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People News October 2018

28 September 2018 No Comment

F. Dubois Bowman

F. Dubois Bowman, former chair of the biostatistics department at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, will become the 12th dean of the University of Michigan School of Public Health beginning October 15.


F. DuBois Bowman

Bowman is a world-leading researcher in developing and applying biostatistical methods for complex neuroimaging data. These have helped reveal the patterns of disruption in psychiatric diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s and mental disorders such as depression. As he noted in the Annual Review of Statistics and Its Application, “Neuroimaging data present numerous challenges for statistical analysis, including the vast amounts of data collected from each individual and the complex temporal and spatial dependencies present in the data.”

Commenting on his appointment, Bowman said, “We live in a time when public health concerns about environmental threats, substance misuse, emerging infections, obesity, aging, mental health, noncommunicable diseases, and health care coverage all loom large. As one of the world’s pre-eminent schools of public health, U-M is poised to play a leading role in providing solutions by generating evidence through science, driving policy, education, and engagement at local community, national, and global levels.”

Bowman earned a BS in mathematics from Morehouse College, where he was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society. He earned a master’s in biostatistics from the University of Michigan and a PhD in biostatistics from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is an elected fellow of the American Statistical Association, served as president of the Eastern North American Region of the International Biometric Society, and received the James Grizzle Distinguished Alumni Award from The University of North Carolina. He has also served as associate editor of Biometrics and the Journal of the American Statistical Association.

Don Rubin, Edoardo Airoldi, and Vishesh Karwa

Don Rubin, Edoardo Airoldi, and Vishesh Karwa joined the department of statistical science at the Temple University Fox School of Business.

Rubin—professor of statistics at Yau Mathematics Center, Tsinghua University, and professor emeritus at Harvard University—has been appointed Murray Schusterman Senior Research Fellow.

Rubin is a fellow/member/honorary member of the Woodrow Wilson Society, Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, American Statistical Association, Institute of Mathematical Statistics, International Statistical Institute, American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, European Association of Methodology, British Academy, and US National Academy of Sciences.

As of 2018, he has authored/coauthored about 450 publications (including 10 books), has four joint patents, and is one of the most highly cited authors in the world, with nearly 250,000 citations, including 20,000 in 2017 alone (Google Scholar). Of his 25 publications with more than 1,000 citations each, Rubin solely authored nine of them.

Rubin has received honorary doctorate degrees from Otto Friedrich University, Bamberg, Germany; the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia; Universidad Santo Tomás, Bogotá, Colombia; Uppsala University, Sweden; and Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois. He has also received honorary professorships from the University of Utrecht, The Netherlands; Shanghai Finance University, China; Nanjing University of Science & Technology, China; Xi’an University of Technology, China; and University of the Free State, Republic of South Africa. He is a widely sought international lecturer on statistical topics.

Airoldi will join the department of statistical science in fall 2018 as the Millard E. Gladfelter Professor of Statistics and Data Science. He will also serve as director of the Fox School’s Data Science Center.

Airoldi comes from Harvard University, where he served since 2009 as a full-time faculty member in the department of statistics. He founded the Harvard Laboratory for Applied Statistics and Data Science and served as director there until 2017. Additionally, he has held visiting positions at MIT, Yale University, and Microsoft Research and served as a research associate at Princeton University.

A distinguished researcher, Airoldi has authored more than 140 publications with more than 12,000 citations. His work focuses on statistical theory and methods for designing and analyzing experiments on large networks and, more generally, on modeling and inferential issues that arise in analyses that leverage network data in some way. His work has appeared in journals across statistics, computer science, and general science, including Annals of Statistics, Journal of the American Statistical Association, Journal of Machine Learning Research, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and Nature.

Airoldi has received a Sloan Fellowship, the Shutzer Fellowship from the Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Studies, a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, and an Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Program Award, among others. He delivered a plenary talk at the National Academy of Sciences Sackler Colloquium titled “Causal Inference and Big Data” in 2015 and gave an Institute of Mathematical Sciences Medallion Lecture at the Joint Statistical Meetings in 2017.

Airoldi earned a PhD in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University, where he also worked for a master of science degree in statistics and statistical and computational learning. He earned a bachelor of science in mathematical statistics and economics from Bocconi University, Italy.

Vishesh Karwa joined the department of statistical science as an assistant professor. He is also a Patrick J. McGovern Research Fellow at the Simons Institute, Berkeley. Vishesh has a broad set of research interests; some of his current research includes statistical foundations of data privacy, machine learning, causal inference in networks, network models, and algebraic statistics.

Prior to joining Temple, Karwa spent a year in the department of statistics at The Ohio State University as an assistant professor. Before that, he was a postdoctoral fellow in the departments of statistics and computer science at Harvard University and a visiting research scientist in the department of statistics at Carnegie Mellon University.

Karwa earned a PhD from the department of statistics at The Pennsylvania State University, where he also earned a master of science degree in civil engineering. His undergraduate degree is in civil engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India.

Donna Spiegelman

Donna Spiegelman, Susan Dwight Bliss Professor of Biostatistics at the Yale School of Public Health (YSPH), has been named director of the school’s newly established Center for Methods of Implementation and Prevention Science (CMIPS).

Spiegelman, who also serves as professor in the department of statistics and data science, will work to promote the development of methods to accelerate the speed and breadth of adoption of research findings into public health practice and develop and assess sustainable, cost-effective interventions to improve public health domestically and around the world.

With her CMIPS colleagues, she will lead research on quantitative and qualitative methods for implementation and prevention science in global public health and quantitative and qualitative design and planning of global health projects in such areas as HIV/AIDS; cancer; diabetes; cardiovascular disease prevention; mental, environmental, and reproductive health promotion; and substance abuse. The new center will also serve as a major interface between biostatisticians, epidemiologists, social scientists, and health economists across several schools in the university.

“We are fortunate to have Dr. Spiegelman joining the YSPH to spearhead this center that will be integral in both the development of new methods for research, as well as serving as a platform for original projects addressing some of the world’s most urgent public health issues,” said Sten Vermund, dean of the Yale School of Public Health.

Spiegelman brings two investigator-initiated grants and an NIH Director’s Pioneer Award with her from the Harvard School of Public Health. She is the first biostatistician to receive the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award, a $5 million award given to scientists who propose pioneering approaches to major challenges in biomedical and behavioral research.

Spiegelman joins YSPH from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, where she is professor emerita of epidemiologic methods in the departments of epidemiology, biostatistics, nutrition, and global health and population. Her earlier research was motivated by problems that arise in epidemiology and require biostatistical solutions. She focused on methods for study design and data analysis that reduce bias in estimation and inference due to measurement error or misclassification in the exposure variable. She has extensive experience solving methodological issues that arise in longitudinal investigations, clinical trials, and large-scale public health effectiveness evaluations. At Yale, she will continue to work in this area.

Ronald D. Snee and Geoff Vining

ASQ (formerly the American Society for Quality) announced on March 21 that ASA members Ronald D. Snee, president and founder of Snee Associates, LLC, and Geoff Vining, professor of statistics at Virginia Tech, were elected by the ASQ Board of Directors as honorary members. In its 72-year history, ASQ has elected only 29 honorary members, 14 of whom are statisticians.

Geoff Vining and Ronald D. Snee

Geoff Vining and Ronald D. Snee

Snee, who worked at the DuPont Company for 24 years prior to starting his consulting career, is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association, ASQ, and American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has been awarded the ASA’s Deming Lecture; Dixon Consulting Excellence and Gerry Hahn Quality and Productivity Achievement awards; and ASQ’s Shewhart, Grant, and Distinguished Service medals. He is a frequent speaker and has published seven books and more than 300 papers in the fields of statistics, quality, performance improvement, and management. His work has been recognized by 25 major awards and honors.

Previously, Vining—a Fellow of ASA—received the 2010 ASQ Shewhart Medal, 2015 European Network for Business and Industrial Statistics Box Medal, and 2011 ASQ Statistics Division’s William G. Hunter Award, which generally are recognized as the top-three annual career awards in industrial statistics and quality engineering. Vining also received an Honorary Doctor of Technology from Luleå Technical University (Sweden) in November 2017.

Snee was noted for his role in advancing the application of statistical methods and reliable problem-solving methodologies by organizational leaders and team members across the globe in a wide cross-setting of industries to improve decision-making and quality/process improvement and achieve performance excellence.

Vining’s citation noted his leadership within ASQ at all levels of the society; his extensive contributions to the quality body of knowledge through peer-reviewed journal articles and books; and his efforts to promote industrial statistics in North America, Europe, Asia, and Latin America.

Election as an honorary member requires a unanimous vote of the ASQ Board of Directors. Honorary members are individuals who have made enduring contributions to the profession of quality and the allied arts and sciences. Election is restricted to individuals who are so well known and so clearly pre-eminent in the profession that there should be almost no doubt of their being worthy of such recognition. Election does not require being an ASQ member. There are only six honorary members currently alive today, four of whom are statisticians.

Statisticians who have been chosen as honorary members previously include Walter Shewhart, Harold Dodge, Mason Wescott, Eugene Grant, Edwards Deming, Ellis Ott, Harry Romig, George Box, Genichi Taguchi, Stu Hunter, Lloyd Nelson, and Doug Montgomery. Snee and Vining are the 28th and 29th persons elected to this honor.

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