Panel on Integrating Statistics & Data Science Environments in Academic Departments

Wednesday, November 30, 2022 11 am - 12:30 pm ET

[Please Note:  This event has already taken place.  Please review the News Story for this event to read about what happened.]


Academic departments have recently decided to either merge Statistics and Data Science in one degree or change their department's name to Data Science, leaving out Statistics completely. NISS has put together a panel with four speakers in academia to discuss recent changes in academic departments as well as identify the reasons why these changes are occurring.

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About the Panelists

Heike Hofmann is a Professor in the Department of Statistics and Professor in Charge of the Data Science Program at Iowa State University. Dr. Hofmann is an internationally recognized expert on data visualization. Her research on visual inference provides a framework to evaluate the statistical significance of a graphical finding, thereby establishing a p-value for a chart. Some of her most recent work is as part of the Center for Statistics and Applications for Forensic Evidence, where her focus is on techniques for matching striae on bullet lands. She has been a key contributor to the work that received the ASA SPAIG (Statistical Partnerships Among Academe, Industry, and Government) award in 2018. She is an elected Fellow of the American Statistical Association. Area of Expertise: Data Visualization.  Data Science Program 

Funda Güneş is the Director of the Master's Program in Statistical Science at Duke University. She joined Duke after ten years at SAS Institute as a machine learning researcher. Her research focuses on combining well-established statistical methods with algorithmic approaches to solve challenging predictive modeling problems. Her recent research interests include health equity research focusing on Responsible AI and the intersection of causal inference and machine learning for analyzing large electronic health records data.  She has a patent for an efficient automated machine learning technique. Dr. Güneş is passionate about mentoring and advising students and supporting women in the data science community by creating learning and networking opportunities through partnerships with leading companies and accomplished professionals.  MS Program 

Rachel Levy (Ray) is a Professor in the Department of Mathematics and is the Executive Director of the North Carolina State University Data Science Academy (DSA). Ray Levy is the inaugural leader of the Data Science Academy. She incubates data science research partnerships within NC State University, across NC and beyond, leads the design and implementation of the DSA’s ADAPT course model (All-Campus Data Science Accessible Project Based Teaching and Learning), and communicates about data science with national and international audiences. Data Science Program

Chong Ho Yu (Alex) holds a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology with a focus on Measurement, Statistics and Methodological Studies, and also a Ph.D. in Philosophy with specialization in History and Philosophy of Science (Arizona State University). He joined Azusa Pacific University in 2012 and has served in various positions, including Professor (full) of Behavioral and Applied Science, Adjunct Faculty of Mathematics, Quantitative Research Consultant, and Committee chair of the Big Data Discovery Summit. Currently he is the Director of Data Analytics at the Office of Institutional Research. He is a three-time winner of SAS faculty scholarship (2016, 2017 SAS Global Forum and 2017 Western Users of SAS Software Conference). In addition, he also won the Distinguished SAS Educator Award in 2021. His recent book on: Data Mining and Exploration

About the Moderator

Daniel Jeske is the Vice Provost of Academic Personnel and a Professor in the Department of Statistics at the University of California, Riverside, and served a 7-year term as the Statistics Department Chair. As Vice Provost he leads the team at UCR that facilitates the recruitment and advancement of academic employees and provides training and assistance to those employees navigating academic policies. He is an Elected Fellow of the American Statistical Association (ASA) and the current Past-Editor-in-Chief of the ASA's flagship journal, The American Statistician. He is the current President of the International Society of Business and Industrial Statistics (ISBIS), a society of the International Statistical Institute (ISI). His research interests have included classification and prediction methodologies, longitudinal data modeling, statistical process control methodologies, biostatistics applications, and reliability modeling.


Event Type


National Institute of Statistical Sciences


National Institute of Statistical Sciences


Registration is free.


Online Webinar
Moderator/Session Organizer: Dan Jeske (UC Riverside)  Speakers: Heike Hofman (Iowa State), Funda Gunes (Duke), Rachel (Ray) Levy (NC State) and Alex Yu (Azusa Pacific U)