Cowen named SIAM Fellow
Professor Lenore Cowen of the Department of Computer Science was recently elected as a Fellow of the prestigious Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM). According to the SIAM website, Cowen was selected for her “seminal contributions to computational biology through the design of graph-based algorithms and insights into network distance measures.” Fellows are influential leaders in their field and must be involved in a profession related to applied mathematics, computational, or data science for at least 15 years post-PhD.
Cowen earned her bachelor’s from Yale University and her PhD in mathematics from MIT. She showed her exceptional potential from early on in her career, earning a position as a National Science Foundation (NSF) Postdoctoral Fellow and recognition as an Office of Naval Research Young Investigator. After several years as a faculty member at Johns Hopkins University, Cowen joined Tufts as an associate professor in 2001. Her research interests span three main areas: discrete mathematics, algorithms, and computational molecular biology. She applies her work to tackling important problems such as predicting new genes involved in human diseases based on protein sequence, structure, and interactions with the genes already implicated in disease process.
In addition to her academic research, Cowen has earned awards for undergraduate mentoring from the Computing Research Association and the National Center for Women and Information Technology. She is currently serving as the Principal Investigator and Director of the NSF-funded $1.5 million T-TRIPODS institute, which takes an interdisciplinary approach to advancing work on the foundations of data science at Tufts, through connecting faculty and students working in data science across different Tufts departments. In 2020 she co-founded the Directed, Intensive And Mentored Opportunities iN Data Science (DIAMONDS) program with Associate Dean of Student Diversity, Inclusion, and Success Ellise LaMotte. DIAMONDS provides a research immersion opportunity for undergraduate students that includes mentorship from experienced faculty members.
In order to be nominated as a SIAM Fellow, the nominee must have a longstanding commitment to the organization as demonstrated by being a SIAM member for at least seven years over the past decade. Cowen has been a longtime member of the organization and active member of both the SIAM Discrete Math and the Applied and Computational Discrete Algorithms activity groups and will serve as co-chair of the SIAM Conference on Applied and Computational Discrete Algorithms in June 2023.
Founded in 1951, SIAM is dedicated to fostering math and computer science methodologies. The organization’s priorities lie at the intersection of using mathematics and computer science to solve real-world issues. Looking to the future, Cowen remains dedicated to taking an interdisciplinary and mentorship-focused approach to her work, and is always looking for new areas of research where data science can help make important contributions. Her new passion involves studying how bioinformatics methods can advance coral reef preservation.