Pioneer in algorithm research to UiB

World renowned researcher in computer science Michael Fellows has accepted a position at the Department of Informatics at the University of Bergen.

Michael Fellows, portrait
ALGORITHMIC PIONEER: Professor Michael Fellows is of American, Canadian and Australian nationality and known for his pioneering work in computer science. In January, he is officially appointed as a professor at UiB.
Jens Helleland Ådnanes

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Professor Fellows is a leading researcher in computer science, well-known for his pioneering work on the subject of parameterised complexity, a major new branch of theoretical computer science.

Fellows has now signed a contract with the University of Bergen (UiB). He will officially start his professorship at UiB and the Department of Informatics in January 2016.


UiB strongest in the world

He is also considered one of the principal founders of multivariate algorithm design, which has played an important role in such areas as computational biology and algorithms for DNA sequencing.

“In this area of research, the UiB has the strongest research group in the world. That is one of the main reasons I wanted to join UiB,” says Fellows.

He says that the group researching multivariate algorithms has developed very strongly in the last few years.

“And to some extent I had a hand in that. My wife and I visited Bergen for three months in 2005, and I lectured on multivariate algorithms. The researchers in Bergen became interested in it and, later on, received several large grants to develop their research. In time, the Bergen research community turned into a power house for algorithmic research.”

Fellows has visited UiB on a number of occasions since the early 1990s.

His wife, Frances Ann Novak Rosamond, is joining Fellows at the Department of Informatics in January. Rosamond is an esteemed computer scientist whose research interests also include computer education and parameterised complexity. 


Establishing world class research

The appointment of Fellows is by way of so-called kalling (see FACTS). This is one part of UiB’s response to the Norwegian government’s policy for a commitment to establish world class research.

Head of the Department of Informatics, Petter E. Bjørstad, is pleased that the department is adding two  world class scientists.

“It is extremely important for us, and I am happy UiB has supported us in appointing Fellows”  says Bjørstad. 

He thinks Fellows will be an inspiration to the researchers and students at the department.

“Michael will be a great guy to talk to for the younger people here. We are a diverse group, but we were missing a senior, and Michael fills that role. Both Michael and Frances have a very clear agenda for what they want to do here,” says Bjørstad.

One of the most important things Fellows wants to achieve when he arrives in Bergen, is pushing the field of multivariate algorithms from theory into practice.

“Europe is leading the way in multivariate algorithms, with Bergen as the strongest centre. The theory has developed mathematically, now is the time to put theory into practice,”  Fellows says.