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Faculty and Staff

Kimberly Sellers Named Head of Department of Statistics

Kimberly Sellers
Kimberly Sellers has been named the new head of the Department of Statistics at NC State. (photo credit: Georgetown University)

Kimberly Sellers, a decorated statistician with a long record of research, service and outreach accomplishments, has been named the new head of the Department of Statistics at NC State.

Sellers comes to NC State from Georgetown University, where she is a professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. She will begin her new role Aug. 1 and will be the first black woman to lead an academic department in the history of the College of Sciences.

As head, Sellers will oversee academic, administrative and budgetary matters for one of the nation’s largest statistics departments with about 500 students and 50 faculty and staff. The department’s graduate program was ranked no. 11 in the most recent U.S. News & World Report rankings and it has produced more doctoral graduates than any other statistics program in the nation over the last two decades.

Sellers’ research areas of interest and expertise are in generalized statistical methods involving count data that contain data dispersion as well as in image analysis techniques, particularly low-level analyses including preprocessing, normalization, feature detection and alignment. Her recent monograph The Conway-Maxwell-Poisson Distribution (published by Cambridge University Press) has been acclaimed by the Institute of Mathematical Statistics as “the first comprehensive reference on the subject.” She is an elected member of the International Statistical Institute, a fellow of the American Statistical Association (ASA), and a fellow of the Association for Women in Mathematics. In addition to being a full professor of mathematics and statistics at Georgetown, she is also a principal researcher at the Center for Statistical Research and Methodology Division of the U.S. Census Bureau.

Earlier in her career, Sellers held faculty positions at the University of Pennsylvania and Carnegie Mellon University. She has been a consistent and active contributor to efforts to diversify the fields of mathematical and statistical sciences, serving as the inaugural chairperson of ASA’s Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Outreach Group and as the 2017-18 chairperson for the ASA’s Committee on Women in Statistics. She has been an advisory board member for the Black Doctoral Network since 2012. 

Sellers earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics from the University of Maryland-College Park and her Ph.D. in statistics from The George Washington University.