Carnegie Mellon University
May 15, 2020

Roeder, Trotter Named University Professors

By Sakena Washington

Julie Mattera
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Jason Maderer
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Seven Carnegie Mellon University faculty members have been elevated to the rank of University Professor, the highest distinction a faculty member can achieve at CMU.

The newly appointed University Professors are Jessica Hodgins, Allen Robinson, Kathryn Roeder, Tuomas Sandholm, Mahadev Satyanarayanan, Susanne Slavick and Joe William Trotter, Jr.

"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 Roeder

Kathryn Roeder, the UPMC Professor of Statistics and Life Sciences, 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.

Roeder 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, Roeder 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.

Roeder 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.

Joe William Trotter, Jr.

Joe William Trotter, Jr., the Giant Eagle Professor of History and Social Justice and past History Department chair, founded and directs CMU's Center for Africanamerican Urban Studies and the Economy (CAUSE).

An elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he is a pioneer in the development of U.S. urban, labor and working-class history. His scholarship includes a wide range of scholarly books, essays and articles in professional journals and edited collections. His most recent book, "Workers on Arrival: Black Labor in the Making of America," selected a CHOICE Outstanding Academic Book for 2019, chronicles African American urban life since the Atlantic slave trade. He recently completed another book, "Pittsburgh and the Urban League Movement: A Century of Social Service and Activism." He has served on the boards and committees of professional organizations, including the National Endowment for the Humanities. He is past president of the Labor and Working Class History Association and president-elect of the Urban History Association. He also is a member and past vice president of the board of trustees of the H. John Heinz III Regional History Center, a Smithsonian affiliate.

Trotter has delivered scholarly papers and lectures in professional forums in the United States and abroad, including institutions of higher education in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, the Netherlands, and the Middle East. He has served on the boards and committees of numerous professional organizations: Executive Council, OAH; Chair, Nominating Committee, OAH; OAH Program Committee; Executive Council, SHA; Program Committee, SHA; Francis B. Simkins Prize Committee, SHA; Immigration History Society Executive Board; Jameson Fellowship Committee, AHA; Program Committee, Oral History Association; chair of the annual Program Committee of the American Historical Association.

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