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Rachel Wilkerson

I am a second year statistics student studying causal algebras under the supervision of Jim Q. Smith. I am a part of the Leverhulme Bridges programme that aims to bridge the gap between the mathematical and social sciences. My work is motivated by a long-held conviction that mathematical models should be attuned to the realities faced by practitioners outside the academy. I hope to further demonstrate how causal algebras can be customized to pertinent domain expertise.

Previously, I worked at the intersection of public data systems and academic research as a data scientist for Baylor University's Texas Hunger Initiative. A staunch open data advocate, I aim to bridge the gap between data-driven models and the complex socioeconomic challenges facing communities, particularly with regard to food insecurity. A West Texas native and Baylor Mathematics alumna, I hold a M.Sc. in Complexity Science from the University of Warwick where I studied the mathematics of real world systems. I learned to love math cleaning spectroscopy data at the McDonald Observatory, modeling epidemic dynamics using mobile phone data from Iceland, and traveling to Budapest to learn graph theory.

Journal Articles
  • R. Wilkerson, D. Khalfe, K. Krey. Associations Between Neighborhoods and Summer Meal Sites: Measuring Access to Federal Summer Meals Programs. 2015. Journal of Applied Research on Children. Vol. 6:2.
    Featured in the Atlantic's City Lab
  • M. Shetrone, R. Wilkerson, S. Martell et. al. Light-element abundance variations and low metallicity: the globular cluster NGC 5466 2010, The Astronomical Journal 140 1119
Book Chapters
  • R. Wilkerson, L. English, K. Krey The Complex Challenges to Participation in Federal Nutrition Programs in preparation for Food and Poverty: Food Insecurity and Food Sovereignty among America's Poor edited by L. Hossfeld et al. Summer 2016.
  • Wilkerson, R. L. (2016), Hungry for data. Significance, 13: 28-31.
  • Wilkerson, R. L. (2017) "Dear Data: the Surprising Artistry of Personal Data." Curator Magazine.
Selected Presentations
  • Animated plots in R, Warwick R User Group, University of Warwick, February 2017
  • Aesthetic Principles for Data Visualization. Young Researcher's Meeting, University of Warwick, January 2017
  • Modeling Food Policy Decision Analysis with an Interactive Bayesian Network in Shiny. useR! Conference. Stanford University, June 2016.
  • Using Decision Analysis to Optimize Summer Meal Options. Food Waste and Hunger Summit, University of Arkansas, April 2016
  • Contributed an Early Career Researchers talk at the COST Food Safety and Food Security Workshop in Dubrovnik, Croatia, April 2016
  • Barriers to Participation in Child Nutrition Programs in America. Evidence-based decision support for food security. University of Warwick, April 2014.
Statistics 208: Mathematical Methods

University of Warwick, Term I
Held tutorials and was responsible for marking

Statistics 111/2: Probability A & B

University of Warwick, Term II
Held tutorials and was responsible for marking.

Data Science

Baylor University Business School
Spring 2014, Fall 2014
Designed curriculum for graduate students in Economics. Taught students to perform exploratory data analysis and implement basic predictive methods. The Spring course included a lab to teach students to code in R and culminated in a final project to demonstrate mastery of the data science process.

Calculus I and II

Baylor University College of Arts & Sciences
Fall 2014, Spring 2015
Lectured three times a week, wrote exams, shared responsibility for grading.

Honors Colloquium

Baylor University Honor's College
Spring 2015
Led a discussion for Honors College students on Uncharted: Big Data as a Lens on Human Culture. Responsible for marking essays.

AP Calculus Reader

Kansas City, MO
Summer 2016
Worked for the College Board grading over 2,500 exams.



Mailing Address:

Department of Statistics
University of Warwick
Coventry CV4 7AL