Carnegie Mellon University
October 14, 2019

Christopher Genovese Reappointed Head of Carnegie Mellon’s Department of Statistics & Data Science

By Abby Simmons

Carnegie Mellon University has reappointed Christopher Genovese head of its Department of Statistics & Data Science.

“Chris has presided over what I would call an explosion of interest in Statistics and Data Science at CMU,” said Richard Scheines, Bess Family Dean of the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences. “Since he has been head, the number of undergraduate majors and the number of students taking statistics courses has doubled, and the department’s undergraduate program is now ranked No. 1 in the country by CollegeFactual. He has done a great job in bringing stellar young researchers and students into the department, kindled corporate interest and worked extremely hard to keep all of it going. I am delighted that he has agreed to continue as head.” 

The Department of Statistics & Data Science is a global leader in applying statistics to many areas of science, technology, policy and education. In 2015, the American Statistical Association named Carnegie Mellon among the largest, fastest-growing undergraduate statistics departments in the country.

Under Genovese’s leadership, the department changed its name from the Department of Statistics to the Department of Statistics & Data Science to reflect the broad reach of statistics at CMU, which encompasses the many facets of modern data science.

A fellow of the American Statistical Association and the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, Genovese has been awarded funding from numerous agencies, including the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, NASA and the Department of Energy. He is a recipient of a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation and a Shannon Award from the National Institutes of Health.

Genovese’s research focuses on solving complex and high-dimensional problems in the sciences. His work has produced new methods and results in neuroscience, evolutionary biology, learning science and cosmology/astrophysics. His paper introducing a Bayesian model for the analysis of functional magnetic resonance imaging data was awarded application paper of the year by the American Statistical Association, and he helped to build CMU’s Astrostatistics group, an international leader in the application of statistics to observational cosmology. Genovese's work in the learning sciences focuses on modeling students' learning state from data collected as the students interact with online instruction.

Genovese joined Carnegie Mellon in 1994. He also holds appointments at the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition and Carnegie Mellon Neuroscience Institute.