Section6.1Researchers in Statistics and Data Science
Federico Ardila is a professor at San Francisco State University and an adjunct at Universidad de Los Andes in Colombia. His primary area of research is combinatorics. Since combinatorics involves methods of counting, it is heavily used for discrete probability distributions. In addition to his own math research, Ardila has worked to encourage underrepresented groups within mathematics, with the goal of ensuring that everyone has access to joyful and meaningful mathematical experiences.
Mario Banuelos is an assistant professor at California State University, Fresno. After earning his Ph.D. in applied mathematics, he has focused on developing statistical and computational models that utilize large data sets for analyzing mathematical biology. Banuelos has also worked on machine learning methods for classification problems in both biology and imaging. Born to an immigrant mother, Banuelos experienced and recognized her hard work as a grape farmworker and her dedication to provide a better life and education for her children.
Carla Cotwright-Williams is a Senior Data Scientist for the United States Department of Defense. While her Ph.D. dissertation involved mathematical objects called matroids, her more recent work has included using statistics to prevent social security fraud, estimate savings from implementing government programs, and improve drone control systems for NASA. She completed her Ph.D. at the University of Mississippi in 2006, the second African-American woman to earn a doctorate in mathematics there.
Lesly Goh is a Senior Advisor for the World Bank Group, where she focuses on bringing large-scale technology to developing countries. Goh is a member of the World Economic Forum Global Future Council and has worked on new technologies including blockchain and artificial intelligence. One of her goals is to empower women and girls through the use of technology.
Jeff Hammerbacher earned his bachelors degree in mathematics from Harvard University. He is a data science pioneer who was one of the first employees of Facebook. He joined the company in 2006 to help develop the technology required to manage the unprecedented amount of data being generated. In 2008 he founded Cloudera, where he served as chief scientist. His work has been widely recognized, and he has published more than 20 scientific papers, primarily in the field of cancer immunotherapy.
Jordan Harrod is working on her Ph.D. at the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology program. Harrods research includes machine learning and neurotechnology. Harrod is also known for creating videos about the ways in which artificial intelligence impact our daily lives which are shared on her YouTube channel:
SubsectionShir Meir Lador
Shir Meir Lador is the manager of the Data Science Group at Intuit, a financial management software industry. Lador is also the co-host of a podcast about data science in Israel called Unsupervised and gives talks at various machine learning and data science conferences. Lador earned her M.Sc. from Ben-Gurion University in electrical engineering and computers with a major in machine learning and signal processing.
SubsectionJeffrey T. Leek
Jeffrey Tullis Leek is a Professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health were he is an expert in bio-statistics and in data science. He writes a blog titled Simply Statistics and teaches several courses about data science online. One of his most popular courses is called The Data Scientists Toolbox, which he co-teaches with two other colleagues
Racine Ly is from Senegal in West Africa. He earned his Ph.D. in Engineering Sciences through the French Space Agency (Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales) and the University of Bordeaux. Ly uses Machine Learning techniques to study geospatial data for building digital tools to impact policy and decision-making processes in the agricultural sector. He serves as the Director of Data Management for AKADEMIYA2063, an organization that uses research to boost growth and prosperity for African ecomonies. Ly has a connection to UNL; his wife, Masake (Kane) Ly, earned her Master of Arts for Teachers degree from the UNL Mathematics Department in 2017.
Jane Meza graduated from the University of Nebraska in 2000 with a Ph.D. in Statistics. Meza began her career at the Nebraska College of Medicine and the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) and from 2010-2017 served as Chair of the UNMC Department of Biostatistics in the College of Public Health. She now holds numerous titles including Senior Associate Dean of the College of Public Health (UNMC, 2014) and the Interim Executive Director of the Office of Health Safety (UNO, 2020). Mezas methodological research focuses on clinical trials and have been extended to disease mapping to estimate the probability of rare events. She has been responsible for the statistical components of numerous projects in public health research.
Mollie Orshanksy (1915-2006) was a statistician and economist and served for 13 years as the Director of the Program Statistics Division for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. She was also a research analyst in social sciences for the Social Security Administration. She is well known for developing the poverty thresholds that are used by the government to measure levels of poverty throughout the United States.
Donald Richards is a professor of statistics at Pennsylvania State University. Richards earned his Ph.D. from the University of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica, just two years after completing his undergraduate degree. His current research interests include statistical analysis with multiple variables, which he applies to a wide variety of fields, including astrophysics, finance, and medical imaging. He earned a bachelors degree in mathematics in 1976 and a doctoral degree in statistics in 1978 at the University of the West Indies.
Talitha Washington was raised in Evansville, Indiana. Later, after having earned a Ph.D. in mathematics in 2001, Washington learned that she grew up in the same neighborhood as Elbert Frank Cox (18951969), the first black person in the world to earn a PhD in mathematics. They also both taught at Howard University. Washington has received numerous awards and honors for her work, including the 2019 Black Engineer of the Year Award and the STEM Innovator Award. After a few years on leave as a program director at the National Science Foundation, in 2020 she became the inaugural director of the Atlanta University Center Consortium (AUCC) Data Science Initiative. The goal of this initiative is to prepare faculty and students to be innovators of solutions that advance data science and lead to practices that diversify the workforce, particularly in areas that impact Black America.