Drs. Sallie Ann Keller and Madhav V. Marathe Honored with Endowed Distinguished Professorship in Biocomplexity

A photo of Sallie Ann Keller and Madhav V. Marathe

September 24, 2019

The University of Virginia’s Biocomplexity Institute is pleased to announce Dr. Sallie Ann Keller, director of the Social and Decision Analytics Division, and Dr. Madhav V. Marathe, director of the Network Systems Science and Advanced Computing Division, have been appointed to Distinguished Professorships in Biocomplexity. These are endowed faculty appointments recently approved by the UVA Board of Visitors. The endowed distinguished professorship is one of the most prestigious honors that can be bestowed on a UVA faculty member and signifies the individual has achieved the highest stature and exemplary accomplishment in a discipline or area of research. This honor has previously been awarded only once to the Institute’s Executive Director Christopher L. Barrett earlier this year. 

“Drs. Keller and Marathe are recognized nationally and internationally for their exemplary performance and leadership in interdisciplinary team science research that have led to advancements in the safety, health, and welfare of humankind,” Dr. Barrett said. “Moreover, numerous research students and early career colleagues have benefited greatly from working with these two excellent scientists. The Institute and University are incredibly proud of these long-time partners and colleagues who have made an impact and are so deserving of this recognition. They exemplify the achievements and aspirations of the Biocomplexity Institute and we are privileged to work with them every day.”  

Dr. Keller has integrated statistical, social, and behavioral sciences that capture the “be great and be good” UVA vision. She has built a vibrant team and created the Data Science for the Public Good (DSPG) program, which leverages cutting-edge public policy analytics and unprecedented data access to serve as a resource to government on how data science can be used for complex problem solving and policy development. 

Throughout her career, Dr. Keller has repeatedly created impact in the corporate, governmental, and educational sectors. Among many notable accomplishments, Dr. Keller introduced big-data analytics to large-scale manufacturing and supply chain management to industrial sponsors; introduced advanced Bayesian modeling programs into the assessment of weapon stockpile reliability for the National Nuclear Security Administration within the U.S. Department of Energy; has been an effective proponent to Congress and Federal agencies to make better use of statistical science in areas—including national security and national science policy—as president of the American Statistical Association; and, as Dean of Engineering at Rice University, she oversaw the transformation of educational programs for interdisciplinary engineering integrating applied mathematics, computer science, statistics, and experiential learning. That facility has served as a model for other universities and recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary. 

Dr. Keller has received numerous awards and  distinctions throughout her academic career. She is a National Associate of the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine, and is recognized as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS) and the American Statistical Association, is an elected member of the International Statistics Institute, and was a member of the National Academies’ Board on Mathematical Sciences and its Applications, chaired their Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics, and was a member or the Nationals Academies’ Committee on National Statistics among involvement with numerous other advisory boards and professional organizations. 

Dr. Marathe is a well-known and respected interdisciplinary computational scientist whose achievements, leadership, and innovative research have had an important impact on improving public safety and health and informing public policy. His career has advanced computer science in the study and development of large-scale biological, information, social, and technical (BIST) analysis systems. He has led many successful teams in innovative projects in simulation science, e.g., development of disaster response tools and high-performance computing based analytics to support national security policy development for organizations including the U.S. Department of Transportation, Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories, the U.S. Department of Defense, National Science Foundation, and Department of Health and Human Services. 

As director of the Network Systems Science and Advanced Computing Division, Dr. Marathe has created a program to provide experiential learning opportunities for undergraduate students as they take on some of our world’s most challenging issues related to health, infrastructure, and the environment. These applications help broaden student perspectives on global issues and deepen their understanding of the application of computational methods that will help solve some of the most critical issues in society. 

Dr. Marathe has received numerous honors and awards, including several prestigious awards among the scientific community. He was named the 2011 Inaugural George Michael Distinguished Scholar at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and is a Fellow with the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), Association of Computing Machinery (ACM), American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS), and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM).  

Please join us in congratulating Drs. Keller and Marathe for this deserved recognition.