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Department of Statistics

Alumni Highlights

Kayne Milhomme

Kayne Milhomme

Senior Engineer, Restek Corporation

As an intrinsically creative person who also endeavors to practice data analysis as a profession, Kayne Milhomme has strived over the course of his career to pair these two aspirations. Until recently, this path proved frustratingly elusive, leading him first into solely technical roles with little creative outlet and then into senior management positions that lacked the technical depth he was seeking. But two important events changed that trajectory for him.

First was the realization that in order to successfully apply his creative nature to an analytics role, he needed to better understand the mechanisms behind the statistical models. Without access to this advanced knowledge, his creative input was stifled by surface-level familiarity.

The second event, and most critical, was earning his M.A.S. from Penn State. “The breadth and depth of information covered in the program provided exactly what I needed—a strong foundation to tackle innumerable real-world statistical challenges, many of which also require new, creative approaches as the world of data analytics continues to evolve,” said Kayne. The result was immediate, changing positions from senior management to senior analytics and having doors open to new and challenging analytics opportunities across disciplines, including research and development, engineering, marketing and sales.  Kayne concluded, “and the opportunities continue to grow as the field of data analytics expands, all of which I would have missed without the benefit of the M.A.S. from Penn State.”


John Peterson

John Peterson

Senior Director

John Peterson, Ph.D., Senior Director in Chemistry & Manufacturing Control Statistics at GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals, was recently presented with the 2019 AIChE Pharmaceutical Discovery, Development, and Manufacturing Award for "Outstanding Contributions to Quality-by-Design for Drug Product". This is a national, annual award that is presented by the American Institute of Chemical Engineering (AIChE).

John received this award for contributions across the pharmaceutical product life cycle through discovery, development, and manufacturing, spanning drug substance, drug product, and in-vivo studies. In particular, he was recognized for his work on ICH Q8 "design space" development, where he created an innovative and highly cited Bayesian approach. A full overview can be found online in the Journal of Biopharmaceutical Statistics.

John is the first statistician to receive this award from the American Institute of Chemical Engineering. John received his Ph.D. in Statistics from Penn State in 1981 under Professor Charles Antle.

For more information about the award please visit the AIChE website:

Vishesh Karwa

Vishesh Karwa

Assistant Professor

Dr. Vishesh Karwa is an Assistant Professor of Statistical Science.

"The man who wants to know it all, that’s me! I am hungry for information and for knowledge."

Karwa joined the Fox School from The Ohio State University, where he served in the Department of Statistics. He previously served two years as a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University’s Center for Research and Computation for Society and one year at Carnegie Mellon University.

His research interests include data privacy; causal inference under network interference; social network models; algebraic statistics and computational methods for intractable likelihoods, among others.

Karwa earned his Ph.D. in Statistics from The Pennsylvania State University, where he also attained a Master of Science in Transportation Engineering. He received a Bachelor of Technology in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology.


Jessical Trail

Jessica Trail

Senior Data Scientist

Dr. Jessica Trail is currently a senior data scientist for Chamberlain Group (CGI), a global leader in access solutions and products. As a senior data scientist, Jessica is responsible for the design, development, and deployment of advanced analytics solutions supporting CGI’s strategic business priorities.

Prior to joining CGI, she spent 4.5 years as a senior statistician at Argonne National Laboratory, using statistics to address big research questions in energy, global security, and public health. Selected examples of her work include assessing the security, resilience, and potential vulnerabilities of the nation’s critical infrastructure; examining the dynamics of infectious disease outbreaks; evaluating the effects of control measures to inform the design of optimized interventions; and using machine learning methods to optimize threat assessments and countermeasure recommendations for federal facilities.

Jessica received her Ph.D. in statistics from The Pennsylvania State University in 2015. She received an M.S. in statistics from Miami University in 2008, as well as a B.A. in psychology and B.A. in mathematics and statistics in 2005.


Won Chang

Won Chang

Assistant Professor

"What's the tipping point?"

Won Chang predicts the Arctic Ocean could have no September sea ice if global average temperatures increase by as little as 2 degrees.

Arctic sea ice could disappear completely through September each summer if average global temperatures increase by as little as 2 degrees, according to a new study by the University of Cincinnati.

The study by an international team of researchers was published in Nature Communications."The target is the sensitivity of sea ice to temperature," said Won Chang, a study co-author and UC assistant professor of mathematics. "What is the minimum global temperature change that eliminates all arctic sea ice in September?"

The study demonstrates UC's commitment to research as outlined in its strategic direction.

Won received his Ph.D. in Statistics from Penn State in 2014, his thesis title "Climate model calibration using high-dimensional and non-Gaussian spatial data". Chang's advisor at Penn State was Dr. Murali Haran. Dr. Chang earned his B.S. Statistics at Korea University in 2007 followed by his M.S. Statistics also at Korea University in 2009. Won is currently an Assistant Professor of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Cincinnati.