Frederi G. Viens has been named chairperson of Michigan State University’s Statistics and Probability Department, effective August 16.
Viens comes to MSU from Purdue University where he was a professor of statistics and mathematics, and recently completed a term as program director at the National Science Foundation in Arlington, Virginia. At Purdue, he also served as director of the computational finance graduate program for more than a decade, and as associate director of the actuarial science undergraduate program, in which he designed new SOA-compliant courses and restructured offerings. Prior to that, he was assistant professor of mathematics at the University of North Texas, and an NSF postdoctoral fellow in Barcelona and Paris.
"I’m delighted to be joining MSU this fall," Viens said. "What an impressive array of high-quality research and teaching happening all across campus! The Statistics and Probability Department has terrific potential that can extend to other units within the College of Natural Science and other colleges such as the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. I intend to work hard to facilitate these new connections and to strengthen the department."
Viens is the author of more than 60 research papers on topics including probability theory, stochastic analysis and statistics for stochastic processes, with applications in fields as diverse as finance, insurance, climatology, hydrology, food security and agricultural sustainability.
"I am very pleased that Professor Viens is joining us and look forward to working with him and the Statistics and Probability faculty to continue to build the research stature of the Department and its educational impact." said R. James Kirkpatrick, dean of the College of Natural Science.
Viens received his Maîtrise de Mathématiques Pures from the Université de Paris VII, France, in 1991, and his master’s and Ph.D. degrees in mathematics from the University of California, Irvine, in 1991 and 1996, respectively.
He succeeds Yimin Xiao, who has served as interim chair of the department since August 2015.