January 26, 2021

Elena Erosheva, a professor of statistics and social work, and associate director of the UW Center for Statistics and the Social Sciences, was selected to serve on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine’s committee to explore ways to increase diversity and inclusion in the leadership teams of space mission proposals submitted to NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.

Some of the committee’s work will involve mapping the space mission proposals currently in the pipeline to identify elements that may present a roadblock to encouraging a more diverse pool of proposal teams. Using data from NASA and other scientific agencies, as well as studying industry best practices, the 15-member committee will recommend actions for NASA’s SMD and its partners to take to begin to overcome these barriers. The group will also review published research that explores obstacles that women and minorities face as they strive to participate in science and engineering projects.

Erosheva’s research at the UW focuses on the development and application of modern statistical methods to address issues in the social, medical and health sciences. Statistical methods, broadly defined, are analytic techniques that researchers use to design data collection procedures and to examine relevant data in order to reach conclusions on a scientific question. 

Erosheva received her PhD in statistics from Carnegie Mellon University in 2002 and joined the University of Washington that same year.  From 2018 to 2019, she was a visiting professor and international chair in data science at the Université Côte d’Azur, France. In 2014, together with UW philosophy professor Carole Lee, she was a first-prize winner for the most creative idea in the America Competes Act Challenge, a competition to improve fairness in NIH peer review.