The Directorate manages the day-to-day operations of CANSSI. The members of the Directorate are the Scientific Director, the Deputy Director, the Interim Associate Scientific Director, Regional Directors for CANSSI-Québec and CANSSI-Ontario, and Associate Directors for Atlantic Canada, Manitoba/Saskatchewan/NWT/Nunavut and Alberta/British Columbia/Yukon. The directorate manages programs, develops new initiatives, and makes funding recommendations for workshops requesting less than $20,000, after obtaining reviews from arms-length referees.
Donald Estep, Scientific Director
Donald Estep is the Scientific Director of CANSSI. He recently joined the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science 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.
W. John Braun is the Deputy Director of CANSSI. He holds a Ph.D. (1992) in Statistics from the University of Western Ontario. He is Professor of Statistics and Head of the Departments of Computer Science, Mathematics, Statistics and Physics in the I.K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences at UBC’s Kelowna campus. Prior to this appointment, he held faculty positions at the University of Winnipeg and at the University of Western Ontario, serving as Chair of the Statistics Graduate Program for several years.
Braun’s research interests lie in the area of nonparametric estimation and stochastic modelling of data arising in ecology, zoology, medicine, and psychology. He also has an interest in the statistical programming language R, publishing two books on it with Cambridge University Press. He has also given short courses on R and related topics to a variety of audiences including the Biology Department at the University of Windsor,
the Alberta Government’s Department of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development, Simon Fraser University, Beijing Jiaotong University and the South China University of Technology. Braun was a co-winner of the Canadian Journal of Statistics Best Paper Award in 2005. He served as Program Chair for the 2007 Statistical Society of
Canada Meetings and delivered the 2009 Gordon Ashton Memorial Lecture in Guelph. Braun has led or co-led several workshops at both the Fields Institute and at BIRS; his most recent workshop, Managing Fire on Populated Forest Landscapes held in Banff in October, 2013 centred on the application area that he has been most interested in recently: wildfire science. In this connection, he has led interdisciplinary research teams sponsored by grants from the National Program for Complex Data Structures, the MITACS NCE, and the GEOIDE NCE. He is currently a co-leader of the CANSSI CRT on Evolving Marked Point Processes with Application to Wildland Fire Regime Modelling.
Nancy Heckman, Associate Scientific Director
Nancy Heckman is the Associate Scientific Director of CANSSI and is a Professor in the Statistics Department at the University of British Columbia, where she has been a faculty member since 1984. Throughout her time at UBC, Nancy has been active in shaping undergraduate and graduate programs in the Department. Under her leadership as Head from 2008 to 2018, the Department developed a first year Data Science course and, joint with Computer Science, launched a highly successful Master of Data Science. Nancy also provided guidance to the Department’s research and consulting support group, the Applied Statistics and Data Science group. During that time Nancy formed and continues to lead a multi-unit, multi-faculty project to develop open-source active-learning based modular resources for teaching and learning introductory statistics, available on the website StatSpace.
Nancy’s research is in nonparametric regression and Functional Data Analysis. Her early work involved partial linear models and spline smoothing and local-polynomial methods. Her continuing collaboration with evolutionary biologists has made possible the study of the evolution of function-valued traits such as growth curves and thermal performance curves. Her recent work in Functional Data Analysis incorporates latent state modelling, and is inspired by applications in monitoring energy use and in understanding animal movement.
Yogendra Chaubey, Regional Director, CANSSI-Québec
Yogendra P. Chaubey obtained his M. Stat. degree from the Indian Statistical Institute in 1972 and joined the University of Rochester for his doctoral degree. After completing his Ph.D., he took up a postdoctoral position at Carleton University and subsequently joined Dalhousie University as an Assistant Professor (1977-79). He moved to Concordia University in 1979, where he currently holds the position of Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. He was Chair of that department in 2005-2014 and 2016-17.
Yogen is an elected member of International Statistical Institute since 2005 and is a member of Provost’s Circle at Concordia University. He was honoured with “Life Achievement Award” for his contributions to Statistical Theory and Practice at the Silver Jubilee International Conference on Interdisciplinary Mathematics, Statistics and Computational Techniques of Forum for Interdisciplinary Mathematics in association with Manipal University, Jaipur, India, December 22-24, 2016. He has also given several invited talks at international scholarly conferences, including one at the recent 2017 World Statistics Congress held in Morocco. His current area of research is focused on the non-parametric functional estimation that is funded by a discovery grant from the Natural Sciences and Research Council of Canada.
Yogen has been active in promoting Statistics through membership in various capacities of several statistical associations. He has served as an organizer of several academic sessions for several scholarly conferences, notably those held at Concordia University in 1991, 2001 and 2011. He also organized a workshop on Nonparametric Curve Smoothing (NCS 2013) at Concordia University in 2013.
Lisa J. Strug, Regional Director, CANSSI-Ontario
Lisa J. Strug is a Senior Scientist at the Research Institute of The Hospital for Sick Children and is an Associate Professor in the Department of Statistical Sciences and the Division of Biostatistics at the University of Toronto. She is the Associate Director of The Centre for Applied Genomics, a federally funded Toronto-based genome centre and one of three centres contributing to a national platform providing genome sequencing and analysis services in Canada and Internationally. Her research has focused on statistical genetics and genomics, on the foundations of statistics and on their intersection. She is the associate editor and statistical genetics editor of npj Genomic Medicine and is the Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Genome Data Sciences.
Joanna Mills Flemming is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Dalhousie University. She is a member of the International Scientific Advisory Committee for the Ocean Tracking Network (OTN), the Data Management Committee for OTN, and the Ransom Myers Legacy Committee at Dalhousie University. She is the team leader for the “Advancements to state-space models for fisheries science” CANSSI CRT. She is also the associate editor of the Canadian Journal of Statistics and is finishing her term as a regional representative on the SSC’s Board of Directors. Joanna’s research interests centre on the development of statistical methodology for data exhibiting spatial and/or temporal dependencies with a particular interest in what is important for marine ecology, and more broadly, environmental science. She has also recently become interested in how statistics are being used to help solve problems in Biomedical Engineering.
Mohammad Jafari Jozani is currently an Associate Professor with the Department of Statistics and an adjunct professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg. His current research involves statistical learning problems with high dimensional aspects in biostatistics, engineering and sustainable energy; small area estimation as well as statistical inference with complex sampling designs using order statistics and rank information. The focal point of his research program is on developing new methodologies, models and computational tools to solve data driven problems in a variety of application domains. He has applied his research in areas such as breast cancer studies, BMD analysis and osteoporosis, mercury contamination in fish body, and recently in the calibration problems to design simulators for training purposes in order to make surgeries safer.
Karen Buro is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at MacEwan University and has been the chair of the department since 2013. She holds a PhD in Mathematics from Aachen University in Germany. Karen is passionate about statistics education and is a member of the Canadian Curriculum Working Group. Her research interests are in the mathematics of electoral systems and she enjoys an extensive number of collaborations with researchers from various disciplines.