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New Chair for Statistics and Data Sciences Envisions Era of Growth for Department

New Chair for Statistics and Data Sciences Envisions Era of Growth for Department

Kate Calder, currently a professor of statistics and co-director of the Mathematical Biosciences Institute at Ohio State University, will be the new chair of UT Austin's Department of Statistics and Data Sciences (SDS), beginning in the fall. Calder, who will be on campus this month for an in-depth public conversation about computational health April 30th, is an award-winning statistician.

Kate Calder is the incoming chair of UT Austin's Department of Statistics and Data Sciences. Photo credit: Vivian Abagiu.

Calder remarked about the notable support from College of Natural Sciences and university leadership for growing statistics and data science research, education and outreach at The University of Texas at Austin.

"I appreciate the enormous statistical talent already present at the university, including the existing faculty in the department and those with joint appointments in mathematics, the McCombs School of Business, and the Dell Medical School," Calder said. "With this core network of faculty in place, the university is well poised to see an unprecedented return on their investment in the department. I look forward to making strategic connections with researchers across campus over the coming years."

Calder's research interests include spatial and spatio-temporal statistics, Bayesian modeling and computation, multivariate analysis and network analysis. She focuses on developing stochastic models, which can estimate the probability of outcomes while allowing for random variation in at least one of the inputs. Through her work, she has made methodological contributions in the areas of spatial and spatio-temporal models, data-augmentation algorithms and network comparisons. These contributions to the field of statistics have been motivated by applications in environmental, social and health sciences.

"Attention to the importance of data science and statistics is increasing across campus and, as we are all aware, throughout society," CNS Dean Paul Goldbart said in an announcement. "At such a critical juncture, I am thrilled that we are able to bring a statistician and leader of Dr. Calder's caliber into our community."

On April 30, Calder will join Dr. Kelly Gaither from the Dell Medical School and Natural Sciences moderator Professor Lauren Ancel Meyers for an interdisciplinary conversation about Computational Health that is part of Dean Goldbart's Cross-Cutting Conversations series. This event is free and open to researchers, faculty, staff and graduate students. For more details and to RSVP, click here.

Calder received her Ph.D. and M.S. in statistics and decision sciences from Duke University and her bachelor's degree in mathematics from Northwestern University before joining the faculty at Ohio State. A fellow of the American Statistical Association, Dr. Calder is also the recipient of its 2013 Section on Statistics and the Environment Young Investigator Award.

The Department of Statistics and Data Sciences is one of the newest departments in the college, established in 2014.

Update: ​This week Dean Paul Goldbart announced another new chair who will join the College leadership team next academic year. Professor Volker Bromm will be the new chair of the Department of Astronomy.

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Monday, 15 August 2022

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