Carnegie Mellon University

Robert Kass headshot

May 03, 2024

Kass Named University Professor

By Christa Cardone

Robert Kass, the Maurice Falk Professor of Statistics and Computational Neuroscience in the Department of Statistics and Data Science, is one of five Carnegie Mellon University faculty members who have been elevated to the rank of University Professor, the highest distinction a faculty member can achieve at the university.

“I am delighted to congratulate this esteemed group of individuals on being selected by their peers as University Professors,” said Provost and Chief Academic Officer James H. Garrett Jr. “These five individuals have made impactful contributions to education and research, as well as to the community as a whole. It is a pleasure to recognize them with this distinction.”

Colleagues named University Professors in 2024 include Guy Blelloch, Gary Fedder, Anthony Rollett and Elias Towe.

University Professors are distinguished by international recognition and for their contributions to education, artistic creativity and/or research. These individuals exemplify this high level of achievement and commitment to the university and the broader academic communities.

Kass’s early work focused on Bayesian inference and differential geometry in statistics. His research later expanded to concentrate on analysis of data representing the primary mode of communication among neurons, known as spike trains, which are described well by mathematical models called point processes. He and his collaborators have developed, investigated and illustrated the utility of tractable data-analytic statistical models within the point process framework. Recently, his work has focused on identifying interactions across two or more parts of the brain during behavioral tasks.

Kass served as chair of the Statistics Section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), founding editor-in-chief of the journal Bayesian Analysis, and executive editor of the international review journal Statistical Science. He received the Outstanding Statistical Application Award from the American Statistical Association (ASA) and what is now called the Distinguished Achievement Award and Lectureship from the Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies. He is an elected fellow of the ASA, the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, the AAAS and an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences. He received a bachelor’s in mathematics from Antioch College and a Ph.D. in statistics from the University of Chicago.

Read more about Blelloch, Fedder, Rollett and Towe