Regents’ Professor Appointments

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TO: UA Community
FROM: Ann Weaver Hart, President
DATE: May 20, 2013
SUBJECT: Regents' Professor Appointments

I am very pleased and proud to announce that the Arizona Board of Regents has confirmed the appointment of Professors Hsinchun Chen of the Department of Management Information Systems, Neal R. Armstrong of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and College of Optical Sciences, and Xiaohui Fan of the Department of Astronomy and the Steward Observatory, as Regents’ Professors.

The title of Regents' Professor is reserved for faculty members with exceptional achievements that have brought them national and international distinction and is conferred on no more than 3% of the total number of tenured and tenure track faculty members at the UA.

Dr. Chen, McClelland Professor of Management Information Systems and Thomas R. Brown Chair in Management and Technology, is a world leading expert in the analysis and application of the massive amounts of data generated by today's technologies. Working in the field before "big data" became a catchphrase across the business world, he founded and directs the UA's Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, a site of continuing innovation that links the Eller College of Management and the entire University to other research centers and industry partners around the world. Along with his groundbreaking research, Dr. Chen teaches a wide variety of classes in computing, which bring his formidable expertise to bear in each of his students' Arizona Experience.

Dr. Armstrong is Professor of Chemistry in the College of Science and Professor of Optics in the College of Optical Sciences. His research is driving the critical task of converting solar energy directly into electricity, work that will not only help meet the energy needs of the 21st century but will also make the UA and state of Arizona world leaders in this important field. Alongside this critical research, Dr. Armstrong's vibrant contributions to the UA also extend to his work with students, where he teaches throughout the graduate and undergraduate curricula in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and in his role as the Director of the Center for Interface Science: Solar Electric Materials. This work provides numerous opportunities for interdisciplinary student training, and he has mentored dozens of Ph.D. and M.S. students who have gone on to careers throughout the business and academic worlds.

Dr. Fan, Professor of Astronomy and Astronomer at the Steward Observatory, has gained international acclaim for discoveries that his colleagues have said will be central to astronomy research for at least the next decade. His work focuses on quasars and the dynamics of the early universe. For his groundbreaking research, he has been a recipient of the Newton Lacy Pierce Prize in 2003, a Packard Fellowship in 2004, and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2008. In addition to furthering scientific knowledge about the foundations of our physical existence, his international reach also extends to work with students from the Kavli Institute at Peking University. On the UA campus, he is a popular teacher of undergraduate students, and has mentored a number of successful doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows.

Please join me in congratulating these three outstanding faculty leaders who are ensuring that the University of Arizona remains on the forefront of research innovation across disciplines. We are truly fortunate to have them as members of our university community, and as models for integrated research, student engagement and community impact. More information about their remarkable accomplishments and appointment as Regents' Professors is available in this story from UANews.