Mechanical and aerospace engineering and computer science professor Raissa D’Souza will bring her expertise in network science to one of the world’s most prominent peer-reviewed journals as a new member of Science magazine’s Board of Reviewing Editors.

In her role, D’Souza will assist the publication’s editors in identifying the best paper submissions in the fields of network science, applied math and machine learning to be sent out for in-depth peer review, as well as identifying the most qualified reviewers. Therefore, she will be actively engaged in selecting the type of research that’s highlighted in these areas. She is also invited to actively shape the research that is highlighted overall in Science by identifying new developments deserving of a perspective or a review and exciting research reported at meetings.

Science is one of the world’s most prestigious and influential peer-reviewed scientific journals. Since its launch in 1880 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), it has strived to highlight groundbreaking research, innovative ideas and new perspectives on old problems facing the scientific community. About 80% of submitted manuscripts are rejected without review and less than 7% are eventually accepted for publication.

“Society is at a critical junction, with an intense need to solve pressing problems ranging from climate change, to controlling pandemics, to enhancing democracy and social justice and I believe that innovative, interdisciplinary science is the key for developing solutions to these problems,” she said. “Science is at the forefront on all these issues. It is the place where the most groundbreaking, rigorously peer-reviewed work across all disciplines comes together, from physics and biology, to social sciences and public policy.”

The Board of Reviewing Editors consists of 198 leading experts from around the world who serve a similar function for every STEM field imaginable. D’Souza is currently the only member of this Board from UC Davis. Jane-Ling Wang, Distinguished Professor of Statistics at UC Davis, is on the Statistics Board of Reviewing Editors.

D’Souza was chosen partly because of her internationally renowned research in network science. Her multidisciplinary research focuses on the mathematics and dynamics of networks and she is particularly interested in how nodes interacting on a local level impact the network’s large-scale behaviors. Her research can be applied to networks across many different domains and she has collaborated with sociologists, engineers, physicists, mathematicians, political scientists and primatologists in the past.

D’Souza joined UC Davis in 2005 and has a dual faculty appointment in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and the Department of Computer Science. She received her B.S. in physics from the University of Illinois and her Ph.D. in statistical physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She is a fellow of the Network Science Society and of the American Physical Society and is lead editor of the open source journal Physical Review Research.