Chad M. Schafer

Associate Professor, Department of Statistics, Carnegie Mellon University

Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley

email: cschafer at
office: Baker Hall 228D
phone: (412) 268-3967
fax: (412) 268-7828
mailing address: Baker Hall 132, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213
My CV in .pdf format.


I am a member of the International Computational Astrostatistics (INCA) Group and am affiliated with the McWilliams Center for Cosmology.

I am part of the Bioinformatics & Statistical Genetics Group.

I was a member of a small group that developed the Fast Ocean Atmosphere Model (FOAM). The model has enjoyed wide use; see related publications.


"Whole exome sequencing reveals minimal differences between cell line and whole blood derived DNA."
Schafer, C, N. Campbell, G. Cai, F. Yu, V. Makarov, S. Yoon, M. Daly, R. Gibbs, G. Schellenberg, B. Devlin, J. Sutcliffe, J. Buxbaum, K. Roeder. (2013) To appear in Genomics.

"Likelihood-Free Cosmological Inference with Type Ia Supernovae: Approximate Bayesian Computation for a Complete Treatment of Uncertainty."
Weyant, A., C. Schafer, and W.M. Wood-Vasey. (2013) The Astrophysical Journal. (764): 116.

"Programmed Biologically Inspired Synthetic Templating of Multifunctional Nanoarchitectures for Small-Scale Reactions."
Didier, J., C. Schafer, and P. LeDuc. (2012) European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry. (2012): 5405-5410.

"Prototype selection for parameter estimation in complex models."
Richards, J., A. Lee, C. Schafer, and P. Freeman. (2012) Annals of Applied Statistics. (6): 383-408.

"Patterns and rates of exonic de novo mutations in autism spectrum disorders."
Neale, B., et al. (59 authors). (2012) Nature. (485) 242-245.

"Likelihood-Free Inference in Cosmology: Potential for the Estimation of Luminosity Functions."
Schafer, C. and P. Freeman. (2012) In Statistical Challenges in Modern Astronomy V, part of Lecture Notes in Statistics. (209). Springer.

"Semi-supervised Learning for Photometric Supernova Classification."
Richards, J., Homrighausen, D., Freeman, P., Schafer, C., Poznanski, D. (2011) Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. (419): 1121-1135.

"High-dimensional Density Estimation via SCA: An Example in the Modelling of Hurricane Tracks"
Buchman, S., A. Lee, and C. Schafer (2011) Statistical Methodology. (9):18-30.

"Constructing Confidence Regions of Optimal Expected Size."
Schafer, C. and P. Stark. (2009) Journal of the American Statistical Association. (104): 1080-1089.

"Accurate Parameter Estimation for Star Formation History in Galaxies using SDSS Spectra."
Richards, J., P. Freeman, A. Lee, and C. Schafer. (2009) Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. (399): 1044-1057.

"Photometric Redshift Estimation Using SCA."
Freeman, P., J. Newman, A. Lee, J. Richards, and C. Schafer. (2009) Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. (398): 2012-2021.

"Exploiting Low-Dimensional Structure in Astronomical Spectra."
Richards, J., P. Freeman, A. Lee, and C. Schafer. (2009) The Astrophysical Journal. (691): 32-42.

"Selecting Local Models in Multiple Regression by Maximizing Power."
Schafer, C. and K. Doksum. (2009) Metrika. (69): 283-304.

"Astrostatistics: The Final Frontier."
Freeman, P., J. Richards, C. Schafer, and A. Lee. (2008) Chance. (21).

"A Statistical Method for Estimating Luminosity Functions using Truncated Data."
Schafer, C. (2007) The Astrophysical Journal. (661): 703-713.

"Efficiently Computing Minimax Expected-Size Confidence Regions."
Bryan, B., H. McMahan, C. Schafer, and J. Schneider. (2007) Accepted paper for International Conference on Machine Learning.

"Powerful Choices: Tuning Parameter Selection Based on Power."
Doksum, K. and C. Schafer. (2006) In Frontiers in Statistics. Fan, J. and H. Koul, editors. 113-141.

"Using What we Know: Inference with Physical Constraints."
Schafer, C. and P. Stark. (2003) Statistical Problems in Particle Physics, Astrophysics, and Cosmology. 25-34.

"Computational Design and Performance of the Fast Ocean Atmosphere Model, Version One."
Jacob, R., C. Schafer, I. Foster, M. Tobis, and J. Anderson. (2001) Proc. 2001 International Conference on Computational Science. Alexandrov, V., J. Dongarra, C. Tan, editors. Springer-Verlag. Also ANL/CGC-005-0401, April 2001.

"FOAM: Expanding the Horizons of Climate Modeling."
Tobis, M., I. Foster, C. Schafer, R. Jacob, and J. Anderson. (1997) Technical Paper, SC97:High Performance Networking and Computing.

"Exploring Coupled Atmosphere-Ocean Models Using (Vis5D)."
Hibbard, W., J. Anderson, I. Foster, B. Paul, R. Jacob, C. Schafer, and M. Tyree. (1996) International Journal of Supercomputer Applications. (10): 211-222.


A description, along with documented code, of the procedure I developed for estimating the bivariate density using irregularly truncated data.

A description, along with documented code, of the procedure I developed for constructing minimax expected size and minimax regret confidence procedures.


Recently, my focus has been on teaching as part of Master in Computational Finance program at CMU.

Past courses that I have taught include the following:

36-752, Advanced Probability Overview

36-625, Probability and Mathematical Statistics

36-410, Introduction to Probability Models

36-247, Statistics for the Lab Sciences

36-220, Engineering Statistics and Quality Control

Other Activities

I am the Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Statistics at CMU. See here for more information on the program.

I am the moderator for the methodology subsection of the Statistics area on arXiv.

In Summer 2012 and Summer 2013 I was a Project Director for the Summer Undergraduate Applied Mathematics Institute.

I regularly teach for the Summer School in Statistics for Astronomers at the Center for Astrostatistics at Penn State University.