PLANNING COMMITTEE MEMBERS
ERIC V. SLUD (Chair) is professor in the statistics program of the Department of Mathematics at the University of Maryland, College Park, and area chief for mathematical statistics in the Center for Statistical Research and Methodology at the U.S. Census Bureau. His areas of expertise include small area estimation via the Fay-Herriot model (especially the Census Bureau’s Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates model); demographic modeling of nonresponse to national surveys with particular application to weighting adjustment and small area estimation; and large-scale data problems. He has an A.B. in mathematics from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
KATHERINE BENNETT ENSOR is Noah G. Harding professor of statistics in the George R. Brown School of Engineering at Rice University, where she also serves as director of the Center for Computational Finance and Economic Systems. Currently, she also oversees the development of the Kinder Institute Urban Data Platform, a resource for the greater
Houston area. Her research interests include methods for dependent data including time series/spatial and spatial-temporal; unique applications of Bayesian hierarchical modeling and approximate Bayesian computation; and stochastic process modeling and information integration. She is a fellow of the American Statistical Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science and has been recognized for her leadership, scholarship, and mentoring. She serves as vice president of the American Statistical Association and as a member of the National Academies Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics. She has a B.S.E. and an M.S. in mathematics from Arkansas State University and a Ph.D. in statistics from Texas A&M University.
RONALD L. PLAIN is professor emeritus in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics at the University of Missouri–Columbia. Prior to retiring, he served as D. Howard Doane professor and extension economist. His areas of expertise include livestock marketing, farm business management, and swine production. He is a frequent contributor to the National Hog Farmer and has received its Master of the Pork Industry Award. He has made more than 2,100 presentations to farm audiences and authored more than 500 published materials. He has served as president of the Extension Section of the American Agricultural Economics Association and has had agricultural experience in 16 foreign countries. Awards include the Governor’s Award for Quality and Productivity, Outstanding State Extension Specialist by the College of Agriculture, and other honors. He served as first director of the Agricultural Leaders of Tomorrow Program in Missouri and was selected as agricultural leader of the year in 1999. He has a B.S. and an M.A. in agricultural education from the University of Missouri and a Ph.D. in agricultural economics from Oklahoma State University.
LEE L. SCHULZ is associate professor in the Department of Economics at Iowa State University and serves as the statewide specialist on livestock economics and markets. His integrated extension, research, and teaching program provides leadership in the study of, and educational programming for, critical problems facing the livestock and meat industry, including marketing and risk management, agricultural and trade policies, animal health and biosecurity, and production, management, and regulatory
issues. He has published in professional journals, extension publications, and the popular press and spoken at numerous professional and agricultural conferences. He has been recognized by the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association and by Iowa State University for early achievement in extension and outreach programming, and he received premier forecaster awards from the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association Extension Section. He has a B.S. in agricultural business from the University of Wisconsin–River Falls, an M.S. in agricultural economics from Michigan State University, and a Ph.D. in economics from Kansas State University.
CHRISTOPHER K. WIKLE is Curators’ distinguished professor and department chair in the Statistics Department at the University of Missouri. He also serves as professor in the Truman School of Public Affairs at the University of Missouri. His research interests include spatio-temporal models, dynamical models, Bayesian hierarchical methods, and environmental and ecological statistics. He serves as fellow of the American Statistical Association and was elected fellow of the International Statistical Institute in 2018. He also serves in an editorial capacity for numerous journals including Science, Journal of Time Series Analysis, and Statistica Sinica. He has authored and/or coauthored numerous articles on topics including Bayesian models and spatio-temporal statistical models. He has a B.S. and an M.S. in atmospheric science from the University of Kansas, an M.S. degree in statistics from Iowa State University, and a Ph.D. in statistics/meteorology from Iowa State University.
MATTHEW BRANAN is a mathematical statistician working for the USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service-Veterinary Services in the National Animal Health Monitoring System. He is currently involved in all stages of implementing national studies related to animal health in a variety of industries including aquaculture, swine, cattle, sheep, goat, beef cow-calf, and dairy cattle, with particular focus on the design of the studies and the analysis of study results.
GAURI S. DATTA is professor of statistics at the University of Georgia. He is also a part-time mathematical statistician at the U.S. Census Bureau. His research interests include Bayesian statistics, small area estimation, survey sampling, and statistical syndromic surveillance. He is a fellow of the American Statistical Association and the Institute of Mathematical Statistics. He received his Ph.D. in statistics from the University of Florida.
KAMINA K. JOHNSON is an agricultural economist who has worked for the USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service-Veterinary Services for 15 years. She has used modeling methods to estimate the cost-effectiveness of surveillance, response cost for diseases, economic impact of disease introduction and prevalence reduction, export market trade recovery, and measuring profitability differences in using technology.
ANDREW LAWSON is professor of biostatistics in the Division of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Department of Public Health Sciences, College of Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) and MUSC distinguished professor and American Statistical Association fellow. He was previously professor of biostatistics in the Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, University of South Carolina. He has published more than 175 journal papers on spatial epidemiology, spatial statistics, and related areas. He is also the author of 10 book chapters and books in areas related to spatial epidemiology and health surveillance. He serves as associate editor on a variety of journals and is founding editor of Spatial and Spatio-temporal Epidemiology. He has delivered many short courses on Bayesian disease mapping with OpenBUGS and INLA, spatial epidemiology and disease clustering and surveillance. He has a Ph.D. in spatial statistics from the University of St. Andrews.
MICHAEL SCHWEINBERGER is assistant professor in the Department of Statistics at Rice University. His research focuses on statistical analysis of complex, dependent, and high-dimensional data, especially network data. He has published papers concerning the Internet and social networks and applications in public health (e.g., epidemics), national security (e.g., insurgencies, terrorist networks), economics (e.g.,
financial markets), sociology (e.g., criminal networks), and engineering (e.g., power networks). He has a Ph.D. in statistics from the University of Groningen, in the Netherlands.
EMILOLA J. ABAYOMI is a mathematical statistician at USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Her current research at the agency focuses on elements of respondent burden and impacts of data quality. She has an M.S. and a Ph.D. in biostatistics from Florida State University.
GAVIN CORRAL is a mathematical statistician at USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Since 2016, he has been in charge of running the current hog inventory model and delivering those estimates to the Livestock Branch. His research areas include propensity modeling for nonresponse and out-of-business records and using machine learning algorithms as a tool for survey cost reduction. He has an M.S. in statistics and a Ph.D. in forest biometrics from Virginia Tech University.
DAN KERESTES is director of the Statistics Division at USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. He is responsible for the agricultural statistics used by the Agricultural Statistics Board in establishing estimates and forecasts of the nation’s agriculture; evaluating commodity statistics; determining needs and implementing proper statistical plans in support of the crop and livestock programs; and ensuring that appropriate methods and procedures are used in all phases of the agency’s statistical program. He has a B.S. in resource economics from the University of Minnesota and an M.S. in agricultural economics from North Dakota State University.
SETH RIGGINS has worked for USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service since 2002. He has administered national surveys for the Agricultural Chemical Use survey and the Post-Harvest Chemical Use survey; run the sampling and summarization programs for the Puerto Rico field office; and coordinated the livestock data analyses for the 2007 Census of Agriculture and the 2012 Census of Agriculture. He has been involved with the Hogs and Pigs Program since 2014. In
December 2016, he became the statistician leading the national Hogs and Pigs Program. He holds an M.S. in agricultural economics from the University of Kentucky.
LUCA SARTORE is a research statistician at the National Institute of Statistical Sciences (NISS) and USDA’s National Agricultural Statistical Service. Prior to NISS, he was a research fellow for the European Centre for Living Technology. His research primarily focuses on nonstandard regression techniques and spatio-temporal models. He has a B.S. in statistics and computer science for management, an M.S. in statistics for business from the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, and a Ph.D. in statistical sciences from the University of Padua.
NELL SEDRANSK is director of the National Institute of Statistical Sciences. She previously held the post of chief, Statistical Engineering Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology. Earlier, she was a professor at Case Western Reserve University and the State University of New York. Her research in statistical theory and methodology has focused on design of complex experiments, Bayesian inference, spatial statistics, and topological foundations for statistical theory. Her collaborations are diverse, with joint research in engineering, education, medicine, and agriculture. She has served on multiple task forces for the American Statistical Association (ASA) and on the Scientific Advisory Committee to the Canadian Statistical Sciences Institute. She is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Institute of Mathematical Statistics, and ASA. She has a Ph.D. in statistics from Iowa State University.
YIJUN WEI is a research statistician at the National Institute of Statistical Sciences and USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. His research interests are machine learning and deep learning, including natural language processing, computer vision, and deep reinforcement learning, especially for solving practical problems. He is a Ph.D. candidate at George Mason University with a focus on artificial intelligence and he is expected to graduate in 2019.
LINDA J. YOUNG is chief mathematical statistician and director of research and development of USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. She oversees efforts to improve the methodology underpinning the agency’s collection and dissemination of data on every facet of U.S. agriculture. She has served on the faculties of Oklahoma State University, University of Nebraska, and University of Florida. Her recent research has focused on the use of web scraping and capture-recapture methods in surveys and on linking disparate datasets and the subsequent analysis of these data using spatial statistical methods. She has been the editor of the Journal of Agricultural, Biological and Environmental Statistics. She has served in a broad range of offices within professional statistical societies, including as president of the Eastern North American Region of the International Biometric Society, vice president of the American Statistical Association, and chair of the Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies, among others. She is a fellow of the American Statistical Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science and an elected member of the International Statistical Institute. She has a Ph.D. in statistics from Oklahoma State University.