Ph.D. and Postdoctoral Alumni

Congratulations to our alumni who have continued to excel in academia, research and industry.

Statistics and Data Sciences has enrolled 63 Ph.D. students since 2013, and runs a departmental postdoc program. 

The SDS Ph.D. in Statistics program is a four-year degree that focuses on training future researchers on the theory and methods of statistics. Major emphases are placed on probability models and modern computational statistical tools. Throughout the program, students are exposed to central ideas of both Bayesian and classical approaches to inference. The degree consists of more than 52 hours of coursework: 22 hours of required courses, 18 hours of research/electives and 12 or more hours of dissertation.

SDS Postdoctoral Fellows work with one or two faculty members while immersed in a vibrant and growing community of statisticians, biostatisticians, and data scientists at UT Austin.

Ph.D. Alumni

2021 / 2020 / 2019 / 2018 / 2017

Postdoctoral Alumni

2020 / 2017 / 2016 / 2014 / 2012




Omar Chavez
Advisor: Sinead Williamson
Dissertation: Bayesian Partition Models for Local Inference in Longitudinal and Survival Data
Placement: Senior Data Scientist at Eventellect

Xinjie Fan
Advisor: Mingyuan Zhou
Dissertation: Deep Neutral Networks with Contextual Probabilistic Units
Placement: Software Engineer at Nuro

Giorgio Paulon
Advisor: Abhra Sarkar and Peter Mueller
Dissertation: Bayesian Partition Models for Local Inference in Longitudinal and Survival Data
Placement: Statistical Scientist at Berry Consultants

Matteo Vestrucci
Advisor: Stephen G. Walker
Dissertation: Bayesian Sparse Selection using Hopfield Network, with Application to Alzheimer's Disease
Placement: Statistical Scientist at Berry Consultants

Yuguang Yue
Advisor: Mingyuan Zhou
Dissertation: Boosting Deep Reinforcement Learning Algorithms with Deep Probability Models
Placement: Machine Learning Engineer at Twitter

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Su Chen
Advisor: Stephen G. Walker
Dissertation: Bayesian Variable Selection and Hypothesis Testing
Placement: Assistant Teaching Professor at Rice University's D2K Lab

Li (Kelly) Kang
Advisors: Paul Damien and Stephen G. Walker
Dissertation: On a Transform for Modelling Skewness
Placement: Data Scientist at Microsoft 

Jennifer Starling
Advisor: James G. Scott
Dissertation: Bayesian Methods for Complex Data Structures, with Applications to Precision Medicine in Women's Healthcare
Placement: Statistician at Mathematica Policy Research

Spencer Woody
Advisor: Jared Murray and James G. Scott
Dissertation: Bayesian Approaches for Inference After Selection and Model Fitting
Placement: Postdoctoral Fellow at The University of Texas at Austin (Department of Integrative Biology under Lauren Ancel Meyers)

Mingzhang Yin
Advisor: Mingyuan Zhou
Dissertation: Variational Methods with Dependence Structure
Placement: Postdoctoral Fellow at Columbia University (Data Science Institute, under David M. Blei and Simon Tavaré); Assistant Professor (Fall 2022) at the University of Florida Warrington College of Business

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Guy Cole
Advisor: Sinead Williamson
Dissertation: Relational Learning and Fairness
Placement: Sr. Data Scientist at

Maurice Diesendruck 
Advisors: Sinead Williamson and Mingyuan Zhou
Dissertation: Distribution Distance Measures in Generative and Privacy Models 
Placement: Data Scientist at Ojo Labs

Novin Ghaffari 
Advisor: Stephen G. Walker
Dissertation: Optimal Transportation and Barycenter Problems via Convex Functions
Placement: Chief Intelligence and Analytics Officer at Nulixr Inc.

Carlos Tadeu Pagani Zanini
Advisors: Peter Müller and Mingyuan Zhou
Dissertation: Dependent mixtures and random partitions
Placement: Adjunct Professor, Universidade Federal do Rio De Janeiro, Department of Statistical Methods

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Bowei Yan
Advisor: Purnamrita Sarkar
Dissertation: Theoretical Analysis for convex and non-convex clustering algorithms
Placement: Quantitative Researcher at Jump Trading

Michael Zhang
Advisor: Sinead Williamson
Dissertation: Scalable Inference for Bayesian Non-parametrics
Placement: Assistant Professor (2021), Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science, University of Hong Kong. Previous Placement: Postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University

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Oscar Hernan Madrid Padilla
Advisor: James G. Scott
Dissertation: Constrained Estimation via the Fused Lasso and Some Generalizations
Placement: Assistant Professor, UCLA, Department of Statistics
Previous Placement: Postdoctoral fellow at the University of California–Berkeley

Tianjian Zhou
Advisor: Peter Müller
Dissertation: Bayesian Nonparametric Models for Biomedical Data Analysis
Placement: Assistant Professor (2020), Department of Statistics, Colorado State University.
Previous Placement: Postdoctoral Scholar at The University of Chicago; Postdoctoral fellow at the NorthShore University HealthSystem, Chicago

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Postdoctoral Alumni


Robert Lunde (2018-2020)
Advisor: Purna Sarkar
Placement: Research fellow at the University of Michigan; Assistant Professor (Fall 2022) at Washington University in St. Louis

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Yang Ni (2016-2017)
Advisor: Peter Mueller
Placement: Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University

Zeynep Ertem Oktay (2016-2017)
Advisor: Lauren Meyers
Placement: Assistant Professor at Binghamton University

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Prithwish Bhaumik (2015-2016)
Advisor: Lizhen Lin
Placement: Data Scientist at Quantifind
Previous Placement: Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Notre Dame

Minwoo Chae (2015-2016)
Advisor: Lizhen Lin and Stephen Walker 
Placement: Assistant Professor at Pohang University of Science and Technology
Previous Placement: Assistant Professor at Case Western Reserve University 

Seunghwan Park (2015-2016)
Advisor: Mike Daniels
Placement: Assistant Professor at Kangwon National University

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Joseph Neeman (2013-2014)
Advisor: Sujay Sanghavi (courtesy appointments in SDS and Math)
Placement: Assistant Professor at the University of Texas at Austin
Previous placement: Postdoctoral Researcher at Wireless Networking Communications Group

Yanxun Xu (2013-2014)
Advisor: Peter Mueller
Placement: Assistant Professor at Johns Hopkins University

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Piyush Rai (2012-2013)
Advisor: Pradeep Ravikumar
Placement: Associate Professor at Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur
Previous placement: Research faculty at Duke University

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