Fall Data Challenge: Meet the Judges

This is Statistics’ third annual Fall Data Challenge will focus on the topic “Help Solve Homelessness,” putting students’ analytical and data visualization skills to the test to help address the homelessness crisis in America.

With the contest launch quickly approaching, allow us to introduce the real-life statisticians who apply their professional skills to address the homelessness crisis every day, and have volunteered their time to serve as judges for the Fall Data Challenge 2019.

These are the experts who will evaluate your entries, including your assessment of the data and any implicit biases:


Ashley Edwards, M.S.

Poverty Statistics Branch Chief, U.S. Census Bureau Social Economic and Housing Statistics Division

Ms. Edwards is chief of the U.S. Census Bureau’s Poverty Statistics Branch in the Social, Economic and Housing Statistics Division. The branch is responsible for processing, analyzing and publishing poverty estimates collected in the Current Population Survey’s Annual Social and Economic Supplement, the American Community Survey and the Survey of Income and Program Participation. The branch is also responsible for contributing to research on alternate methods of measuring poverty. Ms. Edwards’ research has primarily focused on the measurement of poverty over time, and she has worked extensively on the redesign of the Survey of Income and Program Participation. 

FDC_HSH_Wendy MartinezWendy Martinez, Ph.D.

Director of the Mathematical Statistics Research Center, Bureau of Labor Statistics

Dr. Martinez has been serving as the director of the Mathematical Statistics Research Center at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for seven years. Prior to this, she served in several research positions throughout the Department of Defense. She held the position of science and technology program officer at the Office of Naval Research, where she established a research portfolio comprised of academia and industry performers developing data science products for the future Navy and Marine Corps. Her areas of interest include computational statistics, exploratory data analysis and text data mining. She is the lead author of three books on MATLAB and statistics. Dr. Martinez was elected as a Fellow of the American Statistical Association (ASA) in 2006 and is an elected member of the International Statistical Institute. She has organized an annual ASA Data Challenge Expo since 2015, and she is looking forward to seeing the interesting analyses submitted by contestants in this Fall Data Challenge.

FDC_HSH_McClureLeslie McClure, Ph.D.

Professor, Chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Dornsife School of Public Health, Drexel University

Dr. McClure is professor and chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Dornsife School of Public Health at Drexel University. Her expertise is in the design and analysis of multicenter trials, as well as issues of multiplicity in clinical trials. She is currently the director of the Coordinating Center for the Diabetes LEAD Network, and the director of the Data Coordinating Center for the Connecting the Dots: Autism Center of Excellence. Dr. McClure also does work to try to understand disparities in health, particularly racial and geographic disparities, and the role that the environment plays in them. When she is not doing research, Dr. McClure is passionate about increasing diversity in the math sciences, and devotes considerable time to mentoring younger scientists, particularly women and people of color.

JoeJoe N. Savage, Jr., Ph.D.

Regional Coordinator, United States Interagency Council on Homelessness

Dr. Savage is a recognized leader with over 15 years of experience in the fields of homelessness, social policy, economic development and human services administration. His passion for this work has cultivated years of skills and expertise that have helped bring over $150 million of funding to support housing and services for the homeless and community development projects. Dr. Savage’s commitment to this work is rooted in his belief in the dignity of human life. Dr. Savage completed his undergraduate work in neuroscience and religious studies at the University of Pennsylvania. He has a master’s degree in social work from the University of Pennsylvania and a second master’s degree in city planning also from the University of Pennsylvania. He also has a Ph.D. in urban affairs and public policy from the University of Delaware. He is currently pursuing a master’s in legal studies from Washington University at St. Louis School of Law.


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