Carnegie Mellon University

Meet the Vice Provost

Kathryn Roeder pictureDr. Kathryn Roeder (’94) is Vice Provost for Faculty at CMU. She is responsible for all areas of faculty affairs, including recruitment, retention, promotion and faculty development. She works with others across campus to develop and oversee programs that help faculty members to grow professionally and to flourish at every stage of their academic lives.

A Professor of Statistics and Computational Biology, Dr. Roeder has developed statistical methods in a wide spectrum of areas, including high dimensional inference, mixture models and nonparametric statistics. Currently her work focuses on statistical genetics and the genetic basis of complex disease. She has published extensively on statistical methods for understanding the genetic basis of disease. She is currently one of the leaders of the Autism Sequencing Consortium, an international organization of geneticists, psychiatrists and data scientists dedicated to discovering the genetic etiology of autism. Roeder has substantial experience in large research collaborations. She is currently a PI of the Autism Sequencing Consortium (ASC). She joined the Computational Biology Department as a voting faculty member in 2004 to encourage a bridge between statistics, machine learning, genetics and genomics.

In 1997, just after Dr. Roeder joined CMU, she received the COPSS Presidents award, as well as the COPSS Snedecor Award for outstanding work in statistical applications, two of the most prestigious awards in Statistics. She is an elected Fellow of the American Statistical Association, the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, and an elected Member of the International Statistical Institute. In 2013 she received the Norwood Award for Outstanding Achievements by a Woman in Statistical Sciences.

Roeder began her career as a biologist, during which time she spent a year living in the wilderness regions of the Pacific Northwest as a research assistant for the Department of Wildlife Resources. But she found that every question that interested her could only be answered by solving an even more intriguing statistical puzzle. Thus her career path veered into statistics; however, much of her work, both theoretical and applied, remains motivated by her scientific training.

In 1988 she received her Ph.D. in Statistics from Pennsylvania State University. Next she spent 6 years on the Statistics faculty at Yale University where she played a pivotal role developing the foundations of DNA forensic inference. In 1994 Roeder joined the Department of Statistics at Carnegie Mellon University. The collaborative research she enjoys most is in the area of statistical genetics. Right now, a topic that interests her greatly is the use of statistical tools to understand the workings of the human genome and the nature of inherited diseases. She was Director of Graduate Studies and Associate Head of the Department of Statistics from 1996-2011.

She was Associate Editor of American J. of Human Genetics, J American Statistical Association (Theory and Methods and Case Studies), Biometrics, Genetics and Electronic J of Statistics. Roeder elected chair of the AAAS section on Statistics, and has served on the board of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics (IMS) and been Program Chair for the IMS Statistics meetings. She has served on numerous review panels at NSF and NIH including service as a regular member of the Statistics panel.