Dr. David Hunter Joins the HLTCOE as a Visiting Fellow

October 22, 2020

The HLTCOE is pleased to announce that Dr. David Hunter, former chair of the Statistics Department at Pennsylvania State University, will join us this year as a visiting fellow. During his fellowship Dr. Hunter hopes to explore the statistical properties of deep learning models as they’re applied to speech and text processing problems by collaborating with research scientists from the Human Language Technology COE, CLSP, and the MINDS Institute.

Dr. Hunter is one of the chief organizers of the data science community and programs at Penn State; during his time with us he looks forward to comparing notes with the leaders of Hopkins’ internationally renowned data science programs as Penn State redesigns its data science curriculum.

Dr. Hunter is professor of statistics at Penn State University, having served as head of the Department of Statistics from 2012 to 2018.  He received his bachelor’s degree with honors in mathematics from Princeton University while earning his high school teaching certificate, then spent two years from 1992 to 1994 teaching math at a public high school in Hudson, New Hampshire.  Following his Ph.D. in statistics from the University of Michigan in 1999, he has spent his entire academic career at Penn State.  Dr. Hunter is a fellow of the American Statistical Association and is best known for work in three areas:  Statistical algorithms, most notably the class known as MM algorithms; statistical modeling of networks; and mixture models, particularly finite mixtures in which the component distributions are not parametrically specified.

Among other service to the statistics community, he serves or has served as associate editor for four journals; he also chaired the  ASA’s Caucus of Academic Representatives (for heads of departments of statistics and biostatistics) from 2015 to 2016.  In recent years Dr. Hunter has been heavily involved in developing Penn State’s data science programs, has served actively with the Math Alliance and is currently its associate director for partnerships, and was the program chair for the June 2020 (virtual) Symposium on Data Science and Statistics, which attracted around 450 participants.

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