Selected news

In 2016, AMS will sponsor a Mathematics research community on algebraic statistics. It is a one-week summer program for graduate students and postdocs within 2-3 years of their PhD. View the call for applications.

I received a IIT College of Science Junior Research Excellence Award in December 2015.

As of 2015, I am an Elected Member of the ISI.

IIT is now hosting and sponsoring the Journal of Algebraic Statistics.

IIT is now an AWM member.

My PhD student Dane Wilburne spent summer 2015 visiting ISM in Tokyo under the NSF-EAPSI program.

AWM interview, July 2014.

IIT hosted a conference on algebraic statistics May 19-22, 2014.

Read about undergraduate research at IIT.

Information about the DARPA GRAPHS program - my contributions are under Penn State and IIT entries.

Master of Science in Computational Decision Science and Operations Research program at IIT: read about it here.

Master of Science in Data Science program at IIT: read about it at article in Built in Chicago, and in Chicago Innovation.

Brief bio

I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Applied Mathematics at IIT.

Since Fall 2011, I was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Statistics at Penn State. From Fall 2008 until spring 2011, I was a Research Assistant Professor (post-doc) at UIC. Over the years, I have spent part of my time as a visiting scholar elsewhere: I spent part of Fall 2011 at the University of Chicago, and part of Spring 2011 at the program on Algebraic Geometry with a view towards applications at the Mittag-Leffler Institute. And in 2008-2009, I was a Research Fellow at SAMSI, as a part of the Program on Algebraic Methods in Systems Biology and Statistics. I earned my PhD in 2008 from the University of Kentucky under the direction of Uwe Nagel.
Full CV available upon request.

Professional membership:
I am a member of several societies: International Statistics Institute (ISI Elected Member since 2015), Institute of Mathematical Statistics (IMS), American Statistical Association (ASA) and the Chicago chapter, Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) and the Activity Group on Algebraic Geometry (SI(AG)^2), American Mathematical Society (AMS).

I am an alumni mentor for the University of Kentucky Graduate Scholars in Mathematics Program.

Research interests:
Mathematical statistics, algebraic statistics, random graph models, computational algebraic statistics, combinatorial and algebraic methods in statistics and data science; computational commutative algebra, applied algebraic geometry, algebraic methods in optimization, phylogenetics (computational biology), combinatorial methods in algebra.

Selected (local) algebraic statistics activities

  • Starting in Fall 2013, the Algebraic Statistics seminar takes place weekly at IIT.
  • The 2015 AMS Fall Central Section Meeting includes a special session on algebraic statistics.
  • In May 2014, IIT hosted the 2014 Algebraic Statistics conference, which continues the tradition of biennial algebraic statistics meetings in the US. The previous such meeting took place in June 2012, hosted by Penn State. The Algebraic Statistics in the Alleghenies conference was supported by the NSF, Packard Foundation, the Eberly College of Science, and the Mathematics and Statistics Departments at Penn State.
  • Since winter 2011/2012, I am a co-Editor of the Journal of Algebraic Statistics. As of 2015, the journal is hosted at IIT Libraries.
  • Read more about my intersts on the "Research summary" page.
Algebraic statisics is a young research area, attracting many researchers from both statistics and mathematics communities. The SIAM activity group in algebraic geometry has many members interested in algebraic statistics. The bieninal SIAG meeting usually features multiple minisymposia in the field. National and regional AMS meetings, as well as recent IMS meetings, include special sessions on the topics of theoretical and applied algebraic statistics. In 2014, there was also an algebraic session organized at Computational Statistics meeting COMPSTAT, and in 2015 a special session at the ISI World Statistics Congress. 2014 has been a very busy year for algebraic statistics conferences: Kyoto in January, Chicago in May, NIMS in Korea in July, Prague in August.
The field continues to be visibly active, with dedicated conferences every (other) year: as2012 at Penn State, as2014 at IIT, as2015 in Genova, Italy.

Note to students

If you are interested in research in algebraic statistics, and/or relations to discrete applied math and combinatorics, please take part in the algebraic statistics seminar, and feel free to stop by for a chat after you have explored my research interests a bit.
The Spring 2013 page for the algebraic statisitcs reading seminar I organized at Penn State offers some reading material and introductory references.

And here is a cartoon containing excellent general grad school advice!

Not at IIT? Consider applying for our PhD program; we have a great dynamic program and are located in a great city.

How to choose your grad school? That's a tough one to answer on a website. Here are some of my thoughts about the graduate school experience: UK Math Alumni Spotlight page.