Englehardt Joins Faculty

September 01, 2013

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CS is delighted to welcome Barbara Engelhardt, Assistant Professor of Biostatistics & Bioinformatics and Computer Science, as secondary faculty. Engelhardt came to Duke last year from the University of Chicago, where she was a postdoc with professor Matthew Stephens. Prior to that she received her PhD from the University of California, Berkeley\'s EECS department, where she was advised by professor Michael Jordan. Between her PhD and postdoc, she spent a year at 23andMe, a startup company focused on personal genomics. Her undergraduate degree is from Stanford, where she worked in Daphne Koller\'s group.

Engelhardt\'s research focuses on developing methods and models in the area of statistical genomics. Statistical genetics, and, in particular, the understanding of the genetic basis of gene regulation and disease phenotype, is built upon elegant statistical models. However, these models do not scale to the genomic data available now, nor do they allow all the different types of observed data to be incorporated flexibly. Engelhardt approaches these statistical genomics problems from a machine learning perspective, enabling novel approaches to the design of flexible and robust models for extensive, complex genomic studies.

Engelhardt will continue to teach a two-semester course on probabilistic machine learning along with professor Katherine Heller, with whom she designed the course. She also will teach a course through the Statistics Department and the Computational Biology & Bioinformatics program on statistical approaches to analyzing biological data.

Outside of work, Engelhardt likes hiking, skiing, surfing, running, swimming, playing board games, and reading, but only if she can do these activities with her husband and four lively children.