Wenfei Fan elected as Fellow of the Royal Society
Wenfei Fan, professor of Web Data Management from the School of Informatics was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society among fifty other eminent scientists on 9th May.
Wenfei is a computer scientist who has made fundamental contributions to both theory and practice of data management.
He has both formalised the problems of querying big data and has developed radically new techniques that overcome the limits associated with conventional database systems. His work has been adopted in the telecommunications industry for analysing massive data sets that defied their current technology.
In addition, Wenfei has made seminal contributions to data quality, in which he devised new techniques for data cleaning that have found wide commercial adoption. He has also contributed to our understanding of semi-structured data.
I am delighted that the database research at Edinburgh is recognised. I am grateful to The School of Informatics and to the Database Group in particular for giving me such a great environment in which to do research
The Royal Society is the oldest national scientific society in the world. It has a number of aims: promoting science and its benefits, recognising excellence in science, supporting outstanding science, providing scientific advice for policy, fostering international and global co-operation, education and public engagement. Each year the Royal Society elects up to 52 new fellows who join a cohort of the around 1,700 of the world's most influential scientists.
Our Fellows are key to the Royal Society’s fundamental purpose of using science for the benefit of humanity. From Norwich to Melbourne to Ethiopia, this year’s newly elected Fellows and Foreign Members of the Royal Society are testament that science is a global endeavour and excellent ideas transcend borders. We also recognise the cutting edge innovation taking place across industry, with many of this year’s Fellows coming from the thriving tech industry. For their outstanding contributions to research and innovation, both now and in the future, it gives me great pleasure to welcome the world’s best scientists into the ranks of the Royal Society.
Professor Polly Arnold from Edinburgh’s School of Chemistry has been recognised as well for her research focused on the design and synthesis of highly reactive f-block complexes that can activate inert small molecules such as carbon oxides, dinitrogen, and hydrocarbons, and that can provide fundamental information on structure and bonding at the bottom of the periodic table.