May 26, 2023
The recipients of the 2023 Arthur L. Kelly Faculty Prize for Exceptional Service in the Physical Sciences Division are Michael Franklin, Liew Family Chair of Computer Science, Senior Advisor to the Provost on Computation and Data Science and Faculty Co-Director of the Data Science Institute, and Dan Nicolae, Professor in the Departments of Statistics and Human Genetics, and the Section of Genetic Medicine, and Faculty Co-Director of the Data Science Institute.
The prize was established in the Division in 2013 by Arthur L. Kelly, who received his MBA from the University in 1964 and established the same faculty prize at Chicago Booth in 1999. In addition to his contributions to finance, business, international relations, and geography, Mr. Kelly served as Trustee of the University from 1988-2008 and has served two decades on the PSD Council, including ten years as chair. It is fitting that we honor his contributions to the Division and the University through this award.
The Kelly Prize celebrates faculty who, outside of their teaching and research, have made exceptional efforts in promoting and supporting the Division. Previous winners include Ka Yee Lee and John Frederick (2013); Anne Rogers and Michael Hopkins (2014); Robert Fefferman and Robert Wald (2015); Michael Foote (2016); Michael Stein (2017); Richard Jordan (2018); Stephen Stigler (2019); Bryan Dickinson, Margaret Gardel, and Chuan He (2020); Aaron Dinner and Stuart Kurtz (2021); and Young-Kee Kim and Edward "Rocky" Kolb (2022).
Michael J. Franklin, Liew Family Chair of Computer Science, Senior Advisor to the Provost on Computation and Data Science and Faculty Co-Director of the Data Science Institute, receives the prize in recognition of his service as chair of the Department of Computer Science and leadership of data science at the University of Chicago. Franklin is a noted authority on databases, data science, data management and distributed systems. Under his leadership, the Department of Computer Science has undergone a rapid expansion in scope and stature, building world-leading research efforts in many areas including human-computer interaction, machine learning/artificial intelligence, and quantum computing. During his seven years as department chair, Computer Science doubled the size of the faculty, tripled the number of Ph.D. students and became the second most popular major on campus. During this time, the department moved into a custom-renovated, light-filled new home in the John Crerar Library, designed to encourage collaboration and serendipitous discovery. Franklin is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Dan Nicolae, Professor in the Departments of Statistics and Human Genetics, and the Section of Genetic Medicine, and Faculty Co-Director of the Data Science Institute, receives the prize in recognition of his contributions as chair of the Department of Statistics (2016-2022) and leadership of data science at the University of Chicago. Nicolae’s research is focused in the areas of statistical genetics and mathematical statistics; the problems he studies are mainly motivated by applications to genetics and genomics studies on common/complex diseases. As chair of the Department of Statistics, he steered the department through faculty growth by recruiting and promoting top faculty, while stimulating a transition to a broad cross-disciplinary unit with research that spans statistics, applied mathematics, machine learning, data science and their applications.
Michael Franklin and Dan Nicolae have led a joint effort with the Departments of Computer Science and Statistics and the University to advance data science education and research on campus. They spearheaded the creation of the University of Chicago Data Science Institute and the Committee on Data Science, where a growing cohort of faculty develops a robust program of interdisciplinary research initiatives, graduate and undergraduate degrees, and partnerships with industry and academic institutions nationally and internationally.
The Kelly Prize will be awarded at the PSD Convocation ceremony on June 3. Please join me in congratulating Mike and Dan on this much-deserved honor.