Research in Statistics
Faculty and students in the Department of Statistics at Penn State are developing statistical and computational techniques to address some of the most challenging and exciting scientific questions facing the world today.
Our faculty and students work together on a wide variety of research problems in a supportive and collaborative environment. Their theoretical and methodological work advances the forefront of the disciplines of statistics and data science, while the interdisciplinary nature of their research addresses some of the most important and exciting topics of our time such as genetics, data privacy, infectious diseases, public health, astronomy, climate and environmental science.
• Bayesian Statistics
• Biostatistics and Bioinformatics
• Business Analytics
• Computational Statistics
• Functional Data Analysis
• High-Dimensional Data
• Imaging Science
• Social Science
• Spatiotemporal Data
• Statistical Network Science
• Statistical and Machine Learning
• Statistics Education
Our faculty work closely with graduate students, undergraduates, postdoctoral fellows, and other faculty. These collaborations serve both to accomplish research that would otherwise not be possible and to mentor new researchers on the research process. For our Ph.D. students and undergraduates, research on statistical methodology and applications often leads to doctoral dissertations and undergraduate theses.
Many of the greatest statistical innovations have come when statisticians have worked on solving hard scientific problems from other disciplines. A famous early example of this is Fisher's seminal contributions to likelihood theory and the design of experiments while working on problems in genetics and agriculture. At the Penn State statistics department—where Fisher's student and legendary statistician in his own right C.R. Rao was a faculty member—we have a tradition of interdisciplinary research. Many of our faculty work closely with researchers in a wide variety of disciplines like biology, atmospheric science, neuroscience, astronomy, and public health.
These research collaborations involve our graduate and undergraduate students and are great ways for students to learn about how statistical methods can solve real-world problems. Working across disciplines also really strengthens communication skills that contribute to our students' success whether they choose to go into academics or industry or government.
Statistics Department Colloquia
The Statistics Department Colloquia invites academic scholars and industrial researchers to present and communicate cutting-edge research and progress in statistics, machine learning, data science, and their interdisciplinary applications. Colloquia are held weekly and open for attendance by faculty, students, and staff.
Stochastic Modeling and Computational Statistics (SMAC) Talks
The SMAC seminar series features speakers from within Penn State. The talks are given by graduate students, postdocs, and faculty from both Statistics as well as other departments where statistical questions feature prominently in the research. This forum gives people an opportunity to hear about the exciting research being conducted right here at Penn State, and often leads to new collaborations. It is very informal and interactive, and often features ongoing work, which makes it particularly popular with students and faculty. SMAC Talks are held weekly during the academic year.
We offer two distinct programs of study for our graduate students—leading to a doctorate in statistics and a master of applied statistics (M.A.S.). We also offer two additional dual degrees that can be obtained in conjunction with a degree in statistics. Students may also pursue concurrent M.S. degrees in statistics or a related field, while students from other disciplines may consider obtaining a graduate minor in statistics. Learn more about our programs.
Centers and Institutes
The department has connections to a number of research centers across the university. Many members of the department are also associated with centers in the Huck Institutes. The Center for Astrostatistics is housed within the department and is lead by Professor Jogesh Babu.
Centers and Institutes within the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences
Other University Centers
Three teams from the Penn State Eberly College of Science have received ICDS seed grants.
New risk scores developed by Penn State biologists could help clinicians identify young children most at risk of developing obesity.