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NCSA’s Gabrielle Allen Named Associate Dean for the U of I College of Education

Dr. Gabrielle Allen, founding leader of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA)’s Research and Education (R&E) directorate and professor of Astronomy, has been named Associate Dean for Research and Research Education at the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Allen, who is a professor in the department of astronomy, will continue to serve NCSA as a Senior Advisor to R&E and as a Senior Research Scientist in the Physics and Astronomy thematic area, where her group conducts research in numerical relativity and scientific software, including a new collaborative NSF award to develop the Einstein Toolkit for relativistic astrophysics.

“Gabrielle’s efforts to integrate educational activities more deeply into day-to-day operations at NCSA have been important steps in the right direction,” said Peter Schiffer, vice chancellor for research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “Her leadership and expertise have laid the foundation for more deeply engaging a larger number of faculty at NCSA and for programs that provide cutting-edge educational experiences for STEM students. I am certain that her efforts in the College of Education will be similarly valuable.”

“Allen’s leadership in developing NCSA’s Research and Education directorate has been essential to NCSA’s Vision 20/20 Strategic Plan, which outlines steps to become an integrative center for transdisciplinary research, education, and innovation,” said Bill Gropp, acting director of NCSA and Thomas M. Siebel Chair in Computer Science.

“NCSA has benefited immensely from Dr. Allen’s extensive accomplishments as a researcher and her passion for preparing the next generation of scientists to take on the grand challenges facing our society,” Gropp said.

Interim Dean James D. Anderson said, “I am elated that Dr. Gabrielle Allen has chosen to join our College as Associate Dean of Research and Research Education. As Associate Director for Computational Research and Education Programs at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, Gabrielle already has collaborated with some of our faculty. Dr. Allen’s background with the National Science Foundation brings a competitive advantage to our research and research education programs. We look forward to her getting to know the full range of our research enterprise as she engages our diverse body of faculty, staff, and students. This is a wonderful time to lead a very interdisciplinary faculty as we expand collaborations and research opportunities.”

“I am honored to be joining the revered faculty and bright students at the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,” Allen said. “In my role leading NCSA’s Research and Education directorate, our aim has been to develop deep partnerships and interdisciplinary collaborations between NCSA and the Illinois campus. I think we have been very successful in our new activities with many different Illinois departments, and we have built a great team to continue to move this forward. Moving now into the role of Associate Dean for Research and Research Education in the College of Education is a natural next step where I can use my background and experiences to help the College further their vision to engage in research on critical issues in education, leveraging the interdisciplinary strengths across the campus as well as new opportunities from computing and data science.”

About Dr. Gabrielle Allen

Gabrielle obtained a PhD in physics from Cardiff University in 1993, following an undergraduate degree in mathematics at Nottingham University and a Masters of Advanced Study in Mathematics from Cambridge University. Gabrielle has been a research scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (AEI) in Potsdam Germany, where she carried out research in Einstein’s theory of general relativity as well as researching and developing techniques for high performance and grid computing. At the AEI Gabrielle led the Cactus Code Project, and had leadership roles in collaborative European projects GridLab and the EU Astrophysics Network. Gabrielle then moved to Louisiana State University in 2003 as an associate professor in the departments of computer science and physics, and a founding member of the new Center for Computation and Technology where she served as the Assistant Director for Computing Applications. In 2012 she was promoted to Russell Long Professor of Computer Science. At LSU Gabrielle led the cyberinfrastucture component of the statewide NSF research infrastructure improvement award “CyberTools”, and was involved in a number of large, collaborative projects involving computer science, scientific computing and the computational sciences, in diverse fields including petroleum engineering, coastal modeling, computational fluid dynamics, numerical relativity, computational chemistry and computational biology. Gabrielle was awarded the Gordon Bell Prize for Supercomputing in 2001, and the IEEE International Scalable Computing Challenge prize in 2009.

Between 2010 and 2012 Gabrielle served as a Program Director in the Office of Cyberinfrastructure at the National Science Foundation (NSF) in Washington DC. At NSF, Gabrielle developed NSF-wide programs in software and computational and data-enabled science, and within OCI was responsible for learning and workforce development activities including CAREER, REU and the CI-TRACS postdoctoral fellowship program.

In 2012, Gabrielle moved to the Moscow, Russia to become a professor at a new graduate university—the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech)—established by the Russian Federation in partnership with MIT. Here, she worked primarily on establishing the IT and cyberinfrastructure vision for Skoltech as the interim Chief Information Officer. In 2014 Gabrielle moved to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

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