November 29, 2018
Chris McKennan was born in New York City and grew up in New Canaan, CT. He earned his undergraduate degree in math and physics from Cornell University. He is now pursuing a PhD in statistics. We interviewed him about his experiences at the University of Chicago.
Why did you choose UChicago?
I wanted to work with Dan Nicolae, who is a leader in the statistical genetics community. Chicago is also one of the few cities where you can swim in the neighboring body of water. You can’t swim in the East River.
What noteworthy academic, research, or teaching activities you have pursued while at the UChicago?
My research is focused on developing methods to account for unobserved confounding variables in experimental data. I enjoy teaching, and was an instructor for STAT 234 in the winter of 2018.
What activities do you participate in outside of the classroom?
I try to spend as much time as I can with my wife, who is also a PhD student.
What are your plans post-UChicago?
I would like to stay in academia and am currently applying for faculty positions.
What support have you received at UChicago?
I am fortunate to have been awarded the David Wallace Award for Applied Statistics and the Harper Fellowship.
If you were speaking to a prospective student, what would you tell them about UChicago?
I would recommend prospective students choose a graduate program based on potential faculty advisors. UChicago has some of the most influential researchers in the world, and is a great place to develop as a scientist.