Daniel McDonald, Visiting Assistant Professor of Statistics, studies applications of statistical machine learning. Most of his work involves providing theoretical justification for existing methodology. He is also interested in computational approximations; time series; and applications in economics, climate science, and chemistry.
McDonald is visiting from Indiana University, Bloomington where he is Associate Professor of Statistics and Adjunct Associate Professor of Computer Science. He was the recipient Indiana University Trustees' Teaching Award in 2017. In regards to his teaching, McDonald believes that statistics is about combining careful data analysis with scientific expertise to solve significant problems. Given the quantity of data available today, he believes students need to thoroughly understand how to communicate and justify statistical conclusions to scientists, researchers, and policy makers.
McDonald did his undergraduate studies at Indiana University where he received two bachelors degrees: a Bachelor of Science in Music with a concentration in cello performance from the Jacobs School of Music and a Bachelor of Arts in economics and mathematics. Prior to graduate school, he worked as a Research Associate at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. He received his Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University in statistics.
In terms of his background, McDonald states, “I began as a cellist before adding musician, economist, and now statistician to my list of professions. I believe that, in order to address really interesting problems, one needs to be able to understand how to develop appropriate statistical methodology and justify its use.”
2018 - 2019 Course Schedule