Tian Zheng is currently Professor and Department Chair of Statistics at Columbia University. She obtained her Ph.D. from Columbia in 2002. In her research, she develops novel methods for exploring and understanding patterns in complex data from different application domains such as biology, psychology, climatology, and etc. Her current projects are in the fields of statistical machine learning, spatiotemporal modeling, and social network analysis, collaborating with ecologists and earth scientists. Professor Zheng’s research has been recognized by the 2008 Outstanding Statistical Application Award from the American Statistical Association (ASA), the Mitchell Prize from ISBA, and a Google research award. She became a Fellow of the American Statistical Association in 2014.
Professor Zheng is passionate about education and mentoring. From 2015-2016, she was one of the series creators for Columbia’s edX Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) series on data science. From 2017-2020, she was associate director for education of Columbia Data Science Institute. She led a number of education programs, including the MS in Data Science program at Columbia, data science capstone projects with data ethics components, DSI Scholars program that connects students with academic research projects in data science, the Collaboratory program for interdisciplinary data science curriculum development, a number of popular Data Science boot camps. She created DSI’s working group on Data Science Education and has been coordinating data science education efforts across Columbia. Professor Zheng is the receipt of the 2017 Columbia’s Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching. In 2021, she was recognized by a Lenfest Distinguished Columbia Faculty Award that recognizes the excellence of faculty as teachers and mentors of both undergraduate and graduate students.