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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Board on Mathematical Sciences and Their Applications
Board on Mathematical Sciences and Their Applications
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Committee On Applied & Theoretical Statistics
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Member Bios


Stephen M. Robinson (NAE), Chair, is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 2008, he was elected as a member of NAE Section 8 - Industrial, Manufacturing, and Operational Systems Engineering. His research is in the development of quantitative methods for making the best use of scarce resources, which is part of the broad category of operations research methods. He works particularly on solution methods for both optimization and equilibrium problems; his recent work has focused especially on the mathematical properties of solutions of variational conditions, considered as functions of the data appearing in those conditions. Dr. Robinson received the Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1971, and the degree of Doctor honoris causa from the University of Zürich, Switzerland, in 1996. He is author, co-author, or editor of seven books and more than 100 scientific research papers, and has directed numerous funded research projects. He served as president of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) in 2014, and is a Fellow of INFORMS and of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM). Dr. Robinson currently serves on the National Academies' Report Review Committee and on the U. S. National Member Organization for the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (a committee of the NAS). He has served on numerous other National Academies committees in the past.

John B. Bell is senior staff mathematician and group leader for the Center for Computational Sciences and Engineering at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). Prior to joining LBNL, he held positions at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Exxon Production Research, and the Naval Surface Weapons Center. Dr. Bell’s research focuses on the development and analysis of numerical methods for partial differential equations arising in science and engineering. He has made contributions in the areas of finite difference methods, numerical methods for low-Mach-number flows, adaptive mesh refinement, interface tracking, and parallel computing. He has also worked on the application of these numerical methods to problems from a broad range of fields, including combustion, shock physics, seismology, flow in porous media, and astrophysics. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, he was the recipient of the SIAM/Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Prize in Computational Science and Engineering in 2003, and he received the Sidney Fernback Award in 2005.

Vicki Bier is a professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University of Wisconsin, where she is also affiliated with the program in Engineering Physics and with the Center for Human Performance and Risk Analysis. She is a risk analyst and decision analyst specializing in probabilistic risk analysis for homeland security and critical infrastructure protection. Her current research interests include the application of game theory to identify optimal resource allocation strategies for protecting critical infrastructure from intentional attacks. Other interests include the use of accident precursors or near misses in probabilistic risk analysis, the use of expert opinion, and methods for effective risk communication, both to decision makers and to the general public. She received a Ph.D. in Operations Research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1983. Prof. Bier is a Fellow of the Society for Risk Analysis and immediate past-president of the Decision Analysis Society.

John R. Birge is the Jerry W. and Carol Lee Levin Professor of Operations Management at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. His expertise is in mathematical modeling of systems under uncertainty, especially for maximizing operational and financial goals using the methodologies of stochastic programming and large-scale optimization. His research has been supported by the NSF, the Ford Motor Company, General Motors Corporation, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Naval Research, the Electric Power Research Institute, and Volkswagen of America. He has published widely and is the recipient of the Best Paper Award from the Japan Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences Fellows Award, and the Institute of Industrial Engineers Medallion Award. A member of the National Academy of Engineering, he is former dean of the Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Northwestern University, Prof. Birge has worked as a consultant for a variety of firms including the University of Michigan Hospitals, Deutsche Bank, Allstate Insurance Company, and Morgan Stanley, and he uses cases from these experiences in his teaching. He earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Princeton University in 1977 and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in operations research from Stanford University in 1979 and 1980, respectively. He joined the Chicago Booth faculty in 2004.

Ronald R. Coifman (NAS) is the Phillips Professor of Math and Computer Science at Yale University. His research interests include nonlinear Fourier analysis, wavelet theory, singular integrals, numerical analysis and scattering theory, and real and complex analysis. He is also interested in new mathematical tools for efficient computation and transcriptions of physical data, as well as their applications to numerical analysis, feature extraction recognition, and denoising. He is currently developing analysis tools for spectrometric diagnostics and hyperspectral imaging. Dr. Coifman served on the BMSA Committee on the Analysis of Massive Data and is a current member of a Board on Earth Sciences and Resources (BESR) study committee on Models of the World. He is a recipient of the 1996 DARPA Sustained Excellence Award, the 1996 Connecticut Science Medal, the 1999 Pioneer Award of the International Society for Industrial and Applied Science, and the 1999 National Medal of Science. Dr. Coifman is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering, and the National Academy of Sciences. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Geneva. He was suggested by BMSA chair Donald Saari (NAS).

Christine Fox is Assistant Director for Policy and Analysis at the John Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. Prior to arriving at APL, Fox served as director of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE) for the Office of the Secretary of Defense. While at CAPE, Fox led several department-wide reviews related to operations, technology and, especially, the budget. Fox served as president of the Center for Naval Analyses (CNA), the Department of the Navy’s federally funded research and development center, before her 2009 presidential appointment to CAPE. Earlier in her career she headed the Office of Personnel and Readiness in the DoD and was an analyst with CAN. Ms. Fox earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics and a Master of Science degree in applied mathematics from George Mason University. She was suggested by BMSA Director Scott Weidman. She has not served on any previous Academies committees.

Mark L. Green is the Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Mathematics at the University of California at Los Angeles. He received his B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton University. After teaching at the University of California at Berkeley and MIT, he came to UCLA as an assistant professor in 1975. He was a founding co-director and later Director of the NSF-funded Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics. Dr. Green’s research has taken him into different areas of mathematics: several complex variables, differential geometry, commutative algebra, Hodge theory, and algebraic geometry. He received an Alfred P. Sloan fellowship, was an invited speaker at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Berlin in 1998, and was recently elected as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the American Mathematical Society. Prof. Green served as vice-chair of the high-profile BMSA study on The Mathematical Sciences in 2025.

Patricia A. Jacobs is a Distinguished Professor of Operations Research at the Naval Postgraduate School. She is currently serving as Chair of the Operations Research Department. She has served on one previous NRC study and was recommended for BMSA by former board member Distinguished Professor Gerald G. Brown of the Operations Research Department of the Naval Postgraduate School. Her research interests are in applied probability modeling and data analysis and their applications to problems of national security. A common theme in her work is the allocation of scarce resources under uncertainty. Examples of such are the study of resources needed for maritime domain protection, and of platforms needed to counter high-energy laser systems. Recently she and her colleagues have developed models to understand the implications of logistics support systems and cyber operations on combat effectiveness. She has a long-standing interest in the role of test and evaluation in the system acquisition process, and the analysis of data from test events including justifiable combination of information from different test events. Her expertise will contribute to the Board's understanding of the statistical sciences, as well as familiarity with various concerns of the Department of Defense. She is an elected member of the International Statistical Institute and is a fellow of the Royal Statistical Society and the American Statistical Association.

Joseph A. Langsam is a Policy Fellow in the Center for Financial Policy of the University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business, which he joined in 2010. He spent the previous 25 years at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, where he was responsible for analytic research and the valuation of derivatives. Langsam received a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Michigan in 1982 and a Ph.D. in urban studies and economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Prior to joining Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, he was an assistant professor of mathematics at Case Western Reserve University. He is co-editor (with Jean-Pierre Fouque) of the landmark 2014 volume, Handbook on Systemic Risk.

Simon A. Levin (NAS) is the George M. Moffett Professor of Biology in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University. His principal interests are in understanding how macroscopic patterns and processes are maintained at the level of ecosystems and the biosphere in terms of ecological and evolutionary mechanisms that operated primarily at the level of organisms. Much of his work, which is heavily mathematical, is concerned with the evolution of diversification, the mechanisms sustaining biological diversity in natural systems, and the implications for ecosystem structure and functioning. The work integrates empirical studies and mathematical modeling, with emphasis on how to extrapolate across scales of space, time, and organizational complexity. The essential mathematical challenge is the development of macroscopic descriptions for the collective behavior of large, heterogeneous ensembles that are subject to continual evolutionary modifications. Current systems of study include plant communities and marine open-ocean and intertidal systems. A winner of the Kyoto Prize for basic research, Prof. Levin has also applied his insights to conceptualizing systemic risk in the financial sector; he helped plan a 2006 BMSA workshop on that topic. He has served on a number of NRC activities, most recently (2003-12) as chair of the U.S. National Committee for the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.

Andrew W. Lo is the Charles E. and Susan T. Harris Professor of Finance at the MIT Sloan School of Management and director of the MIT Laboratory for Financial Engineering. He received his PhD in economics from Harvard University in 1984. Before joining MIT's finance faculty in 1988, he taught at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School as the W.P. Carey Assistant Professor of Finance from 1984 to 1987, and as the W.P. Carey Associate Professor of Finance from 1987 to 1988. He has published numerous articles in finance and economics journals, and has authored several books including The Econometrics of Financial Markets, A Non-Random Walk Down Wall Street, Hedge Funds: An Analytic Perspective, and The Evolution of Technical Analysis. He is currently co-editor of the Annual Review of Financial Economics and an associate editor of the Financial Analysts Journal, the Journal of Portfolio Management, and the Journal of Computational Finance. His awards include the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship, the Paul A. Samuelson Award, the American Association for Individual Investors Award, the Graham and Dodd Award, the 2001 IAFE-SunGard Financial Engineer of the Year award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the CFA Institute's James R. Vertin Award, the 2010 Harry M. Markowitz Award, and awards for teaching excellence from both Wharton and MIT. Andy was a keynote speaker at the Board’s 2009 workshop on technical challenges of regulation of systemic financial risk.

David Maier is Maseeh Professor of Emerging Technologies at Portland State University. Prior to his current position, he was on the faculty at SUNY-Stony Brook and Oregon Graduate Institute. He has spent extended visits with INRIA, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Microsoft Research, and the National University of Singapore. He is the author of books on relational databases, logic programming, and object-oriented databases, as well as papers in database theory, object-oriented technology, scientific databases, and dataspace management. He is a recognized expert on the challenges of large-scale data in the sciences. He received an NSF Young Investigator Award in 1984 and was awarded the 1997 SIGMOD Innovations Award for his contributions in objects and databases. He is also an ACM Fellow and IEEE Senior Member. He holds a dual B.A. in Mathematics and in Computer Science from the University of Oregon (Honors College, 1974) and a PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Princeton University (1978).

Juan C. Meza is Dean of the School of Natural Science at the University of California, Merced, having taken that position in September, 2011. Previously, he served as the head and Senior Scientist of the High Performance Computing Research Department at E. O. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where he worked in computational science and mathematics, computer science and future technologies, scientific data management, visualization, and numerical algorithms and application development. In that position, he was also responsible for developing short- and long-term R&D plans and proposing new technology directions. His current research interests include nonlinear optimization with an emphasis on methods for parallel computing. He has also worked on various scientific and engineering applications including scalable methods for nanoscience , power grid reliability, molecular conformation problems, optimal design of chemical vapor deposition furnaces, and semiconductor device modeling. Prior to joining Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Dr. Meza held the position of Distinguished Member of the Technical Staff at Sandia National Laboratories and served as the manager of the Computational Sciences and Mathematics Research department. He was recently named to Hispanic Business magazine’s Top 100 Influentials in the area of science. In addition, he has been elected a Fellow of the AAAS and was the 2008 recipient of the Blackwell-Tapia Prize and the SACNAS Distinguished Scientist Award. He was also a member of the team that won the 2008 ACM Gordon Bell Award for Algorithm Innovation. Dr. Meza has served on numerous external committees including the DOE’s Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Committee; the Human Resources Advisory Committee for the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute; the boards of trustees for the Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics and SIAM; the Board of Governors for the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications; and the External Advisory Committee for the National Partnership for Advanced Computational Infrastructure.

Fred S. Roberts is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Mathematics at Rutgers University; Chair of the Rutgers University Homeland Security Research Initiative; Co-Chair of the New Jersey Universities Consortium for Homeland Security Research; Director of Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence for Command, Control and Interoperability and Advanced Data Analysis; and Director Emeritus and Special Advisor of the Center for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science. He is a member of Rutgers’ Graduate Faculties in mathematics, operations research, computer science, computational molecular biology, computational biology and molecular biophysics, education, and industrial and systems engineering. Roberts is a well-known expert in discrete mathematics and homeland security applications as well as mathematical approaches to problems of society. He received an Docteur Honoris Causa recognition in 2013 from University of Paris-Dauphine.

Guillermo Sapiro is the Edmund T. Pratt, Jr. School Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Duke University. He received his B.S. (summa cum laude), M.S., and Ph.D. from the Department of Electrical Engineering at the Technion─Israel Institute of Technology in 1989, 1991, and 1993, respectively. After postdoctoral research at MIT, Dr. Sapiro became a Member of Technical Staff at Hewlett Packard Labs in Palo Alto, California. He was with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Minnesota, where he held the position of Distinguished McKnight University Professor and Chair in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Dr. Sapiro works on the foundations of image processing with applications ranging from consumer imaging to neurosurgery. He has published more than 200 peer-reviewed papers and has transferred technology to companies such as Adobe as well as to neuroscientists and DoD and NIH sites. He was awarded the Gutwirth Scholarship for Special Excellence in Graduate Studies in 1991, the Ollendorff Fellowship for Excellence in Vision and Image Understanding Work in 1992, the Rothschild Fellowship for Post-Doctoral Studies in 1993, the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award in 1998, the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers in 1998, the NSF Career Award in 1999, and the National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellowship in 2010. Dr. Sapiro is the founding editor-in-chief of the SIAM Journal on Imaging Sciences.

Elizabeth A. Thompson is Professor of Statistics at the University of Washington where she is also adjunct professor in the Department of Genome Sciences and of Biostatistics. Her research is in the development of methods for model-based likelihood inference from genetic data, particularly from data observed on large and complex pedigree structures both of humans and of other species, and including inference of coancestry of genome among individuals and among populations. She received a B.A. in mathematics (1970) and a Ph.D. in mathematical statistics (1974) from Cambridge University, UK. In 1974-5 she was a NATO/SRC postdoc in the Department of Genetics, Stanford University. From 1975-81 she was a Fellow of King’s College, Cambridge, and from 1981-5 was Fellow and Director of Studies in Mathematics at Newnham College, Cambridge. From 1976-1985 she was a university lecturer in the Department of Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics, University of Cambridge. She joined the faculty of the University of Washington in December 1985. At the University of Washington, Dr. Thompson was chair of the department of statistics from 1989-94 and from 2011-14. Since 1999 she has been Director of an Interdisciplinary Certificate program in Statistical Genetics, and has chaired the steering committee for Ph.D. tracks in Statistical Genetics within Statistics and Biostatistics. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Thompson is a recipient of a Doctor of Science degree from the University of Cambridge, the Jerome Sacks award for cross-disciplinary research from the National Institute for Statistical Science, the Weldon Prize for contributions to Biometric Science from Oxford University, UK, and of a Guggenheim fellowship. She is president-elect of the International Biometric Society.

Karen Willcox is Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is also co-director of the MIT Center for Computational Engineering and co-director of the DOE DiaMonD Center: an “Integrated Multifaceted Approach to Mathematics at the Interfaces of Data, Models, and Decisions.” Willcox holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree from the University of Auckland, New Zealand, and masters and Ph.D. degrees from MIT. Prior to joining MIT in 2001, she worked at Boeing Phantom Works. Author of more than 60 papers, Willcox is an associate fellow of the AIAA and member of SIAM, ASEE and ASME. She has served in multiple leadership positions within AIAA and SIAM, including leadership roles in the SIAM Activity Group on Computational Science and Engineering and in the AIAA Multidisciplinary Design Optimization Technical Committee. She is Section Editor of SIAM Journal on Scientific Computing and Associate Editor of AIAA Journal. She was suggested by former BMSA member Tinsley Oden (NAE). She has served on one previous Academies committee.

David Yao (NAE) is a Professor of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research at Columbia University. His teaching and research interests are in stochastic models, focusing on the analysis, design and control of stochastic systems, such as in health care systems, communication networks, production systems and supply chains, and related resource control and risk management issues. Prof. Yao is a founding member of Columbia's Center for Applied Probability (CAP) and serves on its Executive Committee. He is a founding co-director of Columbia's Center for the Management of Systemic Risk. He is also the founding chair of the Financial and Business Analytics Center, which is part of Columbia's Data Science Institute. He is the principal architect of several academic programs in the IEOR Dept, including the M.S. degree program in Financial Engineering. He was also the founding director of the Center for Logistics Technologies and Supply Chain Optimization at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Author of close to 200 publications and three books, he has also served on the editorial boards of several leading journals and holds eight U.S. patents in manufacturing operations and supply chain logistics. He was suggested by outgoing BMSA member Tony Cox (NAE). He has not served previously on any Academies committees.