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Reinforcing Hopkins' Strengths in Big Data and Computational Biology

Mauro Maggioni and Michael Schatz are named the 20th and 21st Bloomberg Distinguished Professors
Posted May 31, 2016

Big data expert Mauro Maggioni and Michael Schatz, renowned for his work solving computational problems in genomics research, were named the 20th and 21st Bloomberg Distinguished Professors this spring. Made possible by a gift from Johns Hopkins alumnus, philanthropist, and three-term New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, these interdisciplinary professorships are designed to galvanize people, resources, research, and educational opportunities to address major world problems.

"The study of big data has the potential to revolutionize nearly every field of study, from philosophy to physics to physiology. Dr. Maggioni’s distinguished record ... helps solidify our position as one of the world leaders in the area of big data science," says Robert Lieberman, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs.

"Computational biology is an essential field for advancing our most basic understanding of living organisms," says Beverly Wendland, the James B. Knapp Dean of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. "We greatly look forward to sharing in [Dr. Schatz's] future discoveries, which are sure to provide transformative insight into human disease and biological life."

Mauro Maggioni
Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Data Intensive Computation
Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, Whiting School of Engineering

Maggioni specializes in mathematical techniques for analyzing, modeling, and extracting information from large data sets that lead to smarter machine learning algorithms and scientific discoveries. Specifically, he is developing algorithms that analyze and exploit the geometry of big data in order to train machines to learn and predict patterns in data.

Both departments with which Maggioni is affiliated (the Krieger School’s Department of Mathematics and the Whiting School’s Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics) have committed to further bolstering their faculties with additional big data scientists and have secured an allocation of resources for Maggioni on the new Maryland Advanced Research Computing Center. Funded by a $30 million state of Maryland grant to Johns Hopkins' Institute for Data Intensive Engineering and Science, MARCC is a state-of-the-art digital processing facility serving Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland.

Read more about Maggioni on The Hub

Michael Schatz
Bloomberg Distinguished Associate Professor of Computational Biology
Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, Whiting School of Engineering

Schatz's appointment reinforces Johns Hopkins' strength and international visibility in the area of computational biology, which lies at the intersection of computer science, biology, and biotechnology. He has created many of the most widely used methods and software for genome assembly, the piecing together of all of the genetic material for a single person or a species.

His work has led to a better understanding of the structure and function of genomes, especially those of medical and agricultural importance, as well as the genetic basis and evolution of autism spectrum disorders, cancer, and other human diseases. Beyond his contributions to the Krieger and Whiting schools, Schatz's research at Hopkins will benefit the Individualized Health Initiative, which spans the university, the Johns Hopkins Health System, and the Applied Physics Laboratory.

Read more about Schatz on The Hub