Former CMU dean of computer science advising White House Policy Office

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A former Carnegie Mellon University dean is using his yearlong teaching sabbatical to teach White House officials the ins and outs of data science.

CMU computer science professor Randal E. Bryant has been chosen for a temporary assignment with the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy to provide analysis and insight surrounding Big Data -- the practice of collecting and interpreting large digital data sets that are often packed with users' personal information.

Mr. Bryant, who was dean of CMU's School of Computer Science for a decade before former Google Pittsburgh head Andrew Moore was appointed to the position, will spend between 10 and 12 months working in the OSTP's technology and innovation division as an adviser to deputy director of policy Thomas Kalil.

During Mr. Bryant's tenure at CMU, the School of Computer Science saw undergraduate applications more than triple, annual research funding more than double to $99 million and the school's $98.6 million Gates and Hillman centers were erected. Mr. Bryant's role with the OSTP will involve applying data-driven approaches to health and education as well as addressing privacy concerns associated with use of Big Data.

"I hope that my efforts at the OSTP will lead to more effective and appropriate use of information technology by the U.S. government as well as fostering early stages of research efforts that will yield technology that addresses the government's and the nation's IT needs," Mr. Bryant said in a CMU news release.

Deborah M. Todd: or 412-263-1652. Twitter: @deborahtodd.

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