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UW Biostatistics graduate program updates

Noah Simon, an associate professor of biostatistics at the University of Washington School of Public Health, has been named director of the Master of Science (MS) Capstone Program in the Department of Biostatistics.

Noah Simon
Noah Simon

Now in its fourth year, the 18-month MS Capstone program provides rigorous, practical training for students looking to enter the job market upon graduation. Students focus one of three specialization pathways: data science, statistical genetics, or modeling and methods. 

"I'm excited and honored to work with the amazing students in our capstone program, especially at a time where there is a critical need for such inspiring new biostatisticians and data scientists,” said Simon whose research focuses on machine learning (including penalized regression and classification), efficient algorithms in high dimensional spaces, shrinkage estimation and clinical trial design. He develops techniques that are directed at problems in biology and medical science.

Simon is the third director of MS Capstone program, succeeding Jim Hughes, who supervised the program in 2021-22 before retiring earlier this year, and Adam Szpiro, the first director who was instrumental in the successful launch of the program in 2019.

“I hope to live up to the incredible stewardship shown by Adam Szpiro and Jim Hughes in running the program," said Simon.

“We are extremely grateful to Noah for taking the lead of the MS Capstone program after the incredible work by his predecessors Jim Hughes and Adam Szpiro,” said Lurdes Inoue, the Gilbert S. Omenn endowed chair of the department. 


Photos of Minh Vo and Gitana Garofalo
Minh Vo (left), Gitana Garofalo (right)

In addition, graduate program staffing has been restructured to better serve students and the department. Minh Vo has been promoted to the position of Associate Director of Student Services and will advise students in all programs — MS capstone, MS thesis, and PhD – as they move through coursework, exams, and graduation. Gitana Garofalo will assume the new role of Manager of Alumni Relations and Admissions.