Data science has become one of the most important disciplines of the 21st century. Everyday, we leave behind a data footprint whose information has been hailed as the gold of the digital age. With the recurrent surges in data generation, there is not only an ever-increasing demand for specialists being able to structure, analyse and process this data, but also a need to address the methodological and computational problems that emerge daily. The objective of the Memorial University Data Science Research Group is to maximise the talents and expertise of its members, and other members of the scientific community, in a joint effort to take upon some of these problems and, in the process, support the training of a new generation of data scientists.

The members of the research group are:

Dr Bihlo is an Associate Professor and Tier II Canada Research Chair in Numerical Analysis and Scientific Computing at the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Memorial University. Dr Bihlo’s research interests are in the fields of group analysis of differential and difference equations, geometric numerical integration, deep learning, geophysics and geophysical fluid dynamics. For his contributions to the aforementioned areas, Dr Bihlo was named the 2018 recipient of the PIMS–CAIMS Early Career Award.

Dr Yuanzhu Chen is a Professor of Computer Science who currently serves as Head of Department. Dr Chen’s research interests include complex networks, computer networking, online social networks, mobile computing, graph theory, web information retrieval, and evolutionary computation. Dr Chen is a recipient of the President's Award for Distinguished Teaching (2018), named as one of the top teachers of Memorial University.

Dr Candemir Cigsar is an Associate Professor of Statistics in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada. Dr Cigsar’s general interests in research focus on developing theory and novel methods in statistics for the analysis of complex data sets arising from system engineering, epidemiology and biomedical sciences. His specialities are the analysis of survival and event history data, analysis of recurrent event processes, multi-state modelling, sample design, incomplete data analysis, statistical genetics and goodness-of-fit testing. Dr Cigsar enjoys teaching applied and theoretical statistics courses at all levels.

Dr Zhaozhi Fan is a professor of Statistics. Dr Fan’s research lies in the area of both mathematical and applied statistics. His interests include statistical inference of heavy-tailed distributions, measurement error models in survival analysis, longitudinal categorical data analysis, high frequency and high dimensional data analysis, free probability theory. Currently, he is working on quantile regression with measurement errors and financial time series.

Dr Armin Hatefi is an assistant professor of Statistics in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Memorial University since 2018. His research interest involves classification, clustering, mixture models, nonparametric and semi-parametric models, machine learning, computational statistics, big data, Bayesian statistics and analysis of complex data including mixed data, network data and ranking data. These methods are being increasingly exploited in various fields including biological data, marine sciences, actuarial sciences, business and medical sciences such as breast cancer prognosis, bone disorder estimation and neuroimaging, to name a few.

Dr Ronald D. Haynes is a professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics and current chair of the MSc and PhD programs in Scientific Computing. Dr Haynes’ research involves various aspects of numerical analysis and scientific computing. His interests include numerical methods for partial differential equations (moving mesh methods, domain decomposition, and parallel methods in time), as well as numerical linear algebra and optimisation. Dr Haynes recently received the President’s Award for Outstanding Research (2018) and the Dean of Science’s Distinguished Teaching Award (2019).

Dr J C. Loredo-Osti is a professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics where, currently, serves as head of the department. His research interests cover topics of time series, longitudinal data analysis, statistical genetics, genomics and proteomics, applied stochastic processes, particularly, α-stable processes applied to the modelling extreme and catastrophic events, and statistical inference pertinent to data science such as dimension reduction, regression trees, and neural networks.

Dr MacLachlan Professor of Mathematics at Memorial University. His research interests lie in computational applied mathematics and scientific computation. In particular, his work centres on the development and analysis of finite-element and multigrid methods, typically for PDE-based models of fluid and solid mechanics. His work involves aspects of functional and numerical analysis, numerical linear algebra, and physical modelling. Dr MacLachlan received the President’s Award for Outstanding Research in 2019.

Dr Hamid Usefi is an associate professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics with a cross-appointment to the Department of Computer Science. Dr Usefi’s research spans Algebra, Machine Learning, and Cryptography. He has supervised or Co-supervised 5 graduate and 3 undergraduate students. His research involves developing novel machine learning algorithms and explore applications in bioinformatics, genetics, finance, and industry.

Dr Asokan Mulayath Variyath is an Associate Professor of Statistics in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the Memorial University. His main research interests are industrial statistics, design of experiments, machine learning, computational statistics, survival analysis and longitudinal studies. He trained six masters and two PhD students and currently supervising one PhD and four master students. Currently, he is a department’s Deputy Head (Graduate Studies) and Director of the Statistical Consultancy Centre of Department of Mathematics and Statistics.

Dr Wang is an Associate Professor of Statistics who works on Markov processes, multi-parameter stochastic processes, martingale theory, order statistics, extreme value theory and related limiting distributions, machine and deep learning. Recently, he has become involved with probabilistic model building for the clasification problem of high frequency data which involves deep learning.

Dr Yilmaz is Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics with a joint appointment in the Disciple of Genetics, Faculty of Medicine. Her research interests include development and application of statistical methods in bio-medicine, epidemiology and human genetics. In particular, her research interests include survival and event history analysis, statistical genetics, genetic epidemiology, incomplete data analysis, sampling designs, multivariate analysis, and causal inference. She supervises students at each level of post-doctoral, PhD, MSc, and Honours BSc.


  • The group is actively looking for talented students and scholars with similar research interests.

  • The group is also open to multidisciplinary collaborations.


Mathematics and Statistics

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000