Finding a Research Advisor / Forming a Doctoral or Masters Committee

Students are encouraged to begin thinking about their research interests as early as possible and to seek out faculty members who might serve on their doctoral committee (Ph.D.) or thesis committee (M.S., MASDS). Doctoral students are expected to have chosen a Faculty Adviser by the Fall of their second year and discuss with their faculty adviser who will be on their committee over the next quarters. After forming the committee, they should complete their University Oral Qualifying Examination by the end of their second year. Masters students should choose their Faculty Adviser and discuss with their faculty adviser who will be on your committee by the Fall of their second year.

To help with the selection of the Faculty Advisor (i.e., the Chair of their committee), the videos below give a brief introduction to the research areas and styles of the faculty. The same information and discussion with their Faculty Advisor will help with choosing the other committee members. Faculty love to talk about research and encourage students to approach them with questions such as: “What should I read to find out more about the areas you work in?”.


Arash Ali Amini, Associate Professor

High-dimensional inference, machine learning, optimization, networks


Guang Cheng, Professor and Graduate Vice Chair

Trustworthy AI, Generative Data Science, Deep Learning Theory and Statistical Machine Learning


Xiaowu Dai, Assistant Professor

Machine learning and economics, Statistical inference in dynamic systems, High-dimensional statistics, and Causal inference.


Alyson (Allie) Fletcher, Associate Professor

Machine learning, Statistical inference for high-dimensional data with applications in neuroscience, signal processing, information theory


Robert Gould, Senior Lecturer SOE and Undergraduate Vice Chair

Statistics education and Modeling longitudinal data


Mark S. Handcock, Distinguished Professor of Statistics

Stochastic modeling of social networks, Environmental and spatial statistics, Demography, Computational statistics, Survey sampling, and Epidemiology.


Chad Hazlett, Associate Professor

Causal inference, high-dimensional regression and classification, applications in political science

Oscar Leong

Oscar Leong, Assistant Professor (Appointment is effective July 2024)

Machine learning, inverse problems, optimization, high-dimensional statistics, generative models

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Jingyi Jessica Li, Professor

Applied Statistics and Statistical Modeling, as well as their interface with Statistical Genomics, Bioinformatics, and Computational Biology


Ker-Chau Li, Distinguished Professor

Dimension reduction, data visualization, time series, images, and gene expression


Oscar Madrid Padilla, Assistant Professor

High dimensional statistics, Network estimation problems, Change point detection, Bayesian statistics, Quantile regression, and Graphical models.


Karen McKinnon, Assistant Professor

Spatial and environmental statistics, predictive modeling, applications to climate science


George Michailidis, Professor

Analysis of high dimensional data, machine learning, network analytics, bioinformatics, visualization


Guido Montufar, Associate Professor

Deep learning, artificial neural networks, information geometry, algebraic statistics


Rick Schoenberg, Professor and Director of MAS Program

Point processes, Image analysis, Time series, and applications especially in seismology and fire ecology


Ying Nian Wu, Professor

Statistical modeling and learning


Hongquan Xu, Professor

Experimental design, functional linear model, computer experiment


Qing Zhou, Professor and Chair

Causal inference and Graphical models, High-dimensional statistics, Monte Carlo methods, Bioinformatics.

Yuhua Zhu

Yuhua Zhu, Assistant Professor (Appointment is effective July 2024)

Interface of machine learning and differential equations, Reinforcement learning, Collective Intelligence

There is information on more faculty in the faculty directory page.

Note to MASDS students: Any faculty listed could be your faculty advisor whether or not they will serve on the official committee or not. Please contact the MASDS Advisor for other questions.