May, 2022.- Juan Reutter, associate professor at the Department of Computer Science, at the Universidad Católica de Chile (DCC UC), has recently been appointed as the new Deputy Director of the Millennium Institute for Foundational Research on Data (IMFD). Pablo Barceló, director of the Institute of Mathematical and Computational Engineering of the Universidad Católica de Chile (IMC UC), formerly in the role, will assume now as scientific director of the IMFD Innovation area.
“Our goal is to develop with as much force as possible all those activities that were hindered by the pandemic. Therefore, this will be a very intense year for our institute, one that will have a particular focus on our students, who have suffered the impact of the distance and with whom we hope to continue strengthening ties”, says Marcelo Arenas, director of the IMFD and professor at DCC UC. Juan Reutter’s experience in the scientific direction of the Research and Training Unit will allow him to continue working to fortify the institute’s community of researchers, students, and professionals, adds Arenas.
Pablo Barceló, as director of the IMC UC, associate researcher of the IMFD, and also an associate researcher of the Center for Research in Artificial Intelligence (CenIA), is in a unique position to act not only as scientific director of the IMFD Innovation area but also to lead and create a node of collaborations with the different centers, the academia, the public world, and the private sector. “We have a significant gap as a country, in areas ranging from the training of human capital specialized in data science and artificial intelligence, to the application of innovative solutions to local needs. I am convinced that the only way to move forward quickly and effectively is through the collaboration in research and technology transfer between the IMFD, CenIA, and IMC UC”, indicates Barceló.
Pablo Barceló, Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Toronto, Canada, is currently the director of the Institute of Mathematical and Computational Engineering, at the Universidad Católica de Chile, an institute that carries out cutting-edge research and offers the first Bachelor’s degree in Data Science Engineering, as also several graduate programs. Before being deputy director of the IMFD, he was deputy director of the Semantic Web Research Center (CIWS), from which the current IMFD was born. His areas of interest are database theory, logic for computer science, and the emerging relationship between the two previous areas and machine learning.
Data at the service of the society
“We are now on the verge of completing four years as IMFD and in this period we have worked hard to become a center able to address data science related problems with an interdisciplinary focus that is part of our essence. We have been able to connect research in computer science with political science and communication sciences, developing unique projects that have the meaning that all of us at the IMFD share: explore the foundational problems on data to extract its value and transform it into a benefit for the society”, describes Juan Reutter.
These achievements would have not been conquered without the commitment of IMFD researchers, students, and professionals, adds Reutter, a community that will be invaluable to face the challenges that come ahead: “I feel honored to assume as deputy director of the IMFD, a center in which converges not only the work and commitment but also the affection of each and every one of its members. We still have a long way to go, but I am certain that our community will continue to work with us to make the interdisciplinary research on data a real contribution to society”.
Reutter is an associate professor in the Department of Computer Science and the Institute of Mathematical and Computational Engineering at the Universidad Católica de Chile, Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. His areas of interest are mathematical principles in data science, data management, web and graph databases. He received the Ramón Salas Edwards Award from the Chilean Institute of Engineers, the Cor Baayen Award from the European Consortium for Research in Informatics and Mathematics, and the award for the best thesis in computer science in the United Kingdom from the Council of Professors and Heads of Computing. His research has been highlighted with the Best Paper awards at the ACM-PODS conferences in 2011 and ISWC in 2019, and recently the ICLR Outstanding Paper Award.