Andrea Bertozzi, a professor of mathematics and director of applied mathematics at UCLA, has been named the inaugural holder of UCLA's Betsy Wood Knapp Chair for Innovation and Creativity.
Under her leadership, UCLA's program in applied mathematics has become one of the premier programs in the United States and the world, said Joseph Rudnick, dean of the UCLA Division of Physical Sciences.
Bertozzi and her colleagues work with the Los Angeles Police Department to analyze crime patterns and predict crime hotspots, and they have designed a mathematical algorithm to identify street gangs involved in unsolved violent crimes.
She, along with other UCLA researchers, has also been awarded a $1 million grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation for research aimed at reshaping and improving how images and large data sets are collected and analyzed in science, engineering, medicine and other fields through the use of a method called compressive sensing.
"We are delighted that Professor Bertozzi has been chosen to occupy the Betsy Wood Knapp Chair for Innovation and Creativity," Rudnick said. "Professor Bertozzi is a world-class applied mathematician with years of distinguished performance as a teacher, scholar and leader in her field. She will continue to provide vital leadership and support for faculty and students."
A member of UCLA's faculty since 2003, Bertozzi has received many awards and honors for her research. She was elected a fellow of the American Mathematical Society this year and became a fellow of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) in 2010. She received SIAM's Kovalevsky Prize in 2009, a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in 1996 and a Sloan Research Fellowship in 1995.
She is the current chair of the science board of the National Science Foundation's Institute for Computational and Experimental Research in Mathematics at Brown University and serves on the science boards of the Banff International Research Station in Canada and the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute at UC Berkeley.
Bertozzi's expertise is in nonlinear partial differential equations and fluid dynamics. She also works in the areas of geometric methods for image processing and swarming/cooperative dynamics, as well as crime modeling and analysis.
The endowed chair was established through a gift to UCLA from Betsy Wood Knapp, an entrepreneur, philanthropist and the founder and CEO of BigPicture Investors LLC. BigPicture Investors provides investment capital, management expertise and consulting to startups and early-stage companies, focusing on core technologies in a variety of industries. A longtime supporter of UCLA, Knapp has held numerous leadership positions at the university, serving on boards and commissions, including a tenure as chair of the board of The UCLA Foundation from 2008 to 2010.
"I am thrilled with the appointment of Dr. Bertozzi to this chair," Knapp said. "Her exceptional scholarship and demonstrated commitment to innovation in teaching and research make her the ideal first individual to hold this position."
"I am honored and thrilled to be appointed as the Betsy Wood Knapp Chair for Innovation and Creativity," Bertozzi said. "I understand what a privilege it is to be named to an endowed chair, and look forward to expanding my research through this opportunity."
The tradition of endowing chairs to attract and retain internationally renowned scholars and to recognize academic excellence dates back to 16th-century England.
Endowed chairs are essential to UCLA, providing a vital tool to attract and retain world-renowned faculty. UCLA has more than 350 endowed chairs in fields throughout the university.
UCLA is California's largest university, with an enrollment of more than 40,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The UCLA College of Letters and Science and the university's 11 professional schools feature renowned faculty and offer 337 degree programs and majors. UCLA is a national and international leader in the breadth and quality of its academic, research, health care, cultural, continuing education and athletic programs. Six alumni and six faculty have been awarded the Nobel Prize.