I am an Associate Professor at the Department of Statistics at
U.C. Davis. I joined the department in January of 2004. Before that,
I worked in the Statistics and Data Mining group at Bell Labs, the
research arm of Lucent Technologies. I graduated from U.C. Berkeley
in 1997 with a Ph.D. in Statistics, primarily in computing systems.
The focus of my research is innovations in information technology and
integrating computer science research concepts with the process of
scientific and statistical research. The goal is to think about where
statistical computing should be in the future, e.g. 5 years from now,
and to determine how to get practitioners there. While we develop
software for the present practitioners, the primary motivation is
enabling things in the future and not merely reimplementation of
existing concepts. The hope is to enable statisticians to do things
that they currently cannot attempt, to export statistical methodology
to non-statisticians and to facilitate interchange and direct
collaboration between disciplines.
An important aspect of my work is to facilitate the integration of
software from different communities. It is important that
statisticians be able to easily access both software and data
from other disciplines. Similarly, it is vital that people in other
fields using their familiar tools be able to use
state-of-the-art statistical methodology developed by statisticians in
their favorite environment, and be able to integrate them into
their work process. I have developed a general and flexible model for
integrating programming languages and systems to enable this
interchange. We call this the inter-system interface model.
This involves embedding systems within others,
and also enabling the possiblity of programming using multiple languages.
I returned to academia from industrial research with the purpose of
introducing modern statistical computing to the statistics curriculum.
Rather than focussing almost exclusively on mathematical statistics,
it is becoming increasingly important that students and researchers be
able to work with data both in new formats and also in the increasing size
we are continually experiencing. Data
technologies, software development and basic computing proficiency are
as important as statistical methodology in the context of the
I work on a number of projects,
most of them with the central
theme of exploring the next generation
of information technology and integrating it with statistics.
- The S Language.
- I am one of the developers of R,
and the S4 engine, originally developed at Bell Labs, that
- The Omegahat project is both
GGobi is a dynamic, interactive visualization system
that provides linked plots for exploratory data analysis.
Descending from XGobi, it is significantly more
flexible, allowing it to be embedded in other applications
and to be extended using high-level functions in R,
Perl or Python.
A plugin mechanism allows it to be directly extended in the
core system for different goals.
- StatDocs is a project to develop both a technology infrastructure and
content for authoring and rendering both dynamic and
interactive. These documents are dynamic in the sense
that when processed, the contents are generated by evaluating
the code that one would run manually.
This leads to reproducible results.
They are interactive in the sense that the contents
can contain interactive GUI components.
Duncan Temple Lang