence and data science. In addition to supporting researchers working in this area, it is critical that we teach our students how to work at this interface. One way we are doing this is through our new master’s program in data analytics for science.
While on-campus research has continued over the last year, many of us — myself included — have been working remotely for more than a year. This summer, we started to return to on-campus activities, and this fall we will get back to an in-person Carnegie Mellon experience.
We have much to look forward to, and I promise to make the next five years as productive and exciting as the last.
Glen de Vries Dean, Mellon College of Science
Professor of Statistics and Data Science, Professor of Biological Sciences