UMSI founding dean presents 2015 commencement address

The 2015 Graduate Recognition Ceremony of the University of Michigan School of Information will take place on Friday, May 1 at 4 p.m. in Rackham Auditorium on the campus of the University of Michigan.

Daniel E. Atkins III

The commencement speaker will be Daniel E. Atkins III, a professor and the founding dean of the School of Information. He served as the first W.K. Kellogg Professor of Community Informatics of UMSI and is also a professor of electrical and computer engineering in the College of Engineering, where he also served as dean.

From June 2006 to June 2008, he was the inaugural Director of the Office of Cyberinfrastructure at the U.S. National Science Foundation. On returning to the University of Michigan, he lead restoration of the university research computing environment  as the UM Associate Vice-President for Research Cyberinfrastructure and also served as initial chair of the U-M IT Governance Council.

Atkins is an elected member of the National Academy of Engineering and serves regularly on panels of the National Academies exploring issues such as scholarship in the digital age, the future of scholarly communication, the impact of information technology on the future of higher education, research data policy, and the future of STEM education. He is co-author of Higher Education in the Digital Age: Technology Issues and Strategies for American Colleges and Universities.

Atkins is the recipient of several major awards including two U-M Distinguished Service Awards, the 1993 Nina W. Mathesson Award for outstanding contributions to medical informatics, the 1998 Computerworld Smithsonian Award for innovation in use of the web for science, and the 2008 Paul Evan Peters Award for “notable, lasting achievements in the creation and innovative use of information resources and services that advance scholarship and intellectual productivity through communication networks.”

He is a recipient of an NSF Service Commendation, and in May 2009 he was recognized with a University of Illinois College of Engineering Distinguished Alumni Award for his influence on high-performance computer architecture, pioneering work in the development of schools of information, and leadership in improving the U.S. cyberinfrastructure.

In 2014 he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering for pioneering work in computer architecture and scientific collaboration systems.

Dr. Atkins received his BSEE from Bucknell University and his MS and PhD in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of Illinois.

At the ceremony, Dean Jeff MacKie-Mason will introduce a new award to recognize an outstanding student in the bachelor of science in information program. The first honor will go to Jenna Werner, who is the first student to graduate with a BSI. Jenna Werner will speak on her undergraduate experiences at the ceremony.

The commencement program will be recorded and available for viewing online within a few days of the event.

Posted April 7, 2015