Society Council

Eric D. Kolaczyk


Eric Kolaczyk is a Professor of Statistics in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at McGill University, where he also serves as the inaugural director of the new Computational and Data Systems Initiative (CDSI). He was previously on faculty at Boston University, during which time he served as director of the Program in Statistics, the founding director of the department's MS in Statistical Practice (MSSP) program, and the director of the Hariri Institute for Computing. Previously he served as director of the department's Program in Statistics for over 15 years, and just recently stepped down as founding director of the department's innovative MS in Statistical Practice (MSSP) program. He is a founding member of Boston University's new Faculty for Computing and Data Science, and holds affiliated appointments with the Division of Systems Engineering, the Bioinformatics Program, and the Program in Computational Neuroscience.He obtained a BS degree in mathematics from the University of Chicago, and MS and PhD degrees in statistics from Stanford University. Before joining Boston University he was faculty in the Department of Statistics at the University of Chicago. He has been visiting faculty at Harvard University, l'Universite d'Evry, and l'Universite Paris VII, and he teaches an annual short-course at ENSAE / Paris-Saclay.

Prof. Kolaczyk has long chosen to focus his research efforts at the critical point where statistical theory and methods support human endeavors enabled by computing and engineering systems. He develops and incorporates aspects of design, representation, modeling, inference, prediction, and uncertainty quantification that are foundational to new paradigms for data measurement and analysis and, ultimately, key to gaining insight into everything from health and science to business and society. Much of that work for the past 15 years has revolved around the statistical analysis of network-indexed data, and includes both the development of basic methodology and inter-disciplinary work with collaborators in bioinformatics, chemistry, computer science, geography, neuroscience, and sociology. Besides various research articles on these topics, he has also authored three books in this area, including Statistical Analysis of Network Data: Methods and Models (Springer, 2009) and, joint with Gabor Csardi, Statistical Analysis of Network Data in R (Springer, 2014). Prior to his working in the area of networks, Prof. Kolaczyk spent a decade working on statistical multi-scale modeling, with a particular focus on statistical signal and image processing.

He is currently a member of the Data Science Steering Group, for the Institute of Mathematical Statistics (IMS), and of the management committee for the Astrostatistics Special Interest Group, for the International Statistical Institute (ISI). Additionally, he recently completed a three-year period serving as co-chair of the Data Science Post-secondary Education Roundtable, sponsored by the U.S. National Academies of Sciences. Finally, he has served as associate editor for 8 different journals under various societies, including the ASA (i.e., JASA), IEEE, SIAM, and RSS (i.e., JRSS). He is an elected fellow of the American Statistical Association (ASA), the Institute of Mathematical Statistics (IMS), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), an elected senior member of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and an elected member of the International Statistical Institute (ISI).

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