David Hunter, professor and director of online learning in the Department of Statistics, has been named a Penn State Teaching and Learning with Technology Faculty Fellow for the 2018-2019 academic year. Four Penn State faculty were chosen this year from dozens of applicants. Each fellow will work for one year with a dedicated team of TLT staff in order to realize the goals set forth by each of their projects.
“We have a sensational group of Faculty Fellows this year,” said Kyle Bowen, director of innovation with TLT. “They are exceptional scholars in their respective disciplines, and their innovative ideas have the power to create positive change at Penn State and beyond. Our staff is eager to support their projects and help bring them to life.”
Hunter aims to mobilize a data science community encompassing all of Penn State. His project will provide a web presence that will aggregate all the data science activities throughout the University and publicize programs that are ready to accept students. Additionally, Hunter plans to create a database of faculty members that would enable students interested in data science to locate scholars within their disciplines.
“Data science has developed into a discipline that influences nearly all modern academic fields,” Hunter said. “Despite its pervasive reach at Penn State, we are lacking a cohesive presence that can bring together faculty and students who are working toward similar goals.”
Hunter's research is focused on computational statistics, also known as statistical computing, which is the interface between statistics and computer science. He also works with various methods of statistical modeling such as network models, which are graphical structures representing objects and their relationships, and mixture models, which are probabilistic models used to represent how sub-populations relate to an overall population.
Hunter's previous honors include an Outstanding Teaching Award from the Department of Statistics at the University of Michigan. He has published numerous papers in scientific journals, including the Annals of Statistics, the Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistics, and the Journal of Statistical Software. He has served as associate editor for the Annals of Applied Statistics, Network Science, and the American Statistician. He is a member of the American Statistical Association, and he has presented invited talks and workshops at scientific symposia across the United States and in Canada, Germany, Spain, Greece, France, Norway, India, China, and Morocco.
Hunter served as head of the Department of Statistics from 2012 to 2018. Before joining the Penn State faculty in 1999, Hunter was an instructor at the University of Michigan. He earned a doctoral degree in statistics at the University of Michigan in 1999, and a bachelor's degree at Princeton University in 1992.