Robert "Bobby" Gramacy

Virginia Tech

Robert Gramacy is a Professor of Statistics in the College of Science at Virginia Polytechnic and State University (Virginia Tech). Previously he was an Associate Professor of Econometrics and Statistics at the Booth School of Business, and a fellow of the Computation Institute at The University of Chicago. His research interests include Bayesian modeling methodology, statistical computing, Monte Carlo inference, nonparametric regression, sequential design, and optimization under uncertainty.  Professor Gramacy is a computational statistician. He specializes in areas of real-data analysis where the ideal modeling apparatus is impractical, or where the current solutions are inefficient and thus skimp on fidelity. Such endeavors often require new models, new methods, and new algorithms. His goal is to be impactful in all three areas while remaining grounded in the needs of a motivating application. His aim is to release general purpose software for consumption by the scientific community at large, not only other statisticians.  Professor Gramacy is the primary author on six R packages available on CRAN, two of which (tgp, and monomvn) have won awards from statistical and practitioner communities.

Gaussian Process Modeling, Design and Optimization

This course details statistical techniques at the interface between geostatistics, machine learning, mathematical modeling via computer simulation, calibration of computer models to data from field experiments, and model-based sequential design and optimization under uncertainty (a.k.a. Bayesian Optimization). The treatment will include some of the historical methodology in the literature, and canonical examples, but will primarily concentrate on modern statistical methods, computation and implementation, as well as modern application/data type and size. The course will return at several junctures to real-word experiments coming from the physical, biological and engineering sciences, such as studying the aeronautical dynamics of a rocket booster re-entering the atmosphere; modeling the drag on satellites in orbit; designing a hydrological remediation scheme for water sources threatened by underground contaminants; studying the formation of supernova via radiative shock hydrodynamics; modeling the evolution a spreading epidemic. The course material will emphasize deriving and implementing methods over proving theoretical properties.