Six Years as EIC of SIMODS

As my tenure as founding Editor-in-Chief comes to a close (SIAM wisely has term limits), I want to take a moment to reflect on the launch of the SIAM Journal on Mathematics of Data Science (SIMODS). It has truly exceeded my expectations.

The goal of SIMODS was to be a data science publication venue where mathematics was celebrated rather than relegated to an appendix. (Though, to be fair, we still do relegate a lot to appendices!) Our hope was and still is to facilitate the deeper understandings of data phenomena that mathematics can provide. While you can go some distance in data science with heuristics and experimentation, there are numerous obstacles that can only be surmounted by delving into the foundational mathematical underpinnings.

The proposal for the formation of SIMODS was approved by SIAM in fall 2017. The journal started accepting submissions on April 25, 2018, and published its first issue on February 12, 2019. During my tenure as Editor-in-Chief of SIMODS from 2018 until now, some 88 different persons have served in some editorial capacity, and the journal has received over 1100 submissions. The editorial board is incredibly amazing. It was fantastic when we started, and I have been delighted to see how strong it has remained. For example, we have two 2023 MacArthur Genius Grant recipients: Rina Fogel Barber (joined at the journal’s founding) and Lester Mackey (joined in 2023). It has been a pleasure working alongside such amazing scholars.

Thanks to the hard work of the editorial board and excellent submissions by authors, we quickly established SIMODS as a premiere journal. As I write this, SIMODS has an impact factor of 3.6, ranking it in the top quarter of all applied mathematics journals.

Of course, the journal has been just one part of SIAM’s growth in the arena of data science. If you weren’t already aware, let me point out two exciting developments. (1) The SIAM Activity Group on Data Mining and Analytics (SIAG/DMA) was reformed into the SIAM Activity Group on Data Science (SIAG/DATA). (2) SIAM launched its Conference on Mathematics of Data Science with MDS20, and I am looking forward to presenting an invited lecture at SIAM MDS24 in October!

I am grateful to the authors, reviewers, editorial board members, and SIAM staff who have contributed to the success of the journal. I am proud of the journal’s achievements and excited to turn over the reins to the new Editor-in-Chief, Misha Belkin. I will continue with the journal in the role of Section Editor.

Thank you for your support, and I hope you enjoy reading the SIAM Journal on Mathematics of Data Science!

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