AAAS honors computer, data scientist Juliana Freire as Lifetime Fellow

Freire joins four other NYU faculty in becoming 2021 Fellows and two NYU Tandon Faculty who have received AAAS fellowships in the past

Juliana Freire

BROOKLYN, New York, and WASHINGTON, D.C., January 26, 2022 – The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the Science family of journals, has elected Juliana Freire, professor of computer science and engineering at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, to the newest class of AAAS Fellows, among the most prestigious honors within the scientific community.

In a tradition stretching back to 1874, the AAAS Council elects as Fellows a distinguished cadre of scientists, engineers, and innovators who have been recognized for their achievements across disciplines. The 2021 class of AAAS Fellows includes 564 scientists, engineers, and innovators spanning 24 disciplines. 

The organization cites Freire’s distinguished contributions to the development of widely used systems embodying novel data and provenance management methods to support usability, reproducibility, and trust for data-driven exploration. A member and co-founder of the Visualization Imaging and Data Analysis Center (VIDA) at NYU Tandon, Freire has co-authored over 200 technical papers (including 11 award-winning publications), developed several open-source systems, and holds 12 U.S. patents.

Freire’s research focuses on methods and systems that empower a range of users — not just experts in data and computer science to obtain trustworthy insights from data. This spans topics in large-scale data analysis and integration, visualization, machine learning, provenance management, and web information discovery, and different application areas, including urban analytics, predictive modeling, and computational reproducibility.

A Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), she was awarded the ACM SIGMOD Contributions Award in 2020. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, DARPA, Department of Energy, National Institutes of Health, Sloan Foundation, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, W. M. Keck Foundation, Google, Amazon, AT&T Research, Microsoft Research, Yahoo! and IBM, among others.

“I’m happy to see Juliana Freire receive the recognition she so richly deserves from an august organization like the AAAS,” said Jelena Kovačević, Dean of NYU Tandon. “Her research in scientific reproducibility and in data-driven exploration has been transformative and impactful in computer science and other scientific fields. Besides her external impact, she has been instrumental in institutional building at NYU — for example through her leadership at the VIDA Center — creating a critical mass in data science and engineering, and fostering a culture of interdisciplinary collaborations.”

“AAAS is proud to bestow the honor of AAAS Fellow to some of today’s brightest minds who are integral to forging our path into the future,” said Dr. Sudip Parikh, AAAS chief executive officer and executive publisher of the Science family of journals. “We celebrate these distinguished individuals for their invaluable contributions to the scientific enterprise.”

Joining Freire as newly elected AAAS Fellows are NYU faculty members Michael Hout, professor of sociology; Yann LeCun (an affiliated professor of electrical and computer engineering at NYU Tandon); Okhee Lee, professor of childhood education; Mark Tuckerman, professor of chemistry and mathematics; and Paul Romer, University Professor in Economics (and 2018 Nobel Prize recipient).

NYU Tandon faculty who are past recipients of AAAS Fellowships are David Pine, professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at NYU Tandon, who was elected an AAAS Fellow in 2000; and Jin Kim Montclare, a professor in the same department, who received the AAAS Leshner Fellowship in 2019. 

An induction ceremony for the new Fellows will be held on 19 February 2022 at the AAAS Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The 2021 class of AAAS Fellows will also be featured in the AAAS News & Notes section of Science in January 2022.

About the New York University Tandon School of Engineering

The NYU Tandon School of Engineering dates to 1854, the founding date for both the New York University School of Civil Engineering and Architecture and the Brooklyn Collegiate and Polytechnic Institute. A January 2014 merger created a comprehensive school of education and research in engineering and applied sciences as part of a global university, with close connections to engineering programs at NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Shanghai. NYU Tandon is rooted in a vibrant tradition of entrepreneurship, intellectual curiosity, and innovative solutions to humanity’s most pressing global challenges. Research at Tandon focuses on vital intersections between communications/IT, cybersecurity, and data science/AI/robotics systems and tools and critical areas of society that they influence, including emerging media, health, sustainability, and urban living. We believe diversity is integral to excellence, and are creating a vibrant, inclusive, and equitable environment for all of our students, faculty and staff. For more information, visit


The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science, as well as Science Translational Medicine; Science Signaling; a digital, open-access journal, Science Advances; Science Immunology; and Science Robotics. AAAS was founded in 1848 and includes more than 250 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. The nonprofit AAAS is open to all and fulfills its mission to “advance science and serve society” through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education, public engagement, and more. For additional information about AAAS, visit