By Stacy Nordstrom
Dr. Steven Ruggles, Regents Professor of History and Population Studies and Director of the Institute for Social Research and Data Innovation at the University of Minnesota, has been honored by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation as one of this year’s MacArthur Fellows. Commonly known as the “genius grant”, the fellowship is regarded as one of the most prestigious awards in the United States for intellectual and artistic achievement.
A historical demographer, Dr. Ruggles is renowned for building IPUMS, the world’s largest publicly available database of population statistics, and an invaluable tool for comparative research across time and space.
“I first met Professor Ruggles when I was working at the National Science Foundation. We have since served on working groups together, and I have been repeatedly impressed by the intellectual rigor and human caring he brings to any problem,” said University of Minnesota Executive Vice President and Provost Rachel T.A. Croson. “His dedicated work on IPUMS has significantly advanced our scientific understanding of the human experience, and has provided data for untold numbers of scholars. This recognition is well-deserved and I am proud that Professor Ruggles is a member of our academic community.”