Edinburgh University’s innovation hub for data science and artificial intelligence has announced a new director.
Professor Ruth King, an international leader in the field of statistics, will take over as director of the Bayes Centre to continue its focus as a force for “societal progress”.
Professor King, the Thomas Bayes Chair of Statistics in the School of Mathematics, takes up the role after inaugural director Professor Michael Rovatsos, who has led the centre since January 2018, stepped down.
His time as director of the Bayes Centre has seen it grow from pre-launch to its position today, as the heart of an ecosystem that delivers Data-Driven Innovation (DDI) in the University of Edinburgh and across the region.
As the first DDI Hub to open under the auspices of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal, the Bayes Centre ‘continues to make a pioneering contribution to the University’s DDI journey and to the Scottish Entrepreneurial Ecosystem’, the university said in a media release.
Professor King has championed the importance of statistics throughout her career, both in the school of mathematics and in the wider scientific community. This has included co-founding the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Statistics in 2017 which unites statisticians and quantitative researchers across the three colleges of the University and the Statistics Consultancy Unit. She also launched the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Statistics: Unlocking the World of Data in 2017, which is still running.
She was elected as a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales in 2017; a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2018; and a fellow of the Institute for Mathematical Statistics in 2022. She was also awarded the prestigious Royal Statistical Society Barnett Award in 2022 for her outstanding research in statistical ecology, and for bringing to prominence in this field, the use of Bayesian statistics.
Professor Rovatsos said: “It has been a pleasure and an honour to lead the Bayes Centre as the Hub of AI and Data Science in the University of Edinburgh from its launch to its position today as a leading force in DDI and a key part of the Scottish Entrepreneurial Ecosystem. I look forward to following its continued journey of success.”
Professor King said: “I am delighted to be joining the Bayes Centre, with its incredible track record of delivering exciting and innovative programmes, delivered by its dedicated and talented staff.
“I would particularly like to thank Professor Rovatsos for his incredible work and leadership of the Bayes Centre and look forward to following his example in driving forward the DDI initiative and committing to make the Bayes Centre a force for societal progress.”