Edoardo M Airoldi

Associate Professor of Statistics, Harvard University
Founder and Director, Harvard Laboratory for Applied Statistical Methodology
Associate Faculty Member, The Broad Insititute of MIT & Harvard

mailing address: Science Center, Harvard University, 1 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
phone: (617) 496-8318  
fax: (617) 496-8057
email: airoldi AT fas DOT harvard DOT edu


bio.   I receved a Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University in 2007, working at the intersection of statistical machine learning and computational social science with Stephen Fienberg and Kathleen Carley. My PhD thesis explored modeling approaches and inference strategies for analyzing social and biological networks. Till December 2008, I was a postdoctoral fellow in the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics and the Department of Computer Science at Princeton University working with Olga Troyanskaya and David Botstein. We developed mechanistic models of regulation, leveraging of high-thoughput technology, to gain insights into aspects of cellular dynamics that are not directly measurable at the desired resolution, such as growth rate. I joined the Statistics Department at Harvard University in 2009. See my CV for more details.

research.   My research explores modeling, inferential, and other methodological issues that often arise in applied problems where network data (i.e., measurements on pairs of units, or tuples more generally) need to be considered, and standard statistical theory and methods are no longer adequate to support the goals of the analysis. More broadly, my research interests encompass statistical methodology and theory with application to molecular biology and computational social science, including
  1. Theory and methods for estimation and testing with exchangeable graph models
  2. Design and analysis of experiments with interfering units
  3. Design and evaluation of network sampling mechanisms, and inference from non-ignorable sampling mechanisms
  4. Geometry of the inference in ill-posed inverse problems, including network tomography and contingency tables
  5. Distributed inference
  6. Modeling and inference in high-throughput biology, including sequencing and mass spectrometry
  7. Applications to molecular biology and computational social science

Areas of technical interest include approximation theorems, inequalities, convex and combinatorial optimization, and geometry.

funding.   My work has been supported by an NSF Career Award, a Sloan Research Fellowship, and grants from Google, Facebook, AT&T, the NSF, the NIH and the US Army.


  news   recent and upcoming talks
  • TBD. Yale University (Statistics), December 2, 2013, New Haven, CT.

  • Design and analysis of experiments with interfering units. Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing, November 18-21, 2013, UC Berkeley, CA.

  • Inference from non-ignorable sampling designs. DIMACS, November 7-8, 2013, Piscataway, NJ.

  • Inference and algorithms for high-throughput biology. Italian Embassy, October 29, 2013, Washington, DC.

  • Estimating causal effects with interfering units. SAMSI, October 21-23, 2013, RTP, NC.

  pre-prints (available upon request)
  • The geometry of 2x2 contingency tables. (java app) (source code)

  • Estimating a structured covariance matrix from multi-lab measurements in high-throughput biology. (IBM best student paper award, NESS 2013)

  • Poisson convolution on a tree of categories for modeling topical content. (pdf) (a shorter version appeared at ICML 2012)

  • Generalized species sampling priors with latent beta reinforcements. (pdf)

  selected publications (see my CV or Google Scholar for more publications and bibliographic details)

  theory and methods for network data analysis
  • Stochastic blockmodels with growing number of classes. Biometrika, 2012. (pdf)

  • Confidence sets for network structure. Statistical Analysis and Data Mining, 2011. (pdf) (a shorter version appeared at NIPS 2011)

  • Graphlets decomposition of a weighted network. Journal of Machine Learning Research, W&CP, 2011. (pdf) (MSR best student paper award, NESS 2012)

  • Network sampling and classification: An investigation of network model representations. Decision Support Systems, 2011. (pdf)

  • A survey of statistical network models. Foundations and Trends in Machine Learning, 2010. (pdf)

  • Mixed-membership stochastic blockmodels. Journal of Machine Learning Research, 2008. (pdf) (r code) (fast code) (John Van Ryzin award, 2006)
  geometry and inference in ill-posed inverse problems
  • Estimating latent processes on a network from indirect measurements. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 2013. (pdf) (supp) (r code) (IBM best student paper award, NESS 2011)

  • Polytope samplers for inference in ill-posed inverse problems. Journal of Machine Learning Research, W&CP, 2011. (pdf)

  • Tree preserving embedding Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2011. (pdf) (r code) (a shorter version appeared at ICML 2011)
  modeling and inference in high-throughput biology
  • Multi-way blockmodels for analyzing coordinated high-dimensional responses. Annals of Applied Statistics, in press. (pdf) (supp)

  • Analysis and design of RNA sequencing experiments for identifying mRNA isoform regulation. Nature Methods, 2010. (pdf) (supp) (code)

  • Ranking relations using analogies in biological and information networks. Annals of Applied Statistics, 2010. (pdf) (code)

  • Predicting cellular growth from gene expression signatures. PLoS Computational Biology, 2009. (pdf) (code & data) (a shorter version appeared at NIPS 2008)

  • Getting started in probabilistic graphical models. PLoS Computational Biology, 2007. (pdf)
  applications in molecular biology
  • Quantifying condition-dependent intracellular protein levels enables high-precision fitness estimates. PLoS One, 2013. (pdf)

  • A conserved cell growth cycle can account for the environmental stress responses of divergent eukaryotes. Molecular Biology of the Cell, 2012. (pdf)

  • Systems-level dynamic analyses of fate change in murine embryonic stem cells. Nature, 2009. (pdf) (supp) (F1000) (news & views, Nat BT) (editor's choice, Sci Sig)

  • Coordination of growth rate, cell cycle, stress response and metabolic activity in yeast. Molecular Biology of the Cell, 2008. (pdf) (code & data)
  applications in computational social science
  • Discussion of Hennig and Liao 'How to find an appropriate clustering for mixed-type variables with application to socio-economic stratification'. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Series C, 2013. (pdf) (article)

  • Reconceptualizing the classification of PNAS articles. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2010. (pdf) (editorial feature)

  • Whose ideas? Whose words? Authorship of the Ronald Reagan radio addresses. Political Science & Politics, 2007. (pdf) (op-ed by Skinner & Rice)

  • Who wrote Ronald Reagan's radio addresses? Bayesian Analysis, 2006. (pdf) (tr with detailed predictions) (notes on Negative Binomial)
  theses
  • Bayesian mixed-membership models of complex and evolving networks. Doctoral dissertation, 2007. (Savage award honorable mention, 2007)

  • The theory of weak convergence of probability measures and its applications in statistics. Undergraduate thesis, 1999. (Gold medal for best graduates, 1999)