May 25, 2017
Dear campus community,

As part of the effort to solidify the place of data science amongst our academic offerings and research landscape, I am pleased to announce the appointment of Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences David Culler as Interim Dean for the newly created Division of Data Sciences. He will begin his new role on July 1, 2017 for a two-year term.

As Interim Dean, Professor Culler will play an essential part in setting the new division on a path towards long-term success and enhancing Berkeley’s international leadership. His duties will include fostering a cooperative atmosphere among the relevant faculties; working with the administration to form an advisory board with representation of key external constituencies; advancing fundraising efforts in concert with broader campus fundraising objectives; and enlisting a team of Berkeley faculty members who will work with him to develop the initiative. Such development includes collaborating with other deans on a variety of initiative goals including designing an undergraduate curriculum, including a major, minors, and concentrations; designing a faculty recruitment plan; initiating consideration of possible graduate-level offerings; and recommending an organizational structure that will best house the set of data science programs. Professor Culler will also serve as a central champion for the division, as well as for Berkeley data science more broadly. As Interim Dean, he will report directly to the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost.

In recognizing and supporting synergies across our rich data science ecosystem - from new computational and inferential approaches to the frontiers of understanding in society, science, arts, professions, engineering and people - this appointment enables the University to advance its position of world-leading research and learning, illustrated in part by our exciting new data science education program, building connections throughout campus. I would like to extend my thanks to search committee chair Vice Chancellor Paul Alivisatos, the entire search committee, and all those in the extended Berkeley community who were involved in bringing the data science initiative to this stage.

Professor Culler joined the Berkeley faculty in 1989, and since then has served as EECS department chair, co-director of the Data Science Planning Initiative, and faculty director of the CITRIS Sustainable Infrastructures Initiative, among many other roles. His own research in parallel computing laid technological foundations of today’s global Internet services and the Cloud, while his work on wireless sensor networks is foundational to the Internet of Things. His focus on information technology for sustainable energy systems and the built environment has connected him with research throughout campus. Professor Culler is a National Academy of Engineering member, an Association for Computing Machinery Fellow, an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Fellow, and in 2013 he was awarded the Okawa Prize for his pioneering contributions to the design and development of wireless sensor networks. He received his BA in mathematics from Berkeley (1980), and both his MS in electrical engineering and computer science (1985) and PhD in computer science (1989) from MIT.

Professor Culler’s experience on the Berkeley campus, coupled with his significant accomplishments in his field, position him to provide outstanding leadership for this exciting new academic endeavor, and we are thrilled to have him at its forefront.

Please join me in welcoming Professor Culler to this new role.


Carol Christ
Interim Executive Vice Chancellor & Provost