Duke Names Princeton Professor Dean of Natural Sciences

Robert Calderbank, director of the Program in Applied and Computational Mathematics at Princeton, will become dean of natural sciences at Duke July 1.

Robert Calderbank, director of the Program in Applied and Computational Mathematics at Princeton University, will become dean of natural sciences at Duke University, school officials announced Tuesday.

Calderbank, a professor of electrical engineering and mathematics at Princeton, will assume his new role at Duke July 1. At Duke, he also will be a full professor in the department of computer science, with joint appointments in mathematics and electrical engineering.

Natural sciences is part of the Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, Duke's liberal arts college, which has 635 faculty members in 36 departments and programs.

Calderbank succeeds Alvin L. Crumbliss, the Bishop-MacDermott chemistry professor at Duke who was dean of natural sciences and who recently became dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and Trinity College for one year. The previous Trinity dean, George McLendon, was named provost of Rice University, effective July 1.

"We are pleased that our natural sciences will be led by a scholar of the caliber of Robert Calderbank," Crumbliss said. "Robert has made important contributions in applied and computational mathematics, as well as interdisciplinary programs. In addition to his leadership, we look forward to his academic contributions and research efforts to help us further advance our undergraduate and cross-school programs."

At Princeton, Calderbank directs an interdisciplinary and interdepartmental program that provides a home for people from many fields and directions who share a passion for mathematics and its applications.

"I am excited about becoming part of the interdisciplinary culture at Duke and about the role the natural sciences can play in transforming education and research," Calderbank said.

Before joining Princeton in 2004, Calderbank was vice president for research at AT&T, where he was responsible for one of the first research labs whose primary focus was data at a massive scale, for such applications as networking, information and software, speech and multimedia services.

He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2005 and has served on several advisory boards, including the Institute for Complex and Adaptive Systems at University College Dublin, the American Institute of Mathematics, and Flarion Qualcomm Technologies.

Calderbank earned his Ph.D. in mathematics from the California Institute of Technology. He also holds a master's degree in mathematics from Oxford University in England.

Calderbank is married to Ingrid Daubechies, a full professor of mathematics at Princeton. A recipient of the National Academy of Sciences Medal in Mathematics, Daubechies will be a professor in Duke's mathematics department, effective Jan. 1, 2011. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences.

Calderbank and Daubechies have two children.