Department of Statistics Unitmark
Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences
September 29, 2015, 12:00AM

Eight Dietrich College seniors have been selected to the Andrew Carnegie Society (ACS) Scholars Class of 2016.

ACS Scholars are CMU undergraduates who achieve high standards of academic excellence combined with outside of the classroom activities, such as volunteerism, involvement in student organizations, participation in sports or the arts and leadership.

Zora Gilbert
Gilbert is a linguistics major, with minors in psychology and professional writing. As both a teaching assistant and co-president of the undergraduate Linguistics club, Gilbert has developed into both a leader and a reliable and much sought-after source of support for their peers, particularly in matters of gender identify and self-assertion. Their studies and capabilities have led them into several roles and initiatives that reflect their desire and intention to have their work result in real and positive social impact. For example, last summer Gilbert received a grant to intern at a leading child language research lab in New York City and work in the classroom as a volunteer with the East Harlem Tutorial Program. This experience helped shape their senior honors thesis,...

Read more
September 24, 2015, 12:00AM

Carnegie Mellon University has appointed Robert E. Kass interim co-director of the Center of the Neural Basis of Cognition (CNBC). Kass, professor of statistics and machine learning, is one of the world’s foremost experts on using statistics in neuroscience, a key component of CMU’s approach to brain research.

Kass succeeds Marlene Behrmann, the George A. and Helen Dunham Cowan Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, who has stepped down to focus on her research.

The CNBC is a joint project between Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh that was founded 21 years ago to investigate the neural mechanisms that give rise to human cognitive abilities. The center integrates Pitt’s strengths in basic and clinical neuroscience with CMU’s strengths in psychology, computer science,...

Read more
September 14, 2015, 4:36PM

Eleven years ago, Carnegie Mellon University received a multimillion-dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) to train the next generation of education research leaders. The award established the Program in Interdisciplinary Education Research (PIER), which implements a scientifically based and rigorous Ph.D. curriculum across several departments, including Psychology, Computer Science, Human-Computer Interaction (HCII), Philosophy and Statistics.

Based on PIER’s impressive track record, with respect to training students both in their core disciplines as well as in education research, the DOE’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES) has funded CMU’s program for the third time with a grant of $3.67 million.

“Carnegie Mellon is among just a handful of universities whose training grants have been funded continuously...

Read more
September 4, 2015, 4:40PM

The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed Carnegie Mellon’s Sam Ventura.

He’s not a play-making forward, a hard-hitting defenseman or a lightning quick goaltender, but the 27-year-old junior faculty member in the Statistics Department is hoping to make a big impact nonetheless.

Ventura is among the growing breed of statistical analysts in professional sports, an industry proliferated by Moneyball, the book and subsequent movie about the Oakland Athletics’ reliance on data analytics to build a successful baseball team. Last year, Karim Kassam, a former CMU professor of social and decision sciences, joined the Pittsburgh Steelers as their analytics and research coordinator.

“In any field, if you can objectively back up your decision with data, you’re doing yourself a favor,” said Ventura, who earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees and Ph.D. in statistics at CMU.

A Pittsburgh native and lifelong hockey player and enthusiast, Ventura’s appointment as a consultant with the Penguins stems from his senior year at CMU and Andrew Thomas, a professor who taught a class about applying statistical methods to the sporting world.


Read more