April 21, 2008
De Ruyter named Associate Dean for Research
Dean Bennett I. Bertenthal named Robert de Ruyter, Professor of Physics, as the Associate Dean for Research when the current Associate Dean, Annie Lang, completes her term on July 1, 2008.
Professor De Ruyter (full name Robert Raimond de Ruyter van Steveninck) is Gill Professor of Physics and is a member of the advisory board of the Linda and Jack Gill Center for Biomolecular Science. Professor de Ruyter received a B.A. in Physics with a minor in Mathematics (1981), and a Ph.D. in Experimental Physics (1986) from the University of Groningen, The Netherlands. After Postdoctoral work at the Departments of Zoology in Cambridge (UK) and Physics in Groningen, he took a position in Audiology at the ENT Clinic of the University Hospital, Groningen. In addition he did research in photodynamic therapy. In 1992 he moved to the newly formed NEC Research Institute in Princeton, NJ. Here he set up an experimental laboratory to study sensory signal processing in the blowfly brain by electrophysiological techniques, concentrating on motion detection in the visual system. His main research activities there revolved around developing a quantitative understanding of neural coding and computation and the reliability of neural signals. He joined IU in 2003 as the Jack and Linda Gill professor of Physics. His current research interests focus on elucidating principles of optimization and adaptation in neural computation, especially in the context of natural sensory signals.
De Ruyter has published on a variety of topics in neural coding and neural computation and has co-authored a monograph on neural information processing (Spikes: Exploring the Neural Code, MIT Press, 1997). He was elected fellow of the American Physical Society in 2000, and is a member of the Advisory Board for the Linda and Jack Gill Center at IU. From 1998 to 2002 he co-directed the summer course "Methods in Computational Neuroscience" at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA.
“The position of Associate Dean for Research is a vital one as the College continues its ascent toward becoming one of the premier research institutions in the world. Rob is an outstanding scientist who is very familiar with the opportunities and challenges facing researchers today. His experience makes him an excellent choice to lead and support the research efforts of the faculty in the College,” Dean Bertenthal said. “At the same time, he inherits a robust record of success in supporting research and creative activity from Annie Lang, who has served in this position since 2005. My thanks to Annie for her three years of exceptional service to the College.”