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Chancellor Jennifer L. Mnookin isn’t the only fresh face in Bascom Hall. In August, Charles Isbell joined the University of Wisconsin–Madison as its new provost. He was preceded by John Karl Scholz, who left the UW in July to become president of the University of Oregon. Isbell comes to the UW from the Georgia Institute of Technology where he most recently served as dean of the College of Computing. Isbell’s scholarly research and academic expertise is primarily focused on artificial intelligence and machine learning, or “building intelligent systems that not only learn from the environment but that learn from people.” As provost of the UW, Isbell is tasked with leading all 13 of its schools and colleges. “This is a broad place that touches everything that is a part of the human experience,” Isbell told Badger Insider. “I am excited to learn what that really means and how a place like this gets along.” In addition to being the UW’s chief academic officer, Isbell is an avid Ultimate Frisbee and racquetball player, a music aficionado (he’s especially fond of hip-hop and funk from the ’70s and ’80s), and a science-fiction buff who keeps a lightsaber on his desk in Bascom Hall.

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