Congratulations to our Professor Nancy Heckman on her role as the Associate Scientific Director of the Canadian Statistical Sciences Institute (CANSSI). Nancy was appointed to this role in September 2019.
Nancy has been a faculty member in our department since 1984. Throughout her time at UBC, Nancy has been active in shaping undergraduate and graduate programs in the department. Under her leadership as Head from 2008 to 2018, the department began development of a first-year Data Science course and, joint with Computer Science, launched a highly successful Master of Data Science program. Nancy also provided guidance to our research and consulting support group, the Applied Statistics and Data Science group (ASDa). During that time Nancy formed, and now continues to lead, a multi-unit, multi-faculty project to develop open-source, active learning–based modular resources for teaching and learning introductory statistics, available on the website StatSpace.
Nancy’s research is in nonparametric regression and Functional Data Analysis. Her early work involved partial linear models and spline smoothing and local-polynomial methods. Her continuing collaboration with evolutionary biologists has made possible the study of the evolution of function-valued traits, such as growth curves and thermal performance curves. Her recent work in Functional Data Analysis incorporates latent state modelling and is inspired by applications in monitoring energy use and in understanding animal movement.