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SDS Student Spotlight - Maurice Diesendruck



Maurice Diesendruck is a student in the PhD in Statistics program in the Department of Statistics and Data Sciences.


Tell us a little about yourself - educational background, work experience, etc.

Educational background: Mostly math, some econ, some ethnomusicology/anthropology

Previous work experience: SF startup, then Google, both in data management kind of gigs


What led you to choose Mathematics/Economics as your field?

I wanted to help improve life in less developed countries, and have the technical/financial know-how to do it effectively. The focus of my studies have since changed, but hopefully in a way that can still benefit those people - open to ideas!


What project/research have you worked on while here at UT?

My research goal is to make improvements to a method that models data without making distributional assumptions. A fun output is that it also generates random data, which can hopefully be useful for creative applications.


Who is your role model? In your current field or otherwise:

My parents are my role models (oh come on...yea). They're close enough for their behavior to actually rub off on me. From them, I remember to stay disciplined.


What is your favorite book or song?

My favorite book is Godel, Escher, Bach, which stretched my mind. My favorite songs change depending on the mood. I have favorite beach-party songs, and favorite angry-mood songs, and favorite sit-on-the-patio songs, etc...(see Omi, Disturbed, Andreas Scholl, respectively).


Favorite food/meal:

My longtime favorite dessert (often for birthdays) is from Piatti in Danville, CA: Balsamic marinated strawberries, caramel/balsamic gelato, cookie tuile


If you weren't doing what you are now, what would you be doing?

If I wasn't in graduate school, I'd be doing as close to the same thing as research in industry. If I wasn't doing research, I'd start a company doing things with software and audio, or software and satellite imagery.


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