AAAS honors IT and data scientist Juliana

image: Juliana Freire, VIDA lab member and professor of computer science and data science at NYU Tandon School of Engineering.
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Credit: NYU Tandon

BROOKLYN, New York, and WASHINGTON, DC, January 26, 2022 – The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest general science society and publisher of the Science journal family, elected Juliana Freireprofessor of computer science and engineering at NYU Tandon School of Engineering, to the new class of AAAS Fellowsamong the most prestigious distinctions within the scientific community.

In a tradition dating back to 1874, the AAAS Board elects as members a distinguished cadre of scientists, engineers, and innovators who have been recognized for their achievements in all disciplines. The 2021 class of AAAS Fellows includes 564 scientists, engineers, and innovators spanning 24 disciplines.

The organization cites Freire’s distinguished contributions to the development of widely used systems incorporating new data and provenance management methods to support usability, reproducibility and confidence for data-driven exploration. A fellow and co-founder of the Visualization Imaging and Data Analysis Center (VIDA) at NYU Tandon, Freire has co-authored over 200 technical papers (including 11 award-winning publications), developed several open source systems, and holds 12 U.S. patents.

Freire’s research focuses on methods and systems that enable a range of users, not just data and computer scientists, to derive reliable insights from data. This covers topics of large-scale data analysis and integration, visualization, machine learning, provenance management and web information discovery, as well as different application areas including urban analytics , predictive modeling and computational reproducibility.

A member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), she received the ACM SIGMOD Contributions Award in 2020. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, DARPA, Department of Energy, National Institutes of Health, Sloan Foundation, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, WM Keck Foundation, Google, Amazon, AT&T Research, Microsoft Research, Yahoo! and IBM, among others.

“I am happy to see Juliana Freire receive the recognition she so deserves from an august organization like AAAS,” said Jelena Kovačević, Dean of NYU Tandon. “His research on scientific reproducibility and data-driven exploration has been transformative and impactful in computer science and other scientific fields. In addition to her external impact, she has been instrumental in institutional strengthening at NYU – for example through her leadership at the VIDA Center – creating critical mass in data science and engineering and fostering a culture of interdisciplinary collaborations.

“AAAS is proud to bestow the honor of AAAS Fellow on some of today’s brightest minds who are integral to our journey into the future,” said Dr. Sudip Parikh, CEO of the AAAS and executive editor of the Science family of journals. “We celebrate these distinguished individuals for their invaluable contributions to the scientific enterprise.”

Joining Freire as Newly Elected AAAS Scholars Are NYU Faculty Members Michael Houtprofessor of sociology; Yann LeCun (an affiliate professor of electrical and computer engineering at NYU Tandon); Okhee Leeteacher of childhood education; Mark Tuckerman, professor of chemistry and mathematics; and Paul Romeruniversity professor in economics (and winner of the 2018 Nobel Prize).

NYU Tandon faculty who are past AAAS scholarship recipients are david pine, a professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at NYU Tandon, who was elected an AAAS Fellow in 2000; and Jin-Kim Montclareprofessor in the same department, who received the AAAS Leshner Scholarship in 2019.

An induction ceremony for new Fellows will be held on February 19, 2022 at the AAAS Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The 2021 Class of AAAS Scholars will also be featured in the AAAS News & Notes section of Science in January 2022.

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About New York University Tandon School of Engineering

The NYU Tandon School of Engineering dates back to 1854, when the New York University School of Civil Engineering and Architecture and Brooklyn Collegiate and Polytechnic Institute were founded. A merger in January 2014 created a comprehensive school of education and research in engineering and applied sciences as part of a global university, closely linked to the engineering programs of NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Shanghai. NYU Tandon is rooted in a vibrant tradition of entrepreneurship, intellectual curiosity, and innovative solutions to humanity’s most pressing global challenges. Research at Tandon focuses on the vital intersections between communication/computing, cybersecurity, and data science/AI/robotics systems and tools and the critical areas of society they influence, including emerging media, health , sustainability and urban living. We believe that diversity is an integral part of excellence and create a dynamic, inclusive and equitable environment for all of our students, faculty and staff. For more information, visit


The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world’s largest general science society and publisher of the journal Science, as well as Science Translational Medicine; scientific signage; an open-access digital journal, Science Advances; Sciences Immunology; and scientific robotics. AAAS was founded in 1848 and includes more than 250 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million people. The nonprofit AAAS is open to everyone and fulfills its mission to “advance science and serve society” through science policy initiatives, international programs, science education, public engagement, etc. For more information about AAAS, visit

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Sean N. Ayres