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Magdalena Balazinska appointed director of the Allen School

July 17, 2019

From the desk of Interim Dean Greg Miller

Magda Balazinska

I am pleased to announce that Professor Magdalena Balazinska has accepted the position of director of the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering, effective January 1, 2020 subject to the approval of the Provost.

A respected scholar and colleague, Magda brings a breadth of leadership experience that will serve the school well as it continues to grow in size and stature. As director of the eScience Institute and Associate Vice Provost for Data Science, she has developed broad cross-campus partnerships to advance data-intensive discovery across a variety of disciplines and established herself as an outstanding leader. Magda spearheaded the establishment of educational programs for students in the burgeoning field of data science at the UW. As PI on an NSF IGERT grant, she led the creation of the Data Science and Advanced Data Science Ph.D. options, and later co-led the creation of the Undergraduate Data Science option. She also demonstrated her commitment to diversity through her educational and university wide service. Magda has a broad vision of the societal impact of the field of computer science, and I have no doubt that she will build upon the strong foundation of the school to advance that vision.

Magda’s research interests are in the field of database management systems. Her current research focuses on data management for data science, big data systems, cloud computing, and image and video analytics including data management for augmented and virtual reality systems. Magda holds a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and joined the UW faculty in 2006. She has been recognized with many professional honors, including: a Test of Time Award from the Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on the Management of Data (ACM SIGMOD) for her contributions in distributed stream processing; the 10-Year Most Influential Paper Award from the Working Conference on Reverse Engineering (WCRE) for her work in automated software code refactoring; and the inaugural Women in Database Research Award from VLDB, the flagship conference for database research, based on her inspirational record of research in scalable distributed data systems. She is also the recipient of an NSF CAREER Award, a Microsoft Research New Faculty Fellowship, and multiple best paper awards.

I appreciate the time and effort of the search committee, Tom Daniel and Mari Ostendorf (co-chairs), Luis Ceze, Tracy Erbeck, Stan Fields, Bert Kolde, Marzette Mondin, Franziska Roesner, and Emina Torlak. I would also like to thank all who shared input and opinions with the committee during the selection process.

And finally, I’d like to thank outgoing director Hank Levy, who led CSE through a period of tremendous growth — in both size and stature — during his 13 years at the helm. Hank has graciously agreed to extend his appointment until December 31, 2019 to give Magda an opportunity to finish up existing commitments.

Please join me in welcoming Magda to her new position. I am confident that Magda will move the school toward great success and the college and university will benefit from her leadership.

Best regards,

Greg Miller, Ph.D.
Interim Dean of Engineering
College of Engineering
University of Washington


Read more: UW News release | Allen School announcement | GeekWire story