mueller headshotWelcome to the Department of Statistics & Data Sciences—the newest department in the College of Natural Sciences. Please visit our website to get to know our faculty, thoroughly explore all of our programs, and discover the ways you can be a part of our community.

I am delighted to serve as interim chair while we are preparing the recruitment of a new chair. I am excited to lead our department during this transition time and welcome any input, help, and advice from all.

Mike Daniels’ leadership: We appreciate Mike Daniels’ work and leadership while he served as department chair for the last three years. We will miss his presence in the department, but wish him all the best for the next challenge in his career. The accomplishments under his tenure include many important milestones in the growth of SDS:

  • Establishment of the department: creating governance documents, organizing the administrative staff, and growing the instructional offerings;
  • Award of the $1.1M BD2K Biomedical Big Data Training Grant;
  • Faculty recruitment of Drs. Purna Sarkar and Abhra Sarkar;
  • Growth of the PhD in Statistics program with the first two graduates this past year;
  • Development and release of the “Foundations of Data Analysis” MOOC;
  • Creating the SDS Excellence Recruiting Fellowship as a generous 4-year fellowship;
  • Demonstrated commitment to training undergraduate students through service-level statistics courses.
And these are only few of the many major steps towards growing and strengthening SDS that Mike achieved for the department during his tenure as chair. We thank him for all this hard work and leadership and will greatly miss his input.

What 2017–18 will bring:
  • Ramsés Mena is joining SDS as a visiting Fulbright scholar. Please make use of Ramsés’ visit by taking advantage of his expertise throughout the year.
  • We are welcoming our 5th PhD cohort with outstandingly strong incoming students.
  • SDS will host the O’Bayes Conference in December 2017. Please plan to join the conference, including a day of outstanding tutorials by some of the world experts in default Bayesian analysis, on Sunday, Dec 10.
  • We are looking forward to a strong SDS seminar series (Antonio Linero, Panos Toulis, Avi Feller confirmed).
  • In May SDS will host the 11th Annual Summer Statistics Institute.
  • Expanded consulting services will now include Dell Medical School.
  • The SDS research program continues to grow, most recently with Purna Sarkar being awarded an NSF grant from the Division of Mathematical Sciences.
Looking forward to an exciting and challenging year ahead. Please join us for some of the many activities. Attend some of the outstanding talks in the vibrant departmental seminar series; consider taking some of the exciting classes offered by the department; make use of our consulting service; interact with some of our visitors including some of the world leaders in statistical science; or just be a good friend of SDS and statistics at UT!

With best wishes,
Peter Mueller


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