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Updated 10:00 AM September 8, 2008
 

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Atkins to integrate cyber resources in new AVP research role

Professor Daniel Atkins has been appointed Associate Vice President for Research, Cyberinfrastructure (AVPR-CI), effective Sept. 1. Atkins' research experience and expertise, and his leadership role in the development of a national cyberinfrastructure strategy make him an outstanding choice for this position, University officials say.

This appointment, made jointly by the Office of the Vice President for Research and the Office of the Provost, is subject to approval by the Board of Regents at its September meeting.
(Photo courtesy Office for the Vice President of Research)

In this newly established position, Atkins will lead institutional planning for the integration of existing and future cyberinfrastructure resources. The University's goal is to maximize its research computational capabilities to make U-M a leader in computationally rich areas of research.

As AVPR-CI, Atkins will direct efforts to inventory current resources, coordinate with all University stakeholders to determine resources that need to be developed, identify funding sources, and develop models for growth and operation of these computing resources. He will coordinate large-scale efforts pursued in collaboration with peer institutions and will serve as the University's point of contact on cyberinfrastructure matters with the State of Michigan, federal government and private sector. He also will work with the vice provost for academic information in addressing Universitywide cyberinfrastructure needs and opportunities.

Atkins is a professor in the School of Information and in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. This month he became the W. K. Kellogg Professor of Community Informatics. From June 2006-June 2008 he was on leave from U-M to serve at the National Science Foundation as the inaugural director of the Office of Cyberinfrastructure. He has served as dean of the College of Engineering and as the founding dean of the School of Information.

He began his research career in the area of computer architecture and did pioneering work in parallel computer architecture and high-speed computer arithmetic that widely is used in modern processor chips. He also conducts research and teaching in the area of distributed knowledge communities and open learning resources. He has directed several large experimental digital library projects as well as projects to explore the socio-technical design and application of "collaboratories" for scientific research.

Atkins served as chair of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Advisory Panel on Cyberinfrastructure. The panel issued a landmark report in February 2003 recommending a major advanced cyberinfrastructure program intended to revolutionize science and engineering research and education. The report catalyzed new priorities and the new Office of Cyberinfrastructure at NSF.

Among his many distinctions, Atkins was the 2008 winner of the Paul Evan Peters Award from the Coalition of Networked Information, Association of Research Libraries and EDUCAUSE. The award recognizes notable, lasting achievements in the creation and innovative use of information resources and services that advance scholarship and intellectual productivity through communication networks.

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