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Winter 2016

The Big Data Issue

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Data Science: Extracting knowledge from a torrent of information.

Congratulations to our new graduates who are now new alumni! I am excited to share so much good news about the College, our students, faculty and alumni with all of you. As we prepare this magazine, I am always amazed at all of the incredible work our science community is doing. It is truly an inspiration and makes me very proud to be part of Science at Oregon State University.

As you read about our accomplishments, I hope you notice the themes of excellence, diversity and harmony that shine through our recruitment, collaborations and achievements.

Our new faculty and alumni are receiving national and global recognition for research excellence, innovation, service, mentoring and teaching. Through the generosity of alumni like Carolyn Hennig (’64) with her pay-it-forward philosophy, generations of students will have access to a science education regardless of their ability to pay. I am deeply grateful to our alumni and friends for their belief in the power of science and their desire to make a difference.

I am thrilled to share our plans for taking leadership in data science. The cover story illuminates the bright future ahead and how we can harness the power of data science to convert tornadoes of data to knowledge that can lead to better lives on a healthy planet. Please read an expanded version online at, where we highlight the fascinating work of faculty like statistics professor Charlotte Wickham, who is doing remarkable work in data visualization and recently won first place in an international contest.

We launched our 2015-2020 strategic plan that is centered on our people, our planet and our prosperity with a clear mission of advancing science and building the next generation of diverse leaders and innovators in science.

I hope you enjoy reading about the successes of our science community. Thank you for being part of our past and our future.

Sastry G. Pantula
Dean, College of Science