Heller Joins Faculty

September 01, 2013

CS is delighted to welcome Katherine Heller, Assistant Professor of Statistical Science and Computer Science, as secondary faculty. Heller received her PhD in machine learning from the Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit at University College London. Afterward she went to the University of Cambridge on an Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council postdoctoral fellowship, then to Massachusetts Institute of Technology on a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellowship in the Computational Cognitive Science group. She joined Duke last year.

Heller's research lies in the fields of machine learning and Bayesian statistics. Specifically, she develops new methods and models to discover latent structure in data, including cluster structure. To this end she uses Bayesian nonparametrics, hierarchical Bayes, techniques for Bayesian model comparison, and other Bayesian statistical methods. She applies these methods to problems in brain and cognitive sciences, where she strives to model human behavior, including human categorization and human social interactions. Heller plans to teach a new yearlong course sequence on machine learning and will also teach an introductory undergraduate course on probability.