Board of Directors

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The Board of Directors is responsible for overseeing all the activities and affairs of CANSSI, including approving the appointments of the Director and the Deputy Directory, and advising on strategic planning and on governance. The Board meets twice a year, in December and at the time of the Annual General Meeting, typically late May or early June. The voting members of the Board of Directors are representatives of the scientific and stakeholder communities. Election for the Board of Directors takes place at the Annual General Meeting.

Donald Estep (Scientific Director of CANSSI)

Don Estep

Donald Estep is the Scientific Director of CANSSI. He recently joined the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science as Canadian Research Chair in Computational Probability and Uncertainty Quantification at Simon Fraser University, moving from the Department of Statistics at Colorado State University, where he was Department Chair, University Distinguished Professor and University Interdisciplinary Research Scholar. His research interests include uncertainty quantification for complex physics models, stochastic inverse problems, adaptive computation, and modeling of multiscale systems. Working with his collaborators, he has developed a systematic approach to a posteriori error estimation for simulations of complex systems, efficient numerical methods for uncertainty quantification for physical models, and theory and solution of inverse problems for stochastic parameters in physical models. His application interests include ecology, materials science, detection of black holes, modeling of fusion reaction, analysis of nuclear fuels, hurricane wave forecasting, flow in porous media, and electromagnetic scattering. His research has been supported by a multiple government agencies and national laboratories.

Don has served on several scientific advisory panels for the U.S. National Science Foundation and Department of Energy and on the Sandia National Laboratories CISE External Review Board and has co-authored several reports. He has served as the (founding) Chair of the SIAM Activity Group on Uncertainty Quantification, (founding) Co-Editor in Chief of the SIAM/ASA Journal on Uncertainty Quantification, and as SIAM representative to the Governing Board of SAMSI. His awards include Fellow of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, the Computational and Mathematical Methods in Sciences and Engineering (CMMSE) Prize, and the Chalmers Jubilee Professorship of Chalmers University of Technology.

Tim Hesterberg (member-at-large, term ends 2023)

Tim Hesterberg

Tim Hesterberg is a Senior Data Scientist at Google. He previously worked at Insightful (S-PLUS), Franklin & Marshall College, and Pacific Gas & Electric Co.  He received his Ph.D. in Statistics from Stanford University, under Brad Efron, and is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association. He is author of the “Resample” package for R, Chihara and Hesterberg “Mathematical Statistics with Resampling and R” (2018), and “What Teachers Should Know about the Bootstrap: Resampling in the Undergraduate Statistics Curriculum”, The American Statistician 2015.

Karen Kopciuk (member-at-large, term ends 2023)

Karen Kopciuk

Karen Kopciuk is a Research Scientist in the Department of Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Research, Alberta Health Services and is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Calgary (UC) in the Departments of Mathematics and Statistics, Oncology and Community Health Sciences (CHS). She is the Foundations Division lead, comprised of Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Medical Education, in the Department of CHS, as well as a member of the UC Biostatistics Centre executive. Karen has served in a number of roles with the Statistical Society of Canada, including president of the Biostatistics Section, Board member representing AB/BC/YT, Local Arrangements Co-chair for the 2019 Annual meeting and on numerous committees. The founding of the Rocky Mountain Data Science Network (RMDSN) in 2017 was co-led by Karen and UC colleague Rob Deardon as well as John Braun from University of British Columbia–Okanagan. RMDSN is a designated Health Science Collaborating Centre (HSCC) of the Canadian Statistical Sciences Institute (CANSSI) and has been active in promoting interdisciplinary research collaborations and internship opportunities for graduate students over the past three years. Karen’s research focuses on time-to-event models and variable selection methods with applications in genetics and cancer.

Paul Kovacs (member-at-large, term ends 2022)

Paul Kovacs
Paul Kovacs

Paul Kovacs is adjunct research professor of Economics as well as founder and Executive Director of the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction at Western University. He is also CEO of the Property and Casualty Insurance Compensation Corporation (PACICC). Since 1996, Paul has been a contributing author to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The Panel won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize “for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change”. He is Canada’s leading authority on insurance and climate change and has been a contributing author to numerous international and Canadian reports on reducing the risk of loss from earthquakes, flood and severe wind. He has written more than 200 publications and articles and he is a passionate champion for insurance, disaster resilience and adaptation to climate extremes.

Paul has worked in private industry, the public sector and academia. He is Co-Chair of the Infrastructure and Housing Working Group of Canada’s Adaptation Platform. He is Co-Chair of the Science and Technology Working Group of Canada’s Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction. Paul is also a member of a number of Boards and Advisory Panels. He is a proud husband and father, with a growing collection of bow ties.

Adrian Levy (member-at-large, term ends 2022)

Adrian Levy
Adrian Levy

Adrian R. Levy PhD is Professor and Head of the Department of Epidemiology and Community Health at Dalhousie University and Nominated Principal Investigator for the Maritime Strategy for Patient Oriented Research SUPPORT Unit (MSSU). His academic interests lie in health services research and measurement and valuation, health technology assessment, pharmacoepidemiology, quality of life, and access to care. He is author of over 130 peer-reviewed publications and is the co-editor on the Springer Handbook of Health Services Research volumes on Comparative Effectiveness Research and on Data and Measures.

Shili Lin (member-at-large, term ends 2023)

Shili Lin

Shili Lin is Professor of Statistics at the Ohio State University (OSU) and the Co-Director of the Computational Health and Life Sciences Community of Practice in the Translational Data Analytics Institute at OSU. Her research interests include the development of statistical methods for genetic association studies, genetic epidemiology, cancer genomics and epigenomics, metagenomics, and bioinformatics. In addition to methodological work, she has collaborated with domain-area researchers to study a number of complex diseases including cancer, multiple sclerosis, and poodle epilepsy.

Shili has served the statistical profession in various capacities. While serving as the 2018 Caucus for Women in Statistics (CWS) President, she worked with the American Statistical Association (ASA) to establish the annual Florence Nightingale Day, an event to encourage high school students to pursue educational and career opportunities in statistics and data science. She has also served on the editorial boards of a number of journals, including as current Associate Editor (AE) of Biometrics and former AE of the Journal of the American Statistical Association. She has been a standing member in NIH Study Sections including Biostatistical Methods and Research Design. She is an elected member of the International Statistics Institute, a Fellow of the ASA, and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Lisa Lix (member-at-large, term ends 2022)

Lisa Lix

Lisa Lix, PhD, is Professor and Tier I Canada Research Chair in the Department of Community Health Sciences, Max Rady College of Medicine, at the University of Manitoba, Director of the Data Science Platform in the George and Fay Yee Centre for Healthcare Innovation, and Senior Scientist at the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy at the University of Manitoba. Her research interests include health services research methodology, quality of administrative health databases, the analysis of repeated measures and longitudinal data, and robust statistical methods for patient-reported outcomes. Lisa has previously served as a member of the CANSSI Health Sciences Committee and is lead of the CANSSI-funded Manitoba Statistical and Health Sciences Collaborating Centre. Lisa has been actively involved with the Statistical Society of Canada since 2005 in various capacities, including President of the Biostatistics Section in 2010 and Program Chair in 2019. As well, her involvement with the American Statistical Association includes a term as Program Chair for the Health Policy Statistics Section and on the Scientific Committee of the International Conference on Health Policy Statistics.

Farouk Nathoo (member-at-large, term ends 2024)

Farouk Nathoo

Farouk Nathoo received his PhD in statistics at Simon Fraser University in 2006 under the supervision of Charmaine Dean. He joined the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Victoria in 2006, and is now an Associate Professor and Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Biostatistics for Spatial and High-Dimensional data. His research interests focus on Bayesian Methods, High-dimensional Data, Statistical Computation, Neuroimaging Statistics, and Machine Learning.

Farouk is currently co-leader of the CANSSI Collaborative Research Team: “Joint Analysis of Neuroimaging Data: High-dimensional Problems, Spatio-Temporal Models and Computation”, a statistical science team with three sites (UVic, UAlberta, Guelph/McMaster) focused on the development of new methods for the joint analysis of neuroimaging and genetic data. Farouk is currently serving as a member of the NSERC Mathematics and Statistics Evaluation Group (EG 1508, 2016-2019) and is also currently serving on the editorial board of the Canadian Journal of Statistics. He was a Member of the Organizing Committee for The Seventh International Workshop on the Perspectives on High-Dimensional Data Analysis, CMAT, Guanajuato, Mexico, June 2017; Member of the Local Organizing Committee, Organization for Human Brain Mapping (OHBM) Annual Meeting, Vancouver, British Columbia, June 2017; Member of the Organizing Committee, The Sixth International Workshop on the Perspectives on High-Dimensional Data Analysis, Fields Institute, May 2016; Member of the Organizing Committee for the BIRS Workshop on Mathematical and Statistical Challenges in Neuroimaging Data Analysis, January 2016; Program Co-Chair, for the Workshop on Applied Topology and High-Dimensional Data Analysis, University of Victoria, August 2015; Member of the Organizing Committee for the International Workshop on the Perspectives on High-dimensional Data Analysis III, Vancouver, May 2013; Program Co-Chair, for GEOMED 2011 a GeoMedical Systems and Spatial Statistics International Conference, Victoria, October 2011.

Sastry Pantula (member-at-large, term ends 2024)

Sastry Pantula

Sastry G. Pantula, Dean of the College of Natural Sciences at California State University- San Bernardino, is nationally and internationally recognized as a leader in statistical sciences. Most recently, he has served as the Director of Data Analytics programs at Oregon State University (OSU). Also, he has served as the Dean of the College of Science for four years at OSU from August 2013 to August 2017, after serving a three-year term as the Director for the Division of Mathematical Sciences at the National Science Foundation. Sastry spent more than 30 years as a statistics professor at North Carolina State University (NCSU), where he began his academic career in 1982. At NCSU, he also served as the Director of Graduate Programs (1994-2002) and the Head of the Department of Statistics (2002-2010). He has been a leader in graduate education, developing partnerships with industry, including GlaxoSmithKline, Eli Lilly, Merck and SAS to develop to increase graduate traineeships and fellowships. In all of his administrative roles, he has focused on enhancing the quality, quantity and diversity within the department, the division and the college. His core values are excellence, diversity and harmony: strive for excellence, enhance diversity and foster harmony.

Sastry is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the American Statistical Association (ASA). He served as ASA president in 2010 and received the ASA Founders Award in 2014.

Eric Rancourt (Chair of the Board of Directors, term ends 2024)

Eric Rancourt

Eric Rancourt is Director General of the Modern Statistical Methods and Data Science Branch at Statistics Canada. During his 30 years at Statistics Canada he has occupied several roles such as Director General of Strategic Data Management, Director of International Cooperation, Director of Corporate Planning, Head of research, Production manager of Survey Methodology Journal, and researcher. His main areas of work have been on building scientific processes and measurement frameworks, treatment of nonresponse, estimation, gathering, safeguarding and use of administrative and alternate data in statistical programs. He has been involved in many professional associations and has been an International Statistical Institute elected member for 16 years.

Nancy Reid (member-at-large, term ends 2023)

Nancy Reid
Nancy Reid

Nancy Reid is the former Scientific Director of CANSSI.  She is University Professor and Canada Research Chair in Statistical Methodology at the University of Toronto.  Her research interests are in statistical theory, likelihood inference, and design of studies.  Along with her colleagues she has developed higher order asymptotic methods both for use in applications, and as a means to study theoretical aspects of the foundations of inference, including the interface between Bayesian and frequentist methods.  She is interested in a number of substantive areas, including inference from large-scale surveys, environmental epidemiology, and high-energy physics.

She served on the scientific advisory panels of the National Program on Complex Data Structures, the Centre de Recherches Mathématiques, the Fields Institute for Research in the Mathematical Sciences, the Pacific Institute for Mathematical Sciences, and the Banff International Research Station.  From 2010 through 2012 she chaired the steering committee for the Long Range Plan for Mathematical and Statistical Sciences Research in Canada, which was published in December 2012.

She is a past-president of the Statistical Society of Canada and the Institute of Mathematical Statistics (IMS), and a past member of NSERC Council.  She is a Fellow of the RSC, AAAS, IMS, and the American Statistical Association.  Her awards include the Krieger-Nelson prize of the Canadian Mathematical Society and the Gold Medal of the Statistical Society of Canada.

Laxmi Sushama (member-at-large, term ends 2022)

Laxmi Sushama

Laxmi Sushama is Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering and Trottier Chair in Sustainability in Engineering and Design at McGill University. She has held a Tier II Canada Research Chair in Regional Climate Modeling, leveraging her research expertise in engineering hydrology, water resources engineering, climate science and regional earth system modelling. By integrating high-latitude land-atmosphere processes, feedbacks and interactions into climate models, her research strongly influenced regional climate modelling applications for cold regions. Her current research also focuses on climate-sustainability nexus with a special emphasis on urban environments, climate resilience of infrastructure and sustainability in engineering design. She has also led major Networks, including the most recent NSERC-funded Canadian Network for Regional Climate and Weather Processes.

Xuebin Zhang (member-at-large, term ends 2023)

Xuebin Zhang

Xuebin Zhang is a Senior Research Scientist with Environment and Climate Change Canada. His main research interest is in the past and future changes in the climate and the causes of climate change. Another of his interests is in the application of statistical analysis in climate research. He serves as a convening lead author for the Working Group I contribution to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 6th Assessment Report, and was a lead author of previous IPCC assessment reports. He is a co-chair of the World Climate Research Program Grand Challenge on Weather and Climate Extremes. He also serves as a chair of the steering committee for International Meetings on Statistical Climatology.

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