Alejandro Jara

Associate Professor

Department of Statistics

Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

 
 

I am an Associate Professor of Statistics at the Department of Statistics of the Catholic University of Chile. I got a M.Sc. in Statistics from the Catholic University of Chile and a Ph.D. in Science (Mathematics) from the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium). I am the Director Center for the Discovery of Structures in Complex Data, originally funded by a grant awarded in 2018 by Iniciativa Científica Milenio.


My research interests include: Nonparametric Bayesian Statistics, Markov Chain Monte Carlo methods and Statistical Computing. The links at the top lead to information on research, papers and softwares.


Since the beginning of Covid-19 pandemic, I have focused my capabilities trying to help for its control in our country. Along with the development of different data visualizations of Chilean data (https://midas.mat.uc.cl/Covid19), I have been involved in the development of novel sampling schemes for wastewater surveillance (https://midas.mat.uc.cl/Covid19), in the development of a tool for estimating the probability of being infected with SARS-Cov-2 virus given one o more negative RT-PCR results in different moments after the potential infection time (https://midas-uc.shinyapps.io/Covid19-calculator/), and in the development of novel statistical methods for jointly estimating the occurred but not yet reported COVID19 cases and the effective reproductive number, which is employed for generating key indicators for monitoring the epidemic in our country (https://www.icovidchile.cl/). I am member of “Submesa de Datos Covid-19”, an initiative of the Chilean Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, which aim is to provide open-access to multiple Covid-19 datasets to the scientific community and the general public (https://www.minciencia.gob.cl/covid19). I was also a member of a committee for making a recommendation on the use on contact tracing apps in Chile.


Since December 2020, I am a strategic advisor for the Ministry of Health in Covid-19 and data science. My main tasks have been related to the analyses of Covid-19 surveillance data, the forecasting of cases, the definition of optimal designs and sample sizes for different surveillance strategies, and to the evaluation of the impact of SARS-CoV-2 immunization program. In the former, I have contributed to the estimation of key indicators to the evaluation of the dynamic of the pandemic, including the case fatality ratio, and the dynamics of under-ascertained Covid-19 cases and infections. In the later, I have contributed to the design of the study and to the definition of the statistical methods.



News


- The Bayesian nonparametric (BNP) conference will be visiting South America for the first time!! We will be hosting BNP13 in october 2022, an international conference bringing together leading experts from around the world. For more details please visit the web of conference: https://midas.mat.uc.cl/bnp13/.


- I have been elected chair of the Section on Bayesian Nonparametrics of ISBA. The purpose of the Bayesian Nonparametrics Section of ISBA is to promote research in Bayesian nonparametric inference by organizing workshops and sessions in other meetings.


- I am looking for highly motivated statisticians, data scientists or computer scientists, interested to applying for a Postdoctoral Research Grant from the Chilean National Fund for Scientific and Technological Research (FONDECYT). Please send me an email if you are interested.




Old News


- Starting August 1st, 2020, I am the Faculty Associate Dean of Community Outreach and Engagement.


- Starting January 1st, 2017, I am the Faculty Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies (term 2017 - July 31st, 2019).


- March 30th, 2015. Due to irreconcilable differences with the current editorial line of the journal, I have resigned as an AE for Biostatistics.


- I am Program Chair of the Bayesian nonparametric section of ISBA (term 2014 - 2016).


- Starting December 1st, 2014, I am an Associate Editor for Biostatistics.


- I am a member of the Board of the International Society for Bayesian Analysis (ISBA) (term 2014 - 2016).


- Starting July 1st, 2013, I am an Associate Editor for Statistical Modelling.


- Starting January 1st, 2013, I am an Associate Editor for Bayesian Analysis.


- I am a member of the 2015 Mitchell Prize Committee.