Department of Statistics Unitmark
Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Kathryn Roeder named Carnegie Mellon University Professor

"University Professors are distinguished by international recognition and for their contributions to education, artistic creativity and/or research," said Provost Jim Garrett. "Each University Professor exemplifies a high level of professional achievement and an exceptional commitment to academic excellence at our university." Garrett said the professors were nominated and recommended by academic leaders and faculty who have achieved the designation of University Professor.

Kathryn holds appointments in the Department of Statistics & Data Science and the Computational Biology Department. She also served as the university's vice provost for faculty from July 2015 through June 2019.

She started her research career in biology but was soon drawn to statistics. Her first major data project was in DNA forensics, helping to solidify the credibility of this form of evidence in the judicial system. As her scientific career advanced, she transitioned to developing statistical and machine learning tools for finding associations or patterns in data. She focuses on high-dimensional inference problems with applications such as analyzing variation in the whole human genome and how it relates to disease. Her work has contributed to a better understanding of schizophrenia, autism and other genetic disorders.

Roeder has published more than 150 scholarly articles. She has been elected to the National Academy of Science and has been elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the American Statistical Association and the Institute of Mathematical Statistics. She received the Snedecor Award for outstanding work in statistical applications and the Janet L. Norwood Award for outstanding achievement by a woman in statistical sciences. The Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies bestowed its Presidents' Award for the outstanding statistician under age 40 upon her, and she is the organization's 2020 Fisher Lectureship Award recipient.

She previously served as the statistics section chair for AAAS and has played an integral role in organizing conference sections aimed at helping her community improve how statistics are communicated across scientific disciplines, as well as to the public.