As the new director of the Division of Statistics and Scientific Computation (SSC) at The University of Texas at Austin, Lauren Ancel Meyers hopes to recruit top faculty and continue a large string of initiatives geared toward students.
"As a young program unencumbered by institutional inertia in a rapidly evolving field, the SSC has a unique opportunity to become one of the most innovative statistics programs in the world," said Meyers, who is also a professor in the Section of Integrative Biology. "As director, my highest priority is to transform quantitative education so that every UT undergraduate is equipped with the intuition and computational skills required for understanding, communicating and problem solving in today's world."
Meyers has been a pioneer in the field of mathematical epidemiology, with research ranging from tracking the influenza virus to tracing the spread of a virus in lions on the Serengeti.
"As massive volumes of complex data flood in from the Internet, satellites, science labs and beyond, modern statistics has become essential for progress in science, technology, public health and society," she said. "The SSC's world-class statistics faculty are developing powerful methods for handling complex data that have provided critical insights for cancer treatment, electric grids, traffic safety and financial markets."
Meyers has designed network-based mathematical methods to study the complexity of disease transmission, human behavior and the evolution of dangerous microbes.
Before joining the Section of Integrative Biology at The University of Texas at Austin in 2003, Meyers was a National Science Foundation and Santa Fe Institute postdoctoral fellow. She was recently promoted to the rank of full professor and received a Donald D. Harrington Faculty Fellowship.