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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Coalition for Networked Information Honors Francine Berman

Coalition for Networked Information Honors Francine Berman



By Mary L. Martialay

February 3, 2020

The Coalition for Networked Information (CNI), the Association of Research Libraries, and EDUCAUSE have announced that Francine Berman, the Edward P. Hamilton Distinguished Professor of Computer Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, has been named the 2020 recipient of the Paul Evan Peters Award, which “recognizes notable, lasting achievements in the creation and innovative use of network-based information resources and services that advance scholarship and intellectual productivity.”



Named for CNI’s founding director, the award will be presented during the CNI Membership Meeting in Washington, DC, to be held December 14–15, 2020, where Berman will deliver the Paul Evan Peters Memorial Lecture.



“This is a wonderful choice; I’ve worked with Fran on various committees and similar efforts over the years; she’s a genuine leader and consensus-shaper with a long record of identifying key community needs very early and then acting to address them," said CNI Executive Director Clifford Lynch.



Previous award recipients include Herbert Van de Sompel (2017), Donald A.B. Lindberg (2014), Christine L. Borgman (2011), Daniel Atkins (2008), Paul Ginsparg (2006), Brewster Kahle (2004), Vinton Cerf (2002), and Tim Berners-Lee (2000).



Berman is widely recognized for her leadership in digital data stewardship, preservation, and cyberinfrastructure. Such infrastructure is critical to supporting data-driven research and new discovery in a broad variety of fields, including the digital humanities. Appointed by President Obama to the National Council on the Humanities, Berman has worked closely with the library and museum communities. She also co-chaired the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Sustainable Digital Preservation and Access and the National Academies Board on Research Data and Information. In 2012, she helped found the Research Data Alliance, an international, community-driven organization established to accelerate research data sharing and data-driven innovation worldwide.


An accomplished researcher and computer scientist, Berman is the former director of the San Diego Supercomputer Center and she was the first holder of the High Performance Computing Endowed Chair in the University of California, San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. She is a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), as well as of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). In 2019, she was selected to be a 2019–2020 Radcliffe Fellow, and she was elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


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Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is America’s first technological research university. Rensselaer encompasses five schools, 32 research centers, more than 145 academic programs, and a dynamic community made up of more than 7,900 students and more than 100,000 living alumni. Rensselaer faculty and alumni include more than 145 National Academy members, six members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, six National Medal of Technology winners, five National Medal of Science winners, and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With nearly 200 years of experience advancing scientific and technological knowledge, Rensselaer remains focused on addressing global challenges with a spirit of ingenuity and collaboration.