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Statistics and Data Analysis

Data Science aims at gaining insights about complex real-world effects through information from existing datasets. Modern data-centric approaches combine deep foundations in Statistics and Applied Mathematics with state-of-the-art algorithms and provide a basis for Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Machine Learning. Data-enabled discoveries, permitted only due to recent methods and the advent of modern computing power, accelerate innovation across the Sciences and Engineering and bridge together distant fields giving rise to Information Engineering and Bioinformatics.

As the editorial (Jasra, Law and Maroulas,  2019) noted, the recent trend driving the enormous interest in the Data Science field is the explosion of available data, which has led to the emerging 4th paradigm of data-intensive science. This 4th paradigm activity includes the wealth of interesting data-driven problems arising from machine learning and AI communities. Complex data problems require a mathematical disciplinary interplay to develop new theories and address interdisciplinary questions. For example, in recent years, there have been many new theoretical developments combining ideas from topology and geometry with statistical and machine learning methods, for data analysis, visualization, and dimensionality reduction. Applications range from classification and clustering in fields such as action recognition, handwriting analysis, and natural language processing, and biology, to the analysis of complex systems, for example, related to national defense and energy networks.

Faculty in the Statistics and Data Analysis group are leaders in cutting-edge research at the frontier of Science and Engineering. Our interests cover both foundational research in Statistics and Computation, Topological Data Analysis, Statistical Learning, Bayesian Nonparametrics as well as numerous cross-disciplinary applications in Engineering and the Sciences.


  1. Bryan IV, J. S., Sgouralis, I., & Pressé, S. (2020). Inferring effective forces for Langevin dynamics using Gaussian processes. The Journal of Chemical Physics152(12), 124106.
  2. Jazani, S., Sgouralis, I., Shafraz, O. M., Levitus, M., Sivasankar, S., & Pressé, S. (2019). An alternative framework for fluorescence correlation spectroscopy. Nature Communications10(1), 1-10.
  3. V. Maroulas, J. Mike, and C. Oballe (2019). Nonparametric Estimation of Probability Density Functions of Random Persistence Diagrams. Journal of Machine Learning Research, 20 (151), pp.1-49.
  4. V. Maroulas, F. Nasrin, and C. Oballe (2020). A Bayesian framework for persistence homology. SIAM Journal on Mathematics of Data Science, 2(1), pp. 48-74, 2020.
  5. Tavakoli, M., Jazani, S., Sgouralis, I., Shafraz, O. M., Sivasankar, S., Donaphon, B., … & Pressé, S. (2020). Pitching single-focus confocal data analysis one photon at a time with bayesian nonparametrics. Physical Review X10(1), 011021.
  6. J. Townsend, C. Micucci, J. H. Hymel, V. Maroulas, and K. Vogiatzis (2020). Representation of Molecular Structures with Persistent Homology Leads to the Discovery of Molecular Groups with Enhanced CO2 Binding. Nature Communications, 11(1), pp. 1-11


  • PI V. Maroulas is currently supported by the Army Research Office, the Army Research Lab, the National Science Foundation (with 3 awards), and the Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU).
  • PI I. Sgouralis is currently supported by the University of Tennessee, Knoxville Start-Up.



Farzana Nasrin (2020); Mentor: V. Maroulas; Current Position: Tenure-Track Assistant Professor at the University of Hawaii, Manoa.

Ph.D. Students:

Christopher Oballe (2020); Advisor: V. Maroulas; Current Position: Postdoc at University of Notre Dame

Adam Spannaus (2020); Advisor: V. Maroulas; Current Position: Postdoc at Oak Ridge National Lab

Cassie Micucci (2020); Advisor: V. Maroulas; Current Position: Machine Learning Engineer at Eastman

Le Yin (2020); Advisor: V. Maroulas;

Xiaoyang Pan (2018); Advisor: V. Maroulas; Current Position: Quant at BB&T

Andrew Marchese (2017); Advisor: V. Maroulas; Current Position: Senior Data Scientist at the New York Times

Joshua Mike (2017); Advisor: V. Maroulas; Current Position: Postdoc at Michigan State University

Kai Kang (2016); Advisor: V. Maroulas; Current Position: Postdoc at MIT

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