Curriculum Vitae

Cosma Rohilla Shalizi


Address Department of Statistics
229C Baker Hall
Carnegie Mellon University
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
E-mail cshalizi at stat dot cmu dot edu


1993-2001: University of Wisconsin at Madison, Physics Department, Ph.D. Thesis title: Causal Architecture, Complexity and Self-Organization for Time Series and Cellular Automata. Advisers: James P. Crutchfield (physics) and David Griffeath (mathematics)
1990-1993: University of California at Berkeley, Physics Department, A.B.

Scholarships and Fellowships

1993-1994: Fellowship, UW-Madison Physics Department, in the high energy phenomenology group.
1990-1993: Chancellor's Scholar, UC-Berkeley.

Research, Teaching, and Other Work Experience


2006-: Assistant Professor, Department of Statistics, Carnegie Mellon University.
2005-2006: Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Statistics, Carnegie Mellon University.
2002-2005: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Center for the Study of Complex Systems, University of Michigan.
2001-2002: Postdoctoral Fellow, Santa Fe Institute, in the Dynamics of Learning group.
1998-2001: Graduate Fellow, Santa Fe Institute, in the Computation, Dynamics and Inference and Adaptive Computation groups.
1997: Research assistant to Professor David Griffeath, Mathematics Department, UW-Madison.
*  Other Appointments 
2008-: Related faculty, Machine Learning Department, Carnegie Mellon University.
2007-: External faculty, Santa Fe Institute.


*  Classes
Student evaluations, when available to me, are at
2006-: Assistant Professor, Statistics Department, CMU. Courses taught: data mining (36-350); advanced theory of stochastic processes (36-754); chaos, complexity, and inference (36-462); financial time series analysis (46-929); directed reading courses for graduate students and advanced undegraduates.
2005-2006: Visiting Assistant Professor, Statistics Department, CMU. Engineering statistics and quality control (36-220); stochastic processes (36-754).
2005, 2006: Lecturer, statistical inference and prediction, SFI Beijing Complex Systems Summer School.
2002: Instructor, foundational and methodological issues in complex systems, SFI Complex Systems Summer School.
2001: Instructor, foundations of complex systems (probability, statistics, networks), SFI Complex Systems Summer School.
2000: Instructor for probability, statistics and stochastic processes, SFI Complex Systems Summer School.
1996: Teaching assistant at UW-Madison for Psychology-Anthropology-Zoology-Neuroscience 619, "Biology of Mind", a writing-intensive interdisciplinary course on the biological foundations of behavior, cognition, and consciousness, and their evolution.
1994-1997: TA, Physics Department, UW-Madison. Taught discussion and lab sections for a range of introductory physics courses.
*  Research Students  
UNDERGRADUATES: Jacob Usinowicz (2002); Jean-Baptiste Rouquier (2004); Akiko Takeda (2006); Shawn Mankad (2006-2008); Francis Keith (2007); Edward McFowland (2008)
GRADUTE STUDENTS: Matthew Berryman (2004); Susan Buchman (Advanced Data Analysis project, 2005-2007); Justin Gross (ADA, 2006-2007); Stacey Ackermann-Alexeeff (2008-); Nathaniel Anozie (ADA, 2008); Raja Ahmad (ADA, 2008-)
THESIS COMMITTEES: Peiyi "Judy" Xi; Libo Xie; Sotirios Damouras; Jason Galyardt; Daniel Heinz; Ian McCulloh; Erich Huang
THESIS SUPERVISOR: Linqiao Zhao (with Mark Schervish); Justin Gross (with Stephen Fienberg)

Other Work

1998-1999: Co-editor, Alife Online website ( HTML coding, design, dealing with the public.
1997: Web design for the UW-Madison Physics Department.
1990: Technical adjutant, National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (NIH). Assisted Dr. Tom Markello in lab protocols for the study of inherited lipid storage disorders.

Computer Skills

Programming Languages: Logo, Basic, Lisp, Object-Oriented Scheme, Fortran 77, Fortran 90, C, Perl, Forth, Java, R.
Scripting and Mark-up Languages: LATEX, HTML, Expect.
Systems: Amiga, Unix (BSD, NextStep, Solaris), Cellular Automaton Machine 8, Mac OS X.

Professional Activities

Associate editor, Annals of Applied Statistics (2008-).
Editorial board: Structure and Dynamics: e-Journal of Anthropological and Related Sciences (2005-).
Reviewer for Advances in Complex Systems; Annals of Applied Statistics; Artificial Life; Behavioral & Brain Sciences; Biosystems; British Journal for the Philosophy of Science; Cambridge University Press; Chaos; Complexity; The Computer Journal; Entropy; European Physical Journal B; Europhysics Letters; Fluctuations and Noise Letters; Foundations of Physics; IEEE International Symposium on Information Theory IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks; IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing; IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics A; Inverse Problems; International Colloquium on Automata, Languages and Programming; International Joint Conference on Neural Networks; International Journal of Theoretical and Applied Finance; International Parallel and Distributed Processing Symposium; Journal of Cellular Automata; Journal of Computational Neuroscience; Journal of General Philosophy of Science; Journal of Physics A; Journal of Statistical Mechanics; Journal of Statistical Physics; Journal of Theoretical Biology; Mathematical Reviews; MIT Press; Neural Computation; Oxford University Press; Perseus Books, Advanced Books Program; Philosophy of Science; Physica A; Physica D; Physical Review A; Physical Review E; Physical Review Letters; Physics Letters A; Princeton University Press; Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA); Proceedings of the Royal Society (London) A; Statistics in Medicine; University of Chicago Press; John Wiley and Sons; World Scientific Publishing.
Conference/workshop program committees: Noise in Complex Systems and Stochastic Dynamics (2003, 2004, 2005); Alife X (2006) main conference and workshop on Evolution of Complexity; European Conference on Complex Systems 2006; workshop on Statistical Network Analysis at 23rd International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML 2006); European Conference on Artificial Life (2007); AAAI Spring Symposium on Social Information Processing (2008); Statistical Methods for the Analysis of Network Data in Practice (2009).
Member: American Physical Society; American Statistical Association; Bertrand Russell Society; Computational Anthropology Section, American Anthropological Association; Institute of Mathematical Statistics; International Machine Learning Society; Society for Literature and Science.
Union activities: Member of the Teaching Assistants Association at UW-Madison, 1994-2001; Natural Sciences area representative, 1995-1996; Physics Department steward, 1996-1997.
Grant review: Expert evaluator for the "Future and Emerging Technologies" program of the European Commission's research directorate, 2001-. Referee for the Technology Foundation STW (Dutch national technology research agency), 2003; for the National Environment Research Council (UK), 2004; for the Civilian Research and Development Foundation (US), 2004; for the National Science Foundation (US), 2007-.

Research Interests

Prediction and filtering for nonlinear dynamics and spatiotemporal data
Frequentist properties of nonparametric Bayesian learning
Hidden Markov models and hidden Markov random fields
Quantitative measures of self-organization and complexity
Coherence and distributed information in biological computation
Statistical inference for power-law and related distributions
Statistical properties of neurophysiological signals
Organizational aspects of ensemble machine learning
Influence of social network structure on collective behavior
Cellular automaton models of pattern formation
Learning theory for models of statistical causation
Large deviations and ergodic theory in statistical inference
Foundations of statistical mechanics
Philosophy of science (causation; induction; reduction and emergence)


Papers in Peer-Reviewed Journals and Conferences

  1. Robert Haslinger, Kristina Lisa Klinkner and CRS, "The Computational Structure of Spike Trains", forthcoming, Neural Computation
  2. Aaron Clauset, CRS and M. E. J. Newman, "Power-law distributions in empirical data", forthcoming, SIAM Reviews;
  3. CRS, "Social Media as Windows on the Social Life of the Mind", forthcoming in the proceedings of the AAAI 2008 spring symposium on social information processing;
  4. CRS, Marcelo F. Camperi and Kristina Lisa Klinkner, "Discovering Functional Communities in Dynamical Networks", pp. 140-157 in Anna Goldenberg et al. (eds.), Statistical Network Analysis: Models, Issues, and New Directions (New York: Springer-Verlag, 2007) [proceedings of a workshop at ICML 2006];
  5. CRS, Robert Haslinger, Jean-Baptiste Rouquier, Kristina Lisa Klinkner and Cristopher Moore, "Automatic Filters for the Detection of Coherent Structure in Spatiotemporal Systems", Physical Review E 73 (2006): 036104;
  6. Kristina Lisa Klinkner, CRS and Marcelo F. Camperi, "Measuring Shared Information and Coordinated Activity in Neuronal Networks", pp. 667-674 in Yair Weiss, Bernhard Schölkopf and John C. Platt (eds.), Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 18 [NIPS 2005] (Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 2006);
  7. Michael T. Gaster, CRS and M. E. J. Newman, "Maps and Cartograms of the 2004 US Presidential Election Results", Advances in Complex Systems 8 (2005): 117-123
  8. Matthew J. Berryman, Scott W. Coussens, CRS, Yvonne Pamula, David Parsons, Kurt Lushington, David Saint, Andrew Allison, A. James Martin, Declan Kennedy and Derek Abbott, "Nonlinear Aspects of EEG Signals from Sleep Patients", pp. 40-48 in Nigel G. Stocks, Derek Abbott and Robert P. Morse (eds.), Fluctuations and Noise in Biological, Biophysical, and Biomedical Systems III (Bellingham, Washington: SPIE, 2005);
  9. CRS, Kristina Lisa Klinkner and Robert Haslinger, "Quantifying Self-Organization with Optimal Predictors", Physical Review Letters 93 (2004): 118701,
  10. CRS and Kristina Lisa Klinkner, "Blind Construction of Optimal Nonlinear Recursive Predictors for Discrete Sequences", pp. 504-511 in Max Chickering and Joseph Halpern (eds.), Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence: Proceedings of the Twentieth Conference [UAI 2004] (Arlington, Virginia: AUAI Press, 2004),
  11. CRS, "Functionalism, Emergence and Collective Coordinates", Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (2004): 635-636
  12. CRS, "Optimal Nonlinear Prediction of Random Fields on Networks", Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science, AB(DMCS) (2003): 11-30; (proceedings of the conference "Discrete Models for Complex Systems 2003")
  13. CRS and James P. Crutchfield, "Information Bottlenecks, Causal States, and Statistical Relevance Bases: How to Represent Relevant Information in Memoryless Transduction", Advances in Complex Systems, 5 (2002): 91-95;
  14. Wim Hordijk, CRS and James P. Crutchfield, "An Upper Bound on the Products of Particle Interactions in Cellular Automata", Physica D 154 (2001): 240-258;
  15. CRS and James P. Crutchfield, "Computational Mechanics: Pattern and Prediction, Structure and Simplicity", Journal of Statistical Physics 104 (2001): 817-879;
  16. James P. Crutchfield, David P. Feldman and CRS, "Comment on `Simple Measure for Complexity"', Physical Review E 62 (2000): 2996-2997;
  17. Cristopher Moore, Mats G. Nordahl, Nelson Minar and CRS, "Vortex Dynamics and Entropic Forces in Antiferromagnets and Antiferromagnetic Potts Models", Physical Review E 60 (1999): 5344-5351;
  18. James P. Crutchfield and CRS, "Thermodynamic Depth of Causal States: Objective Complexity via Minimal Representation", Physical Review E 59 (1999): 275-283;

Invited and Contributed Papers

  1. CRS, "Methods and Techniques in Complex Systems Science: An Overview", pp. 33-114 in Thomas S. Deisboeck and J. Yasha Kresh (eds.), Complex Systems Science in Biomedicine (New York: Springer-Verlag, 2006);
  2. CRS and Kristina Lisa Klinkner, "Quantifying Self-Organization in Cyclic Cellular Automata", pp. 108-117 in Lutz Schimansky-Geier, Derek Abbott, Alexander Neiman and Christian Van den Broeck (eds.), Noise in Complex Systems and Stochastic Dynamics (Bellingham, Washington: SPIE, 2003);
  3. Derek Abbott, Paul C. W. Davies and CRS, "Order from Disorder: The Role of Noise in Creative Processes. A Special Issue on Game Theory and Evolutionary Processes - Overview", Fluctuation and Noise Letters, vol. 2, no. 4 (December 2002)

Submitted Papers

  1. Matthew J. Berryman, Scott W. Coussens, Sarah Blunden, CRS, Andrew Allison and Derek Abbott, "Methods for Analysis of EEG and EOG Data in Sleep Patients", submitted to Physiological Measurement
  2. Shinsuke Koyama, Lucia Castellanos Pérez-Bolde, CRS, and Robert E. Kass, "Approximate Methods for State-Space Models: The Laplace-Gaussian Filter", submitted to Journal of the American Statistical Association
  3. CRS, "Dynamics of Bayesian Updating with Dependent Data and Misspecified Models", submitted to Annals of Statistics;
  4. CRS, "Maximum Likelihood Estimation and Testing for q-Exponential Distributions", submitted to Physical Review E;
  5. CRS, "The Backwards Arrow of Time of the Coherently Bayesian Statistical Mechanic", submitted to Journal of Statistical Mechanics: Theory and Experiment;
  6. CRS and Cristopher Moore, "What Is a Macrostate? Subjective Observations and Objective Dynamics", submitted to Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics;

Manuscripts in Preparation

  1. Henry Farrell and CRS, "Evolutionary Accounts and Rational Choice Theories of Institutional Change"
  2. Justin Gross and CRS, "Cosponsorship in the U.S. Senate: A Multilevel Approach to Detecting the Influence of Social Relations on Legislative Behavior"
  3. Kristina Lisa Klinkner and CRS, "Nonparametric Classification of Time Series with CSSR"
  4. CRS, Alessandro Rinaldo, and Kristina Lisa Klinkner, "A Discovery Algorithm for a Class of Predictive State Representations" [working title]
  5. CRS, "Bayesian Learning, Evolutionary Search, and Information Theory"
  6. CRS, "Contagion, Homophily, Confounding: Pick Any Three"
  7. CRS, "General Factors in Correlational Psychology: Triviality or Myth?"
  8. CRS, "Large Deviations in Exponential Families of Stochastic Automata"
  9. CRS, Measuring Complexity (Princeton University Press)
  10. CRS, "Neutral Cultural Evolution in Assortative Social Networks"
  11. CRS, "Often Wrong, Never in Doubt: Some Pitfalls of Bayesian Learning with Mis-specified Models"
  12. CRS, "A Quantitative Measure of Emergence"
  13. CRS, Statistical Analysis of Complex Systems Models (Cambridge University Press, estimated 2010);
  14. CRS with Aryeh (Leo) Kontorovich, Almost None of the Theory of Stochastic Processes,
  15. CRS and Shawn Mankad, "Statistical Properties of Aggregated Random Graphs"
  16. CRS, Laurent Tambayong, Aaron Clauset and Douglas R. White, "Consistent Estimators of q-Exponential Distributions"
  17. Laurent Tambayong, Aaron Clauset, CRS, and Douglas R. White, "q-Exponential Distributions in Empirical Data"

Talks and Posters at Conferences

Seminars and Other Talks

Workshops and Journal Special Issues Organized

  1. Theory and Applications of Complex Networks, IMS panel at the 2006 Joint Statistical Meeting. Seattle, 7 August 2006.
  2. Order out of disorder: the role of noise in creative processes, special issue of Fluctuation and Noise Letters (vol. 2, no. 4, December 2002), editor with Derek Abbott and P. C. W. Davies.
  3. Collective Cognition: Mathematical Foundations of Distributed Intelligence, co-chair with James P. Crutchfield, Kagan Tumer and David H. Wolpert. Santa Fe, 22-26 January 2002.

Miscellaneous Manuscripts

  1. Shinsuke Koyama, Lucia Castellanos Pérez-Bolde, CRS, and Robert E. Kass, "Laplace's Method in Neural Decoding" (2007)
  2. CRS, Kristina Lisa Klinkner and James P. Crutchfield, "An Algorithm for Pattern Discovery in Time Series" Technical Report, Santa Fe Institute, 2002-10-60;
  3. CRS, Causal Architecture, Complexity and Self-Organization in Time Series and Cellular Automata, Ph.D. Thesis, UW-Madison (2001),
  4. CRS, "Lecture Notes on Probability, Statistics and Stochastic Processes" (2000),
  5. CRS and David J. Albers, "Symbolic Dynamics for Discrete Adaptive Games" (2002);
  6. CRS and James P. Crutchfield, "Pattern Discovery and Computational Mechanics" (2000), cs.LG/0001027.
  7. CRS and William A. Tozier, "A Simple Model of the Evolution of Simple Models of Evolution" (1999), Rejected by Theoretical Population Biology.
  8. CRS, "Lecture Notes on Computational Mechanics" (1998),

Paid Articles

  1. "The Logic of Diversity: The Complexity of a Controversial Concept", Santa Fe Institute Bulletin, 20:1 (2005): 34-38
  2. "The world is our laboratory: Myron Scholes and the history of finance", Quantitative Finance, 3:2 (2003): C20-C21.
  3. "Growth, Form, Function, and Crashes", SFI Bulletin 15:2 (2000): 6-11.
  4. "Modeling Markets", SFI Bulletin, 15:1 (2000): 10-15.
  5. "Homo reciprocans: Political Economy and Cultural Evolution", SFI Bulletin, 14:2 (1999): 16-20.
  6. "What Can Emergence Tell Us About Today's Eastern Europe?" SFI Bulletin, 14:1 (1999): 8-10.
  7. "Scientific Models: Claiming and Validating", SFI Bulletin, 13:2 (1998): 8-12.

Book Reviews

I have written over 130 book reviews, reviewing works on physics, complexity, mathematics, economics, cognition, statistics, philosophy of science, machine learning, evolutionary biology and literary theory. A complete list of my reviews, and their full text, are online at Some of them have appeared or will appear in American Scientist, the Bulletin of the London Mathematical Society, Physics Today, and Quantitative Finance.


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