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Daniel Atkins

Dan Atkins is Director of the National Science Foundation's Office of Cyberinfrastructure, and a professor in the School of Information and in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

He has made major contributions to high-performance computer architecture, having led or participated in the design and construction of seven experimental machines, including some of the earliest parallel computers. He developed high-speed arithmetic algorithms now widely used in the computer industry, conducted pioneering work on special-purpose architecture including collaboration with the Mayo Clinic on development of computer-assisted tomography (CAT), and chaired the committee at the University of Michigan that developed one of the earliest computer engineering undergraduate degree programs.

More recently, his research has focused on the social and technical architecture of distributed knowledge communities. He led workshops to develop the NSF Digital Library Initiative including joint programs with the European Commission, and later became project director of the University of Michigan Digital Library Project. He helped pilot the Mellon Foundation-sponsored JSTOR Project ( now widely used in academic libraries. These projects laid the foundation for the University of Michigan's leadership in digital library production activities. In 1992, Atkins became the founding Dean of the University of Michigan School of Information.

Atkins served as Chair of NSF's Blue-Ribbon Advisory Panel on Cyberinfrastructure. In early 2003, the panel issued a highly influential report, "Revolutionizing Science and Engineering Through Cyberinfrastructure", that recommended a major program in cyberinfrastructure-enhanced science and engineering research and allied education for the nation under the leadership of NSF. In addition, Atkins was director of the NSF EXPRES Project that laid the foundation for NSF's FASTLANE all-electronic proposal submission and management system.

Atkins also formed and directed an Alliance for Community Technology (ACT) sponsored by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to support the innovative use of information technology in service of broader participation in civil society. Atkins also serves as a consultant to Kellogg on the innovative use of information and communication technology for enriching education opportunities for at risk youth in the U.S., and for both rural communities and higher education in southern Africa. He also serves as a consultant to the Hewlett Foundation in the area of open educational resources.

He is co-author (with James Duderstadt and Doug Van Houweling) of the 2002 book Higher Education in the Digital Age: Technology Issues and Strategies for American Colleges and Universities.

Atkins holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science, an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and a B.S.E.E. from Bucknell University.