UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Professor and Acting Vice Chancellor for Research Dr. Sigal Gottlieb (Mathematics) recently received a $600,000 grant from the United States Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) to be used for the development and implementation of robust and scalable numerical algorithms.
The grant will fund the acquisition of a new multi-architecture hardware computing cluster to be used as a shared campus research instrument for an inter- and multi-disciplinary group of mathematicians, computational scientists, engineers, and their respective research groups. This will enable the development of robust and scalable numerical algorithms for scientific simulation and data science, empowering eight different research projects.
“This grant is meaningful to me because it gives the Center for Scientific Computing, as well as the entire UMassD campus, a computational resource that we can run codes on, which we otherwise wouldn't have,” said Gottlieb. “I also love that it can serve to bring people together to collaborate on these ideas. Building a community through a shared resource means a lot to me.”
Gottlieb, who is the founding director of UMass Dartmouth's Center for Scientific Computing and Visualization Research (CSCVR), has been continuously funded by the AFOSR since 2006. She was named a fellow of the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics Fellow in 2019, and an Association for Women in Mathematics Fellow in 2021. She has been on the Research, Scholarship, and Innovation committee since its inception and has served as chair since 2019. This week, she was named the university’s Acting Vice Chancellor for Research.
Gottlieb says previous work with the AFOSR helped this grant request, as she approached the AFOSR program officer, Fariba Fahroo.
“Fariba is an amazing person, and she’s very good at building these types of research communities through her program,” said Gottlieb. “This project is very much in support of the other research she’s funded for us.
“The Air Force is looking for algorithms that do a good job getting results. If you want a computer to solve a problem for you, you must tell it how to do so. Ideally you do so in a way that gives you a solution efficiently. This grant will allow us to develop novel and efficient algorithms, mathematical methods for model complexity reduction, data analytics approaches such as machine learning, and so much more.”
Over the last four years, Gottlieb has been principal investigator for $1.2 million in equipment grants brought to UMass Dartmouth’s campus. Since starting at UMassD, she’s been awarded nearly $5 million in federal research and equipment grants. Citing her background and success in research, Chancellor Mark Fuller named Gottlieb as the university’s Acting Vice Chancellor for Research Wednesday, Jan. 12.
“I’m really pleased to have the opportunity to continue supporting research on this campus,” said Gottlieb. “This step will enable me to continue acquiring resources for faculty, which is something extremely important to me, and hopefully, I’m able to help accomplish in the interim while needed.”
Gottlieb has taught and conducted research at UMassD for 22 years, starting as an assistant professor of mathematics in her first faculty position out of Brown University’s doctoral program in 1999. Reflecting on two decades on campus, she says she most enjoys the integrated research communities that UMass Dartmouth inspires.
“I love how research communities at UMass Dartmouth include faculty, graduate, and undergraduate researchers,” said Gottlieb. “It’s a fully integrated community, and I enjoy that so much. We have fantastic faculty and students at every level. Looking back, I think that’s my favorite part about working here.”
As of Jan. 12, Gottlieb was named Interim Vice Chancellor for Research, as Vice Chancellor Ramprasad (Ram) Balasubramanian fills the role of the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs in the interim, during an ongoing search for UMass Dartmouth's next Provost.