Rebecca Willett has been named a Fellow of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM).

Willett is one of 28 people selected as SIAM Fellows for 2021. This honor recognizes SIAM members who have demonstrated exemplary research and scholarship, as well as outstanding service to the scientific community.

In announcing the award, SIAM cited Willett’s “contributions to mathematical foundations of machine learning, large-scale data science, and computational imaging.”

Willett is a principal investigator in the MACSER (Multifaceted Mathematics for Rare, High-Impact Events in Complex Energy and Environment Systems) project and a professor of statistics and computer science at the University of Chicago. As a member of the MACSER team, Willett has been investigating machine learning foundations, and in 2020 she was a plenary speaker of this topic at six international conferences.

Willett received her Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering at Rice University. Prior to joining the University of Chicago in 2018, she was on the faculty at the University of Wisconsin and Duke University. She received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2007 and an Air Force Office of Scientific Research Young Investigator Program award in 2010.

The MACSER project is led by Argonne National Laboratory and is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy with the goal of exploiting advances in applied mathematics for the solution of complex problems in energy systems. For information about MACSER, see the website:

SIAM is an international community of almost 15,000 members who are focused on the application of mathematics and computational science to engineering, industry, science and society. For information about the 2021 SIAM Fellows, click here.