Former RSS president appointed director of Alan Turing Institute

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The Alan Turing Institute has appointed former RSS president Professor Sir Adrian Smith as its director.

Professor Smith said he was delighted to lead the institute in its next phase of development. 'The Alan Turing Institute has a unique role to play in ensuring that the UK fully exploits the potential of advances in data science and AI to transform business and social systems for the benefit of society,' he said in a statement.

A distinguished statistician, Professor Smith has been vice-chancellor of the University of London since 2012 when he was also appointed deputy chair of the UK Statistics Authority for a three-year term. He was previously director general of knowledge and innovation in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (now BEIS). He was RSS president 1995-97, elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2001 for his contribution to statistics and was knighted in 2011. Last year, he conducted an important review of post-16 mathematics for the Treasury and the Department for Education, to which the RSS contributed.

‘We are very pleased to see Professor Sir Adrian Smith take up the reins at the Alan Turing Institute,' said RSS executive director Hetan Shah. 'As a former president of the RSS and chair of the Council for Mathematical Sciences his appointment will ensure that the statistical aspects of the data science agenda play a central role at the Institute. More generally, Adrian is an outstanding leader and so will doubtless help the data science agenda play an influential role across society, policy and business.’

Professor Smith will take up his new role this autumn. 

Alan Turing Institute